Dallas’ Nazi POW Camp
I live in Dallas, and as far as I can tell, other than the first 7-11 and, of course, the JFK assassination, Dallas doesn’t have a lot of tales, but by gum we did have our very own Nazi POW camp towards the end of WWII.
The 3 and a half acre camp, which was a branch of the Camp Mexia Prisoner of War camp, started out its life in 1933 as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp on the shores of White Rock Lake, roughly 1/2 a mile from my home. The camp was made up of roughly 200 unemployed men from the surrounding areas who lived there as well as made improvements to White Rock Lake Park. However, after the start of WWII the CCC camp was given over to the Army Air Corps’ Fifth Ferrying Command, which used the camp as an induction center and boot camp for nearly two years.
Then in 1944, some of Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Corp soldiers captured by American G.I.’s were shipped off to the White Rock Lake branch of Camp Mexia. The camp eventually held 403 men who were bussed to work everyday at the Regional Quartermaster Repair Shop at the converted Centennial General Exhibits Building at Fair Park.
There was never an escape attempt from the camp, even though civilians would often call about escaped prisoners wandering the area but when questioned by MP’s they would reply that they’d just gotten lost or wanted to go for a walk. The area, I can attest, is very pretty.
At the end of the war a large percentage of Hitler’s soldiers wanted to stay in the States, but the government quashed the idea, forcing all to return home to their native lands.