German Prisoner-of-War at the Nyssa, Oregon, POW camp, May 1946. [P120:2811]


From 1944 to 1946, over 3,517 prisoners of war, mostly Germans, were utilized on Oregon farms. Although they constituted a small percentage of the total number of farm labor placements, they provided valuable assistance throughout the state. In Malheur County alone they were largely responsible for the 7,500 acres of potatoes, 3,500 acres of onions, and 3,000 acres of lettuce planted and harvested in 1945. That same year they harvested nearly a half million bushels of pears in Jackson County and 3.8 million pounds of hops in the Willamette Valley.

The U.S. Army operated six POW camps from which farm workers were obtained-- in Malheur (2), Jackson, Benton, Marion and Polk counties.

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A Crew of Seven German Prisoners-of-War Operate a Potato Bulker on Frank Bell's Farm, Just Across the State Line in Tulelake, California, October 1944. [P120:2340]

POWs Picking Beans in the Willamette Valley, ca. 1945. These prisoners were likely from the POW camp at Camp Adair. In 1945, POWs harvested 1.5 million pounds of pole snap beans in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties. [P40:148]

POWs Riding a Motor Driven Sugar Beet Blocking and Thinning Machine, Malheur County, 1946. Labor saving devices such as this were promoted by the Emergency Farm Labor Service as a way to combat the farm labor shortage. [P120:2896]

Dispatching POWs for a Day's Work, Nyssa POW Camp, Malheur County, May 1946. Nyssa was one of two POW camps in Malheur County. [P120:2726]

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