Indianola POW Camp

The US built prisoner of war camps across the country during World War II. One such camp opened north of Indianola. It held mostly German soldiers captured in North Africa and Italy. Prisoners began arriving by train in November 1943. The camp was in full operation by the end of the year.

Camp Indianola was laid out over 250 acres. It had nearly 200 buildings and could house up to 3,000 prisoners. It served as both a base camp and a branch camp, housing 2,549 prisoners at its peak.

The original plan was for prisoners to work on flood control projects. Instead, a wartime labor shortage created a need for farmworkers. Prisoners were sent from Indianola to smaller camps where they were hired out to farmers.

After the war, Camp Indianola was transferred to the Bureau of Reclamation. It housed workers and their families during construction of flood control projects.

Removal, neglect, and demolition have left a collection of ruins. Some buildings were relocated and used as homes.