This was the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds on the north edge of Pomona. It processed ethnic Japanese from May 7 to August 24, 1942. During that time its population reached a maximum of 5,434. Nearly everyone processed here was sent to Heart Mountain, Wyoming. On September 4, 1942 the center was turned over to the Army's Ordnance Motor Transport Agency and became known as the Pomona Ordnance Depot. The depot stocked a wide variety of ordnance materials and for much of the war serviced the California/ Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA) (Desert Training Center), just east of Pomona. The depot had a prisoner of war camp holding about 1,150 POWs who worked at the depot
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angles District History (1993)
In July 1942, the united States Army leased 266.85 acres, acquired 44.03 acres at a fee and added 5.28 acres (lesser interest) for a total of 316.16 acres all from Los Angeles County. Said land was intended for use as a Japanese relocation center but was also used as a part of the Desert Training Center/California-Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA) , a sub-post of Camp Haan, an ordnance depot and ordnance service command shop.
The Army constructed a complete facility at the site in addition to using the existing buildings associated with the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds Complex. Barracks with a designed housing capacity of 5,500 men were constructed for the housing of military personnel and Prisoners of War. Structures erected include a gas station, oil house, automotive repair shop, warehouse, and office. Other improvements include paving over the entire area, installation of water, sewer and electrical facilities. The Pomona Ordnance Depot, Pomona Ordnance Service Command Shop and other facilities remained active until 1946.
On 30 October 1944, 26.88 of the leased acres were declared as surplus and on 10 January 1946 all additional lands associated with this installation were declared as surplus. All pertinent leases were thereby cancelled and custody of the Government owned 44.03 acres was assumed by the War Assets Administration officially in February 1947. The acreage and remaining facilities were disposed of to the County of Los Angeles, who resumed fairgrounds activities shortly thereafter.
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District History (1992)
The Army acquired 316.16 acres of land in December 1941 from the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds including 48 poles and special perimeter lights, 7400 lineal feet of mesh and barbed-wire fence, and 3500 lineal feet of spur track. In addition to these, the War Department erected 368 more buildings, of which 278 were used as barracks. After acquiring the fairgrounds, it was the intent of the Army to use the land as an assembly center for ethnic Japanese. Subsequently, said lands were also used as part of the DTC/CAMA and Pomona Ordnance Base, a sub-post of Camp Haan and Pomona Ordnance Service Command Shop.
All land was declared surplus and disposed of back to Los Angeles County in 1947 to resume use as a fairgrounds complex. Many of the barracks have been sold and removed from site. The buildings remaining on site are being renovated and are used for a variety of events by the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds.
National Park Service History, Pomona Assembly Center
The Los Angeles County Fairgrounds (Fairplex) was the site of the Pomona Assembly Center. There is no historical marker at the site. Used from May 7 to August 24, the assembly center held a total of 5,514 persons, with a maximum population of 5,434 at one time.
Evacuees confined at Pomona were from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Clara counties. Over 300 barracks were constructed at the center, along with eight H-shaped buildings with combined bathroom, shower, and laundry facilities (Figures 16.19 and 16.20). Four baseball fields are visible on the 1942 aerial photograph.
The grandstand and other fair buildings on the 1942 aerial photograph remain. The barracks area of the assembly center is now used for the fair midway, other events, and parking. Eight stable buildings are in the same location as on the aerial photograph. Since they are constructed of metal and somewhat modern looking, these may not be the same stables in use at the time of the assembly center. Further, although evacuees were housed in stables at Santa Anita and Tanforan, it is not clear if stables at other assembly centers were used for housing, too. Currently people caring for the horses live in small housing units at the ends of the stables.
Extract, War Department Inventory of Owned, Sponsored and Leased Facilities, 1945
||1 May 1943||
Army Ground Forces
|Army Station List||7 April 1945||
Army Service Forces: