Museum of the City of San Francisco



By Subject

By Year


The Gift Shop

Tanforan New Alien Center

As registration of the remaining scores of alien and American-born Japanese who must evacuate the northern and western waterfront areas of San Francisco by noon Tuesday continued, the Army’s Wartime Civil Control Administration announced today it had acquired four additional sites for use as alien assembly centers, including Tanforan Race Track.

Other sites chosen were the Los Angeles County Fair Grounds at Pomona, the Turlock Fair Grounds and the Golden Hop Yards near Toppenish, Wash. Total capacity of the four centers is 17,400 persons. Evacuees will be housed and fed there after they are convoyed from residential districts. Under present plans Japanese communities will be evacuated intact to the nearest center.

Local registration was at the Civil Control Station, 1701 Van Ness-av, where the remainder of 700 Japanese must register before 5 p.m. today, the new deadline set by the Army. The evacuees will be sent to the Manzanar internment camp in the Owens River Valley.

First contingent of the evacuees will leave 2020 Van Ness-av at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. A second contingent will leave 1701 Van Ness-av at 5:30 a.m. They will be taken part way by bus and transferred to a train en route.

Another 300 alien or American-born Japanese, living in the same waterfront areas, have received special permission to leave the coast and move to the homes of friends or relatives in inland cities.

At the same time a warning was issued by Colonel Karl R. Bendetsen, directing evacuation, that the removal program would be accelerated and enemy aliens and Japanese-Americans should put their affairs in order.

Colonel Bendetsen, directing the Wartime Civil Control Administration, said that West Coast Japanese, German and Italian aliens who are to be removed later have apparently failed to respond to repeated warnings to be ready to leave their homes in the coast defense area. He said many were under [the] impression the evacuation would extend over many months.

“The evacuation will do no such thing,” he said. “We have accelerated the program, streamlined the entire setup, and every Government agency involved in the problem has been integrated into a unified organization.

“The evacuation program, three weeks ago in its infancy, is now a reality, The Japanese already have been evacuated from Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound and this week caravans have been convoyed out of Los Angeles County.

“San Francisco and San Diego are scheduled for next week and other localities will follow in quick succession.

“Now that assembly centers and reception centers are being prepared to receive them the evacuees will move out in ever-increasing numbers.”

As the first aliens from the San Francisco area leave for Owens Valley Tuesday, state and Federal officials from 10 Western states will meet at Salt Lake City to discuss the program for relocation of the 100,000 Japanese now being removed from coastal military areas.

In Southern California, final evacuation of aliens from the vital Los Angeles Harbor district got under way.

In Los Angeles, the State Personnel Board suspended the 350 Japanese on the pay roll of the state of California and filed charges against them of being citizens of Japan.

Fifty thousand acres of farm lands owned by evacuated Japanese have been assigned to new operators thus far, L.I. Hewes Jr., regional director of Farm Security Administration, said today.

Mr. Hewes said more than 2000 qualified farmers have applied for permission to operate such Japanese farms, but many more applications are necessary.

He said 200,000 acres have been listed as available for transfer to qualified citizens. Mr. Hewes stressed the urgency for citizens to volunteer to take over the farms which are being deserted by Japanese.

San Francisco News
April 4, 1942

Go to the Japanese Internment Page, or

Return to top of page