A branch camp of the Stockton Ordnance Depot Prisoner of War Camp. The camp held 250 German prisoners who were used for agricultural labor.
The Jones Tract is an island containing Lower Jones Tract and the Upper Jones Tract in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in San Joaquin County, California, fifteen kilometres west of Stockton. The 4,900 ha (12,000 acres) island is bounded on the north by Empire Cut, on the northeast by Whiskey Slough, on the southeast by Trapper Slough, and on the west, Middle River. The tracts are bifurcated by the parallel running Mokelumne Aqueduct, West Lower Jones Road, and a railroad originally built by the Achison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, which now carries freight trains of the BNSF Railway and Amtrak California's San Joaquin.
|Army of the United States Station List||7 April 1946||Detachment (Prisoner of War Branch Camp), 3968th Service Command Unit (Stockton Ordnance Depot) (ASF)|
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 contractors 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).