Poston Magazine 1942

1942 Highlights from the Poston Magazine (compiled and edited by Henry Mori)

Project Director: W. Wade Head
Unit 2 Administrator: James D. Crawford
Unit 3 Administrator: Mori Burge
1st  canteen opened:  May 11, 1942 (population: 252)

Construction of camp 1 began: March 21, 1942
Unit 2 began operation: July 3, 1942
Unit 3 began operation: August 3, 1942

Poston General Hospital Report March 15, 1943
Emergency hospital opened May 17, 1942 in an improvised barrack
First surgery:  June 5, 1942, 2  patients with appendicitis
June 1942: new permanent hospital building  completed ($252,882) with 235 beds 
Average daily census: 100 patients
Average number of new admissions: 35 people a week
1200 x-ray films used
337 operations (117 major, 220 minor)
24 hour pharmacy staffed with 8 licensed pharmacists filling over 6,000 prescriptions
Average number of hospital mess hall meals served: 600 meals a day (326 meals for patients, 275 meals for employees)
Babies born: 216
Deaths: 74

Out-Patient Medical Clinics in Unit 2 and 3
250 sick people daily
Dental clinics: 120 patients a day

Poston Chronicle Newspaper:
125 employees from the 3 camps

Unit 1 Judo Classes
More than 4510 members (53 black belts)
Held twice daily

"AA" Basketball (Casaba) League
 (compiled by P.C.A.A. team from Bakersfield)
1943 Final Standings (Unit 1)
Team   Wins/Losses
Bakersfield,  13/1
Golden Bears, 13/1
Valley (Imperial Valley), 9/5
Berdoo, 7/7
Delano, 7/7
Vandals, 3/11
Paramount Blues, 2/12
Sabu "2", 2/12

Draft Resisters Sentenced

 Federal Judge Raps Treatment of Nisei Group During War
101 Evacuees Who Refused To Report for Induction Fined One Cent Each in U.S. Court

     PHOENIX, Ariz.--In a ruling which severely criticized treatment accorded persons of Japanese ancestry during the war, Federal District Judge David Ling imposed fines of one cent each upon 101 Americans of Japanese ancestry for failure to respond to selective service calls while at the Colorado River relocation center at Poston, Arizona.
     The 101 defendants had claimed that they had refused to answer Army induction calls on the ground  that their rights as citizens had been violated by the evacuation and detention in a relocation center.
     Judge Ling commended that the evacuation, according to Army officials on the West Coast, was carried out because of a fear of sabotage from persons of Japanese ancestry, and drafting of the evacuees who were interned in relocation centers was inconsistent with the mass evacuation program.
     The Federal Judge agreed with the argument presented by A.L. Wirin of Los Angeles, representing the 101 evacuees that the resentment of the defendants to the draft, because of the unjust treatment accorded them in the evacuation and detention, was a natural reaction.  He also ruled that the detention of the defendants at the Poston relocation center was punishment in advance for any offense which they may have committed by refusing to accept induction.
     The court granted stays of executions of six months to three other defendants who were tried, convicted, and sentenced to one year in test cases in 1945 before the end of the war.
     "That will give them time to apply for executive clemency from the President of the United States which will no doubt be granted," Judge Ling said.
     Mr. Wirin called the attention of the court to the fact that all of the defendants, upon their release from Poston, were not unwilling to volunteer their services in the Army or submit to the orders of their draft  board for induction and that twelve also had volunteered and were serving in the Army.
     Counsel for the defendants indicated that all of those under indictment were willing to enter the Army if given probation on that condition.
     The court waived this suggestion aside in imposing the one-cent fines and granting stays of the sentences already imposed. 

Source: Pacific Citizen. October 12, 1946, page 3

2nd Quarterly Report

The Colorado River Relocation Center  (Poston)
2nd Quarterly Report July 1-September 30, 1942

     "The one relocation area not directly managed by the War Relocation Authority--the Colorado River Center administered by the Office of Indian Affairs in the desert of western Arizona--achieved note-worthy progress during the second quarter along many lines despite the wilting summer heat.
     Of the 17,245 evacuees in residence at the close of the period, 7,711 were employed on a variety of jobs at the center and only 498 classified as employable were still without work.  As at all relocation centers, the great majority of workers were engaged on dining hall operations and other jobs essential to operation and maintenance of the community.  In addition, 284 had been assigned to agricultural work, 239 to land clearing and leveling, and 144 to manufacturing projects.
     Agricultural work at the center was retarded by the extreme heat (temperature of 120 degrees or more in the sun were frequent throughout the entire period), by the absence (due to personal injury) of the Agricultural Director, and by the lack of suitable farming equipment.  Major developments included establishment of a guayule nursery, planting of 85 acres of vegetables, clearing of 80 acres for a poultry farm, and clearing of another 80 acres for a hog farm.  In addition, 80 acres were cleared for establishment of a Fish Culture Plant to handle the stocking and breeding of perch, bass, carp, and other edible fish. 
     Manufacturing work remained largely in the planning and constructing stages.Under sponsorship of the U.S.Corps of Engineers, construction was started on three camouflage net-garnishing plants, one for each of the three communities that make up the center in which some of the American citizens would be employed. A noodle factory, established on September 1, averaged between 700 and 800 pounds of noodles daily throughout the remainder of the period. Three adobe brick factories, set up about half way through the quarter to provide construction materials for the community schools, had turned out a total of 85,000 bricks by September 30.
     Although a Cooperative Enterprise Association was not formally organized at the center during the quarter, rather definite plans were developed for one and considerable educational work on cooperative principles was carried out among the residents. At the close of the quarter, canteens were in operation at all three communities while the largest and oldest of the three (camp 1) also had a beauty parlor, barber shop, and general store. Total business of all these establishments was $83,998.04 in August and $79,087.48 in September. From the profits, the unincorporated enterprise association subsidized a number of community recreational activities, including the exhibition of 16 mm sound movies on a weekly basis at all three communities.
     Plans for community government, first formulated during May and June, were revised in July and August in line with national policies established by the War Relocation Authority.  Temporary councils were elected during the quarter at all three Poston communities.  In addition, an advisory council of nine alien evacuees was elected in community No. 1 to meet with the Temporary Council and to participate in the work of the governmental committees.  A judiciary committee of three evacuees, established in July to hear all cases involving violation of the community code of offenses, convened twice weekly throughout the remainder of the period. 
     By the close of the quarter, a total of 561 evacuees had left the center for the beet fields of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. During the period there were 63 births and 28 deaths at the center."
 Source: 2nd Quarterly Report July 1-September 30, 1942. War Relocation Authority. Papers of Philleo Nash, PhD (Anthropology). Special Assistant to the Director for White House Liaison, Office of War Information, 1942-1946.

Mixed-marriage policy

Mixed Marriage Policy

Early in the evacuation program this mixed-marriage problem came to the attention of the War time Civil Control Administration and was presented to the Commanding General, who authorized the release of those persons whose backgrounds made it reasonably clear that their sympathies would were, and would remain American. Accordingly, a policy was established that permitted the release of those persons under the following conditions:

That a family be eligible to reside outside the Western Defense Command area if the husband is full Japanese, wife non-Japanese and children unemancipated.

That a family be eligible to reside within the Western Defense command are if the head of the family is a citizen of the United States or of a country, (such as China), provided that:
Husband is non-Japanese, wife full Japanese, and unemancipated children;
Caucasian mother with minor children, sired by a Japanese father who is either dead or has long since been separated from the family; 

Caucasian foster parents of full or part Japanese children

That a family or individual be eligible to reside within the Western Defense Command provided the environment of the family or  person has been Caucasian, and if the head of the family or individual is a citizen of the United States or of a friendly nation and, providing:

One spouse is part Japanese (1/2 or less), other spouse non-Japanese, and unemancipated children;

Both spouses part Japanese (1/2 or less), and unemancipated children;

Mixed blood individuals, who are part Japanese, (1/2 or less).

Japanese member of a family cannot be released if one spouse is Japanese, the other spouse non-Japanese, and there are no children, unless one spouse is serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, and then only for relocation outside the Western Defense Command area.

Member of a family will be permitted to resume residence within an evacuated area in cases where a family has become separated by reason of voluntary evacuation, and provided that all conditions as set forth above are followed.

The mixed-marriage policy as outlined above was established on July 3, 1942, and was immediately communicated to the Center and Relocation Project Managers.  As a condition of release or exemption from evacuation, the individual concerned must secure clearance from the local police of the community in which the individual is expected to reside.   

The police took the position, with some justification, that the release of Japanese was a military matter, and that they, as police, were without the power to either authorize or deny residence to anyone.  It became clear that, unless the Wartime Civil control Administration took the initiative in regard to police clearance, the mixed-marriage program was bogged down.  Thereupon a procedure was adopted whereby the Wartime Civil Control Administration notified the police chiefs concerned of the proposed releases, and gave them an opportunity to register whatever objections might exist.  As was anticipated, the police were very cooperative and no releases were protested.

April 28, 1943

Memorandium for Mr. McCloy:

In a conference participated in by Colonal Bendetsen, Captain Hall and myself, an agreement was reached as to the proposal for a change of policy on mixed marriages, to be submitted to General DeWitt.  This draft follows:

The present mixed marriage policy be extended to include the wife of Japanese ancestry with or without unemancipated children where:

 There is a white or Caucasian husband of United States of United Nations citizenship who resides in the evacuated zone, and

Where, following an investigation by the Western Defense command, nothing derogatory is the case of either is discovered.

Except as herewith resided the mixed marriage policy as stated in the Western Defense Command policy of July 3, 1942, remains is effect.

This is submitted for your consideration. 
William P. Scobey
Colonel, General Staff

APRIL 29, 1943
This memorandum was approved by Mr. McCloy on April 28tj.  The original carrying the notation “O.K.—J.J.” was delivered to Colonel Bendetsen in person, April 29.