Santa Anita















United States. Army. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942.
Washington 1943


Santa Anita
Santa Anita, California





Santa Anita Assembly Center (U.S. government name) opened on March 27, 1942 and was located at Santa Anita Racetrack, the oldest racetrack in South California. Santa Anita was the largest and longest-occupied temporary WCCA camp. It reached a population of 18,719, with 8,500 persons of Japanese ancestry living in horse stalls at the racetrack. 200 soldiers guarded the perimiter.

Santa Anita ran into various overcrowding issues such as food complaints (the average budget was for feeding one incarceree was 30 cents, but it would later be raised to 41 cents when complaints threatened camp peace), inadequate and overcrowded sanitary facilities, and a lack of medical supplies.

The camp ran a camouflage net factory operated under military contract, but it was frequently understaffed due to low monthly payments of $16 and rumors of unsafe working conditions.

The camp was closed on October 27, 1942 and was in operation for 215 days. The population was sent to Heart Mountain, Rohwer, Amache, Jerome, Poston, Gila River, and some sent to Topaz and Manzanar.


Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War 2 Japanese American Relocation Sites