Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations, and Airfields
King Island Prisoner of War Branch Camp

A branch camp of the Stockton Ordnance Depot Prisoner of War Camp. The camp held 251 German prisoners who were used for agricultural labor.

King Island is an island in the north Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in San Joaquin County, California, 12 miles east of Antioch, and 12 miles west of Stockton. The 3,200-acre island is bounded on the north by White Slough, on the east by Bishop Cut, on the south by Disappointment Slough, and on the west, Honker Cut.

US Army Center of Military History Historical Data Card
Historical Status Card (Center of Military History, US Army)
Army Units Assigned to Kings Island Prisoner of War Branch Camp

 Data Source


 Army of the United States Station List 7 April 1946 Detachment (Prisoner of War Branch Camp), 3968th Service Command Unit (Stockton Ordnance Depot (ASF)
AGF - Army Ground Forces ASF - Army Service Forces AAF - Army Air Forces WDC - Western Defense Command

250-man Portable Prisoner of War Branch Camps

When the need for a branch camp was identified and certified as valid to the Army, it sent a team to select a site for the camp to fulfill the contractor’s requirements while still ensuring that the prisoners would be properly housed and secured. In many cases, few or no adequate buildings were available for prisoner relocation, so the Army developed a “mobile unit” package that could be set up quickly to temporarily house 250 POWs. It consisted of 42 tents, sized 16’ by 16’, allowing 6 or 7 men per tent. Seven additional tents of the same size were used as office and storage buildings. Four larger tents were used, one each, for mess hall, shower, latrine, and chapel/recreation purposes. This entire layout was set up in a compound bordered by a single wire fence that measured 282 by 550 feet (155,100 square feet). Portable guard towers, with searchlights, were placed at opposite corners of the compound to permit clear observation in the camp. Light poles were erected at intervals both inside and outside the camp. Each tent would have one or more light bulbs for night use.

The guard force for a branch camp of 250 POWs consisted of approximately 160 officers and men. It was composed as follows: 30 camp guards; 70 “prisoner chasers” who were the guards accompanying the POWs to and from work sites and monitoring them during work hours; 15 NCOs to oversee the guard force; seven support staff such as cooks and clerks; 33 drivers and mechanics; and five medics. Usually five officers were assigned including the camp commander, three camp officers, one supply and mess officer, one POW company commander, and one medical officer (if available).


Typical layout of a 250 man portable Prisoner of War Branch Camp.


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Updated 8 February 2016