HISTORIC HEMPSTEAD PLAINS - Nassau County Long Island
Mitchel Field's - POW Camp4
MILITARY PRISONERS RETURNING FROM CHOW (W.W.I) - Nassau County Museum - Long Island Studies Institute
The early aviation field #2 W.W.I photo card at LISI has the guard house listed as a POW facility.
Prior to 1933, the guardhouse / compound was on the southern part of the present day quadrangle.1 When Mitchel Field expanded into the old Camp Mills area (1938) the W.W.II
guard house was located in the Camp Mills sub base.2 Mitchel Field was unable to fully reclaim the Camp Mills area, there were
now hundreds of owners. Efforts to fully reclaim the Mills area were abandoned due to the difficulty. The Mills
area was largely reclaimed up to Oak Street (Ave. E.). I have since learned that Mitchel was able to extend slightly
beyond Oak Street. It did so in a circular shape north of Westbury Avenue (Camp Mills Diagonal Avenue). This gave
a clear zone for the northwest / southeast runway. It also accounts for remnant outlines of the Camp Mills roads
showing up in that section as late as 1942. A 1925 Nassau County land map shows development in the northwest sector
of Camp Mills. Three streets can be seen making in-roads into the old Camp Mills base area. Aerial photos shows
remnants of Camp Mills as late as 1942, since construction would not be allowed in the runway clear zone. Further
research indicated that this clear zone remained intact until at least 1948. During the fifties Mitchel Field Air
Base was the place of confinement for all military prisoners from Continental Europe and the British Isles in cases
where the sentence was less than 6 months confinement or discharge. The guard house of the 1950's was designated
as building no . 20.3 Additional buildings were pressed into service including part of the photo
2.) In the beginning, East Meadow, Steve Buczak, LI Airfields of Yesterday, "History of Mitchel Air Field" from the Dan Pflug collection.
3.) Mitchel Field base Historical report 1954. - LISI
4.) Removed the term "concentration" due to documentary evidence that indicates the term concentration applied to aviation supplies and not the type of prisoner facility. Although according to a dictionary definition the term could be used. 5/3/2000. In Speaking with Steve Buczak(10/2000), I learned that there were two separate prisons, one for the Italian prisoners and one for the Germans. Certainly sounds like concentration camp POW facility would apply. Also, please see the Camp Mills / Mitchel Field remembrance page.
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