During WW2, Algona, Iowa was the site of a base camp for prisoners of war. This camp was ‘home’ to a total of 10,000 German prisoners from April 1944 to February 1946. The value of the work done by the prisoners in the four state region was estimated at $3,506,000. A total of thirty four branch camps were supervised from Algona. The average monthly camp system population was 3,216, although the number kept in the Algona camp rarely exceeded 2,500. Although many visitors remark they had no idea such a camp existed, it had a huge economic impact on the community of Algona and the surrounding area.
The Camp Algona POW Museum
In January of 2001, the Camp Algona POW Project committee was organized with the purpose of collecting existing information and artifacts from American and German personnel who were at the camp. Since that beginning, we have located many former PWs, or their families. We have collected countless photographs of PWs, camp buildings, American personnel and work sites of the PWs. We have scanned letters, diaries, paintings, journals, drawings, records and other keepsake items from both American and German personnel. Scanning the images helps to create a permanent digital record. Our committee has conducted many interviews with both Americans and Germans, by mail, phone or in person. By 2004, we achieved our goal of creating a museum, opening our facility in July of that year.
The Camp Algona Prisoner of War Museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Camp Algona and honoring Kossuth County World War II Veterans.
Statement of Values
We will commit to the sharing of the Camp Algona story and strive to be a repository of original resource material for future research.
We will continue to seek out new Camp Algona data.
We will use our non-profit statue to secure grants and donations.
We will continue to recruit volunteers.
Camp Algona POW Museum Committee Members
Jerry Yocum - President
Brian Connick - Vice President
Greg Stewart - Secretary/Treasurer
Marv Chickering Mark Davis Don Hansen
Jerry Helmers Kayla Jacobson Tom Larson
Steve King Vicki Mallory Ron Patterson Phil Reynolds Jane Shey Greg Stewart