Gila River Relocation Center: From the Perspective of the WRA Photos

Licensing

The Gila River Relocation Center was one of the ten American concentration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. The center was located 58 miles south-south-west of Phoenix, AZ.  It was opened in July 20, 1942 by the War Relocation Authority. Sixty two percent of the inmates were American Citizens.

The following photos were downloaded from the National Archives. The photos were taken by War Relocation Authority (WRA) photographers who were constrained by WRA rules. The photos could not be sad or too happy. A sad photo would make the camp image suffer. A too happy photo would make the administrators look like coddlers.

An example of images being too sad are photos taken by Dorothea Lange which were impounded by the Army. Lange was subsequently fired from her job. Ref. Dinitia Smith, NY Times, Nov. 2006, Photographs of an Episode That Lives in Infamy Retrieved March 17, 2011.

The photos are sorted by date. Click below and click on photos to enlarge:

Gila River Photo Album >>

For those who would like more details about these images, go to the National Archives website at http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/BasicSearchForm.  Hit "Digital Copies" and set limit to 1000. Type in "Gila River Relocation Center" and hit search.

Slides in this album 

Camp II

A panorama of the northwest section of Camp number Two. 11/27/1942

Camp II
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Leaving for Gila River


Jerome internees boarding on June 13, 1944 trip to the Gila River Center.

Leaving for Gila River
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Sun Rise Service

Sunrise Services (Christian) were held Thanksgiving day at this center. 11/26/1942 

Sun Rise Service
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Controversial JACL Banner

The J.A.C.L. banner in the Harvest Festival Parade.  Many were opposed to the JACL position.

The J.A.C.L. banner in the Harvest Festival Parade.
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Deaths

Deaths
Contributed by: RoyKakuda


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Major support by The Nippon Foundation