Maine Spirit Quest #16 - POW Camp #SCU 119
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This site was the location of the US Army Airfield from 1941-1944 and then was converted into Camp Houlton a German POW Internment camp from 1944 – 1946.
Upon the successful completion of the campaign in northern Africa and the decisive defeat of Rommel’s army there were a large number of POW’s headed for northern Maine. The Houlton US Army Air Field was originally established to facilitate the transfer of aircraft to Great Britain by way of Canada. Planes were landed at Houlton and then push or hauled across the border to the highway where they were flown away by Royal Canadian Air Force soldiers for use in England before the US joined the war effort. Once the USA had entered the war the air field was no longer used as the Presque Isle base was much larger. On May 15, 1944 Unit #SCU 119 was officially constituted and headed by Lt. Colonel Victor W. Phelps, then on Monday July 3, 1944 the major portion of the base was turned over to the 704th Military Police Battalion. Houlton was to become the base camp for the POW’s but there were seven branch camps starting in 1944 with camps in Stark, NH, Princeton, Seboomook at the north end of Moosehead Lake and Spencer Lake near Jackman, while in 1945 branch camps were established in Presque Isle, Bangor and Augusta. The POW’s were used for the potato harvest and cutting wood pulp to help with the critical manpower shortage. The army had contacted 1700 workers to be used from this facility. With the end of the war the camp was finally closed on May 15 1946. All that remains of this camp today are the over grown foundations of the buildings and a single guard tower. As you approach the cache the road splits and there is a monument. The road to the right heads directly toward the only remaining guard tower, while the road to the left leads to a number of foundations and other remains.
The cache is located 31 meter from the road and the tree cover may make it difficult to get a good reading on the GPS. Please sign the log and return the cache to it location as well hidden as you found it or better. This is a series used to remember people, places or events and to bring you to places that would have otherwise been forgotten.
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