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Official name: Colorado River Relocation Center
Location: Yuma County, Arizona, 17 miles south of Parker
Land: On the Colorado Indian Reservation
Size: 71,000 acres; Poston was the largest of the camps
Climate: Desert; perhaps the hottest of all camps
Origin of camp population: Mostly from Los Angeles (2,750), Tulare (1,952), San Diego (1,883), Orange (1,636), Fresno (1,590), Imperial (1,512), Monterey (1,506), and Santa Cruz (1,222) Counties
Via "assembly centers": Most either came to Poston directly (11,738) or came from Salinas (3,459) or Santa Anita (1,573) "ASSEMBLY CENTERS"; Poston also received 469 transfers from Justice Department administered INTERNMENT CAMPS, the highest figure of any WRA camp
Rural/Urban: Mostly rural
Peak population: 17,814, the most populous besides TULE LAKE "SEGREGATION CENTER"
Date of peak: September 2, 1942
Opening date: May 8, 1942
Closing date: Unit I: November 28, 1945 Unit II: September 29, 1945 Unit III: September 29, 1945 Project director(s): Wade Head and Duncan Mills Community analysts: Alexander Leighton, Edward H. Spicer, Elizabeth Colson and David H. French; Conrad Arensberg and Laura Thompson were consultants
JERS fieldworkers: Richard S. Nishimoto and Tamie Tsuchiyama
Newspaper: Poston Chronicle (May 13, 1942-October 23, 1945)
Percent who answered question 28 of the loyalty questionnaire positively: 93.7
Number and percentage of eligible male citizens inducted directly into armed forces: 611 (4.8 percent) Industry: A camouflage net factory operated from fall 1942 to May 1943
Miscellaneous characteristics: The most notable incident at Poston was the POSTON STRIKE, described in detail in the following entry. There was another strike involving 56 adobe workers in August 1942 that was quickly settled. Poston was named after Charles Poston, the "Father of Arizona." One of the most intensively studied of all the camps, Poston housed a social science laboratory under the leadership of Alexander Leighton while under the OIA in addition to having WRA community analysts and JAPANESE AMERICAN EVACUATION AND RESETTLEMENT STUDY fieldworkers.
Image credit: Gift of Mrs. Etsu Minata Masaoka, Japanese American National Museum (93.109.1)

Camp Related Materials from the Japanese American National Museum

America's Concentration Concentration Camps sites on the Internet

Bibliography of Japanese Americans and America's Concentration Camps


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