Camp Hearne was a WW II Prisoner-of-War Camp located north of Hearne, Texas on Highway 485 West.
After the 1942-43 US troop build up and successes in North Africa and Italy, the ships carrying our soldiers to the European theater returned to the US with a different cargo… an estimated 432,000 prisoners-of-war.
Hearne was chosen to host a POW base camp due to its flat terrain, distance from the coastline, railroad access, sparse population and local need for farm laborers.
Honoring the Geneva Conventions, the US Army treated POWs well, providing food, shelter and clothing. Since work for a fair wage was only required from the enlisted men, various recreation and education programs were offered as a means to pass the time with minimal disorder among the NCO majority.
Today’s historic camp site has many building foundations that outline the camp’s original “footprint” as well as remnants of various “prisoner built amenities such as garden fountains and a stadium-seating theater with orchestra pit. An exhibit depicting the daily life of the Camp’s mostly German prisoners may be viewed at the Camp Hearne Historic Site & Exhibit located at 12424 Camp Hearne Road, Hearne, Texas.