Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky – WWII Prisoner of War Camp

Kentucky History Corner Update January 31st, 2013

Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky – WWII Prisoner of War Camp

German POWS Enjoying a Meal While Being Held at Camp Breckinridge, KY

A View of The Courtyard of Camp Breckinridge, KY

Camp Breckinridge was an Army post built in 1942, on 36,000 acres, at a cost of $39,000,000. It was named for John C. Breckinridge, US Vice President, 1856-60; Confederate Secretary of War, 1865. The camp was created as infantry training center for up to 40,000 men. Used during WW II, 1943-46, as prisoner of war camp for as many as 3,000 enlisted men of German Army. Camp deactivated in 1949. During Korean War, 1950-54, the camp reopened for training of infantry. From 1954 to 1963 it was used for summer training of 4,500 National Guard troops. Disposal of the camp by the Army began in 1963. The Dept. of Labor obtained 853 acres for Job Corps Training Center opened in 1965. Remaining acreage acquired by individuals, city of Morganfield and state of Kentucky.

A prisoner of war, German Daniel Mayer, spent his captivity in Morganfield, and painted over 40 pastoral scenes and historic murals in the Officers Club ballroom. One of these murals can be seen below.

POW murals.

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