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The National Veterans Network is a coalition that enlightens the public about the legacy of Japanese American World War II soldiers.
They were All American

The War Years:



In desert camps, the evacuees met severe extremes of temperature. In winter it reached 35 degrees below zero, and summer brought temperatures as high as 115 degrees. Rattlesnakes and desert wildlife added danger to discomfort.3

Conditions in Camps
The “evacuees” first went to 17 temporary assembly centers, such as the Santa Anita and Tanforan race tracks, to await transfer to camps.

In some cases, family members were separated and put in different camps. Barbed wire ringed each camp. Army personnel manned sentry towers with machine guns around the clock. Detainees knew that if they tried to flee, sentries would shoot them.

The hastily built camps contained tar-paper-covered barracks with no plumbing or cooking facilities. One light bulb hung from each ceiling. Many camps contained only outhouses; toilets contained no partitions.

Some internees died from inadequate medical care or the high level of emotional stress. Each person had one army cot and received just 45 cents worth of starchy food per day.

A doctor at Tanforan described the diet of people in these camps, “There is no milk for anyone over 5 years of age… No meat at all until the 12th day when very small portions were served… Anyone doing heavy or outdoor work states they are not getting nearly enough to eat and they are hungry all the time. This includes the doctors.”2

The Army located these camps ‘at a safe distance’ from any locations perceived to be strategic. The environments of the camps ranged from swamplands in Arkansas to deserts in Arizona. The land was generally barren, isolated, and harsh.


2 Living Conditions of Japanese American Internment Camps
3 Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians.