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193 Aliens, Chiefly Japanese, Moved to Sharp Park Camp
to Ease Immigration Station

New Internment Center Strongly Guarded; ‘Potentially Dangerous’ Group to be
Moved Inland as Soon as Camps are Opened Up

Within sight of old Salada Beach, where many of them used to spend Sundays fishing, taking snapshots (and possibly making notes of reefs, currents and landmarks for the Japanese Navy), scores of alien Japanese today were housed in an internment camp at Sharp Park. They formed the majority of a group of 193 aliens—all rounded up as potentially dangerous—moved under heavy guard from the Silver-av Immigration Station. As fast as other internment camps can be completed in the Midwestern states, the aliens will be moved again.

Formerly an [one word missing] shelter, the Sharp Park camp, located in a canyon back of the Sharp Park Golf Course, is surrounded by a strong wire fence, topped with barbed wire. The internment area is floodlighted and patrolled by Border Patrol members. With the addition of more bunks to the barracks it may handle up to 600 persons.

More Room Needed

Opening of the camp was made necessary by overcrowding of the Immigration Station into which the FBI has been pouring a steady stream of Japanese, Germans, and Italians known, or suspected to be, members of secret groups and to have possessed weapons, explosives, signal lights, short wave receiving sets and other contraband.

Such articles, and others, also will become contraband if found after midnight tonight in the possession of American-born Japanese, all of whom now are under orders not to leave the areas in which they live until ordered to do so by the Army. And those orders already are being issued.

At Los Angeles today, the Army moved to protect the harbor area against sabotage by ordering the evacuation of nearly 3000 Japanese aliens and their American-born children.

It was the second evacuation ordered by the Western Defense Command since it was given control of enemy aliens in the Pacific Coast states by order of President Roosevelt.

The first covered 237 Japanese residents of Bainbridge Island, in Puget Sound not far from the Bremerton Navy Yard, who were removed by special train yesterday to the reception center at Manzanar, in the Owens Valley.

A proclamation issued last night by Lieut. Gen. John L. DeWitt of the Western Defense Command ordered Japanese aliens and citizens moved to an assembly center at the Santa Anita race track next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at the rate of 1000 a day.

Included in the prohibited area are the cities of Long Beach, San Pedro, Wilmington, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Signal Hill and Hynes—roughly all the that territory lying south of Artesia-blvd between the Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles-Orange County line.

Within it are the vital waterfronts of Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor with their shipyards and naval installations; the fabulous Signal Hill and other smaller oil fields; the steel center of Torrance; innumerable manufacturing and assembly plants; the new Douglas Aircraft factory at Long Beach.

Leaving ‘Little Tokio’

The affected Japanese are principally farmers, but their small truck gardens almost invariably adjoin vital installations.

Another group of 2000 Japanese leaves Los Angeles’ “Little Tokio” tomorrow and Thursday for the Manzanar reception center. They are members of the families of Japanese who earlier had gone voluntarily to assist in organizing the camp in Owens Valley.

The Bainbridge Island residents departed under Army escort with many a backward glance. The bulk of them are American citizens, and for many it was the first time they had left the island. The children thought it comparable with a picnic but some of the elders shed tears.

Registered, fingerprinted and tagged, the group was shepherded aboard a ferry and placed on a special train at Seattle. Up to the last minute they had labored in the fields to harvest the pea and strawberry crops.

They took only their essential household goods and left behind in the community hall a 50-gallon barrel of strawberry jam and 68 wrestling mats owned by the Japanese Association.

The San Francisco News
March 31, 1942

Go to the Japanese Internment page.

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