The Way It Was: Camp McCoy POW camp

An early 1942 view of the World War II prisoner of war camp on South Post at Camp McCoy (now Fort McCoy) near Sparta.  

Library of Congress

An early 1942 view of the World War II prisoner-of-war camp which was located on South Post at Camp McCoy (now Fort McCoy) near Sparta. From 1942 to 1946 this complex housed Japanese and German prisoners-of-war and also served as a detention center for German, Italian and Japanese civilians arrested as potentially dangerous “enemy aliens.”

This snowy scene, with the fence at right under construction, was taken shortly before the first prisoners and detainees arrived at the camp 75 years ago on March 9, 1942, according to Tribune files.

Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136 .

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