WW II Wendover Internment Camp

Wendover Internment Camp
World War II Wendover Internment Camp

Click on the image to open it enlarged in another window.

I was playing around with depth of field in this image. I was exploring the idea that the people inside weren’t really worth looking at closely;  just that they were quarantined from the larger society. I wanted to show how the internment barracks were separated from the outside world.

Single frame faux HDR processed in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Aperture 3.

22 thoughts on “WW II Wendover Internment Camp

  1. Nick, I hope you don’t mind my piggy-backing on your post. You may delete the post if you wish. Here is an image of the Harshaw Chemical plant in Cleveland where the uranium copounds were produced prior to final enrichment to weapons grade. I was trying to show ambiguity and conflict – the devistating destruction caused vs destruction that may have been prevented. http://preview.tinyurl.com/d5e3983

  2. I like DOF on that picture. And I have a question which is not related somehow to photography. I am not sure it is right place to discuss that subject. Anyway, Nick, who was prisoned in this camp? US territory was so far from the main WWII battlefield. Despite of great contribution in that tragical moment of human history you did not have any enemies on your territory. Who was these unfortunate people?

    1. My understanding of our history is that these camps were for Japanese-Americans who were forced into them by the US government after Pearl Harbor was attacked. It is a dark stain on the country’s soul that this was done. It was racism pure and simple which was justified by suggesting that these American citizens were more loyal to Japan than the US.

      There were also some POW camps here in the US where German soldiers and seamen were imprisoned after they were captured in Europe and also at sea during naval battles. There was no internment for German-Americans though. I think it was because they were considered “white” people. There was still a national undercurrent of suspicion of immigrants from the Axis powers but the Japanese-Americans were the only ones whose property was confiscated and who were sent to these camps.

      1. I’ve got it. Unfortunately, Nick, all of the big countries have in their history that kind of dark stains. Recently I’ve read Ken Follet books “Fall of Giants” and “Winter of the World” where all of these things are showed pretty good. The only thing is the history doesn’t teach politicians to make right conclusions.

    1. I think I’m trying to say that we cannot really get a focus on what transpired 70 years ago. It really isn’t important that the buildings exist it’s the fact that they exist behing a fence and we cannot enter or interact with the space inside the fence just as it was many many years ago.

  3. Nick, I like the story you tell here. The accent (the focus, literally) is on the wire fence, thus the fact that people were imprisoned here behind that fence. Very well done!

  4. Great picture Nick and excellent usage of DOF…it really captures emotions of a time and place. I could imagine a person walking up to the fence, almost see a face and feel their emotion of being locked away, asking why, what have I done and feel the cold of the metal fence as they grip it in their fingers looking out and longing to be freed. Perhaps this is too much said but you have evoked incredible feeling with this image. Words flowed and I let them go…art, what it is about. In California off highway 95 there is Manzanar.

    1. Thank you Phyllis; I like that this image has awakened those sorts of connotations. I once thought I might attempt to document these camps but after some research I found there were so many that I thought it might be beyond my reach.

  5. Any chance you can share the location of the camp? My family and I would love to take a drive to see it but we cannot find the actual location listed anywhere. Thank you

    1. Those images were taken in the town of Wendover Utah near the military installation. I was told by some local folks that they were remnants of a WWII internment camp.

  6. If those are the same buildings by the old enola gay hanger then they were temporary buildings used durring WWII when Wendover air field was being constructed.

    1. Thanks SaltRacer, I guess I had my “facts?” wrong. I don’t know where I first heard it but it appears the Japanese Internment camps were elsewhere in Utah.

  7. Hi Nick …

    That image is of the former barracks attached to the former Wendover Air Force base. The fence is not original. Nor was the base an interment camp. The base serviced World War II bombing squadrons. The base was established in 1940 as a bombing range. The 509th Composite Group was actually based there and the large hanger at the east end of the field housed the Enola Gay. That squadron carried out the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Brett xxx

    1. Thanks Brett I was mistaken and appreciate your clearing it up. Too bad that these pieces of history aren’t at least recognized by a historic marker.

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