Topographical Map, 1962. Lordsburg, New Mexico. United States Geological Survey. Courtesy of the New Mexico State Library.
Lordsburg, New Mexico
Lordsburg Internment Camp (U.S. government name) was located on desert land 3 miles east of Lordsburg, New Mexico. This 1,300 acre U.S. Army Facility was the only one built specifically to hold Japanese Americans. The other facilities that held Japanese Americans were state prisons or located on preexisting military bases. Construction on the site began in February 1942 and in July 1942, 613 first-generation Japanese Americans were transferred from Fort Lincoln Internment Center, Bismarck, North Dakota. As many as 1,500 Japanese Americans were incarcerated at Lordsburg. On July 27, 1942, two Japanese Americans, Toshio Kobata and Hirota Isomura, were shot and killed by a sentry who claimed they were attempting to escape. Though Japanese Americans testified that the two elderly men were physically disabled, the army court martial board tried and found the guard not guilty. By 1943, all Japanese Americans had been transferred to other facilities and between 1943 and 1945, the site held up to 4,000 Italian prisoners of war. The site was closed in February 1946.