Camp Algona POW Museum

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The Camp Algona POW Museum preserves the information concerning the Prisoner of War Camp that existed in Algona from 1944-1946.

04/16/2020

The museum is closed until further notice. Please check back for an announcement of when we will reopen.

12/01/2019

The Camp Algona POW Museum’s regular hours are from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from April 1 through December 29. In the month of December, the museum is open more hours because the Nativity Scene is open in December and many people like to visit both places the same day.
The POW Museum’s additions hours will be 1:00-4:00 on December 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, and 29. It is closed January through March.

The Nativity Scene in Algona will be open daily beginning December 1st. Monday through Saturday the hours are 2:00-8:00 ...
12/01/2019

The Nativity Scene in Algona will be open daily beginning December 1st. Monday through Saturday the hours are 2:00-8:00 p.m. Sunday’s and Christmas Day the hours are 12:00-8:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve, the hours are 12:00-8:00 p.m.
The location is on the Kossuth County Fairgrounds on Fair Street, two blocks west of Hwy 169.

11/28/2019
11/24/2019

Camp Algona Museum has opened its first interactive display! The exhibit allows the visitor to watch and listen to segments of a display. There are four categories from which to choose, The Nativity Scene, The German Prisoners, Camp Algona Personnel, and Kossuth County WWII Veterans. Within each of these four categories are ten 90 second clips of information including photos, short comments, or written information. You can watch as many of the four categories as you wish. We plan on more of this touch screen interactive displays in the future.
Come for a visit and check it out for yourself!

07/05/2019
05/31/2019

The museum is open with its summer hours! You can visit Monday-Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We're also open on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-4:00 PM.

05/27/2019
05/20/2019
12/08/2018
12/08/2018

The Camp Algona POW Museum’s regular hours are from 1:00-4:00 on Saturday and Sunday from April 1 through December. In the month of December, the museum is open more hours because the Nativity scene is open in December and many folks like to visit both places the same day. The POW Museum’s additional hours will be from 1:00-4:00 on December 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, and 27. The museum is closed January through March.

For the veteran, thank you for bravely doing what you’re called to do so we can safely do what we’re free to do.” – Unkn...
11/11/2018

For the veteran, thank you for bravely doing what you’re called to do so we can safely do what we’re free to do.” – Unknown

06/03/2018

The museum is open with its summer hours! You can visit Monday-Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We're also open on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-4:00 PM.

Today & every day, we honor and remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
05/28/2018

Today & every day, we honor and remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

You can purchase a copy of “13,000 Nights” at the Algona Chamber of Commerce at 123 State Street in Algona or the Camp A...
05/04/2018

You can purchase a copy of “13,000 Nights” at the Algona Chamber of Commerce at 123 State Street in Algona or the Camp Algona POW Museum at 114 South Thorington St., Algona, IA 50511. If you would like a copy of the book sent to you, the cost is $15 + $5 for shipping and handling. Send your money and information to the museum. You can also come to the museum and purchase one. The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 PM-4:00 PM.

04/13/2018

IT’S TIME—COME FOR A VISIT!!!
The book “13,000 Nights” will be for sale April 14 & 15, 2018! This book tells the stories of 29 men from Kossuth County who were in Axis prison camps in World War II. In addition, the stories of five other men from Iowa are included. They were POWs in Germany and sent to Camp Algona to guard German prisoners. The writers of the book are Jay Stowater, Annette Scherber, Steve King, and Jerry Yocum. Richard Schiek contributed research and Don Hansen served as the organizational editor. Allie Baker was the citation editor and Meghan Selke also did initial research on the book. The cost of the book will be $15.00. The museum will be open from 1:00-4:00 on April 14-15. Come to the museum and get your copy!

The book “13,000 Nights” is at the publisher and will be ready for sale April 14 & 15, 2018! This book tells the stories...
02/24/2018

The book “13,000 Nights” is at the publisher and will be ready for sale April 14 & 15, 2018! This book tells the stories of 29 men from Kossuth County who were in Axis prison camps in World War II. In addition, the stories of five other men from Iowa are included. They were POWs in Germany and sent to Camp Algona to guard German prisoners. The writers of the book are Jay Stowater, Annette Scherber, Steve King, and Jerry Yocum. Richard Schiek contributed research and Don Hansen served as the organizational editor. Allie Baker was the citation editor and Meghan Selke also did initial research on the book. The cost of the book will be $15.00. The museum will be open from 1:00-4:00 on April 14-15. Hope to see you then!

12/25/2017
Check it out, the Nativity scene made the list. It is something beautiful to see! Way to go Algona!
12/09/2017
12 Shopping Destinations

Check it out, the Nativity scene made the list. It is something beautiful to see! Way to go Algona!

These 12 Iowa downtowns have great shopping all year long, but they truly shine during the holidays. Plan your weekend girlfriends' getaway and shop local for gifts!

On this Veterans Day, we honor the courageous men and women dedicated to preserving it. Thank you to all of you who are,...
11/11/2017

On this Veterans Day, we honor the courageous men and women dedicated to preserving it. Thank you to all of you who are, or have, served our country.

Lt. Max BartholomewLt. Bartholomew flew with the 303rd Bomber Group over Europe.  He was a Co-pilot on a B-17 Flying For...
10/29/2017

Lt. Max Bartholomew
Lt. Bartholomew flew with the 303rd Bomber Group over Europe. He was a Co-pilot on a B-17 Flying Fortress. His crew was flying Sack Time, which had flown 101 missions without aborting. Their target was the Friedrichstadt marshaling yards at Dresden, Germany on April 17, 1945, his 21st mission. The plane took flack, and after bomb release, exploded. The entire crew was able to bail out. Two were killed and six others taken prisoner, including Bartholomew. When Lt. Bartholomew landed and regained his senses, he realized his legs were broken. He was taken to a hospital in Freiburg, Germany, and his legs were cast in paper mache because of the lack of medical supplies. In his recovery, Bartholomew was aided by another patient. With the Russians bombing the hospital and the war ending, the German guards left. Ed Grove helped his new friend reach Allied lines.

William Kennedy Comes HomeFireman First Class William Henry Kennedy of Titonka was killed while serving on the USS Oklah...
06/30/2017

William Kennedy Comes Home
Fireman First Class William Henry Kennedy of Titonka was killed while serving on the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The ship capsized when the Japanese attacked, with a loss of over 400 men. Remains of nearly all of the crew, including Kennedy, were exhumed from the hull of the ship in 2004 and buried. Since then, forensics identification of some of the men, including Kennedy, have been made.
Relatives of Kennedy in Titonka were contacted and agreed to have him brought home for burial. The military service was held in the United Methodist Church on May 12th. The burial, with complete honor guard, was witnessed by more than 250 people. The local VFW post in Titonka bears his name.

Timeline Photos
06/18/2017

Timeline Photos

06/18/2017

The front of the museum is under construction, but we are still open for our regular hours. Monday-Friday 10:00-4:00 and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-4:00.

Timeline Photos
05/29/2017

Timeline Photos

The museum is now open from 1:00-4:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.
04/08/2017

The museum is now open from 1:00-4:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.

German POW Nativity in Algona Iowa
12/17/2016
German POW Nativity in Algona Iowa

German POW Nativity in Algona Iowa

Often overlooked in the history of World War II was the presence of P.O.W. camps throughout the United States filled with prisoners from the armies of Germany, Italy and Japan. About 155 base camps processed nearly 400,000 prisoners in the last two years of the war when camps in England and the Paci…

12/02/2016

The museum will be open extra hours for Christmas. The Christmas hours will be from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on December 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, & 27th.

Timeline Photos
11/24/2016

Timeline Photos

On this Veterans Day, we honor the courageous men and women dedicated to preserving it. Thank you to all of you who are,...
11/11/2016

On this Veterans Day, we honor the courageous men and women dedicated to preserving it. Thank you to all of you who are, or have, served our country.

As we celebrate our nation's freedom, we honor the courageous men and women dedicated to preserving it. Thank you to all...
07/04/2016

As we celebrate our nation's freedom, we honor the courageous men and women dedicated to preserving it. Thank you to all of you who are, or have, served our country.

The Des Moines Register
06/16/2016
The Des Moines Register

The Des Moines Register

"For this to happen almost 73 years later, it's just incredible — a miracle."

06/04/2016

The museum is open for our summer hours!
Monday-Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The Memorial Day Ceremony in Algona will begin at 10:30 A.M. on the Kossuth County Courthouse lawn. The museum will be o...
05/27/2016

The Memorial Day Ceremony in Algona will begin at 10:30 A.M. on the Kossuth County Courthouse lawn. The museum will be open from 11:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M. Free of charge~Hope you can stop by for a visit!

Baker Hired as 2016 POW InternThe museum has hired Allie Baker as an intern for 2016. Baker is a student studying Histor...
05/27/2016

Baker Hired as 2016 POW Intern

The museum has hired Allie Baker as an intern for 2016. Baker is a student studying History at Waldorf University with the goal of one day working in a museum. In her free time she enjoys participating in theater as well as working on her crafting projects. During her time at Camp Algona Museum, Baker will be serving as a host and working on digital files of former German prisoners of war at Camp Algona. This information has been gathered over the past ten years through letters and phone calls with the former prisoners or their families. These summaries will be made available to visitors at the museum or the museum's website.
Please stop by for a visit!

Pfc. Delbert Berninghaus was captured during the early days of the Battle of the Bulge. Life in Stalag 4B and 7A was not...
05/25/2016

Pfc. Delbert Berninghaus was captured during the early days of the Battle of the Bulge. Life in Stalag 4B and 7A was not easy for Berninghaus. He was forced to sleep on straw that was scattered on the floor. However, the men in his barrack found a way to make a radio and listen to news reports when the Germans were not nearby. By the spring of 1945, the men were sent on a death march across Germany when Berninghaus made two escape attempts. The first one would have been successful had local townspeople not reported a stranger walking around town. His second attempt was successful and was aided by a German farmer who brought him back to his farm for the Americans to appear and liberate him.
While he was a POW, Pfc. Berninghaus's parents had German POWs from Camp Algona working on their farm. Pfc. Berninghaus would spend months in hospitals after liberation due to the severe appendicitis he suffered while a POW.

SSgt MaDeen Ludwig was a right waist gunner with the 773rd bomb squadron, 463rd bomb group.  On March 24, 1945 they were...
03/11/2016

SSgt MaDeen Ludwig was a right waist gunner with the 773rd bomb squadron, 463rd bomb group. On March 24, 1945 they were on a mission to Berlin when his plane was shot down. For several weeks after his captivity he was paraded through towns and beaten in retaliation for the Dresden bombing. He was eventually taken to Stalag 7A where he watched a man with a Jewish sounding last name be executed. He was later interrogated and when the interrogator did not get the information he wanted, he took SSgt. Ludwig outside and put a noose around his neck and threatened him for being Jewish, even though he was not.
After the war, Ludwig did not talk openly about his experience as a POW until he began attending reunions.

Do you know what a 'Short Snorter' is?The dollars pictured here were recovered from the effects of 2nd Lt. Howard M. Med...
12/27/2015

Do you know what a 'Short Snorter' is?
The dollars pictured here were recovered from the effects of 2nd Lt. Howard M. Medin of Algona. He lost his life while on air patrol over San Francisco Bay on December 30, 1942. They are called 'short snorters'.
For the American forces in World War II, 'short snorters' became not only a record of military service, but also a drinking game and status symbol. The word 'snort' is derived from the slang for a stiff drink, and a 'short' is less than a full measure. Anyone who failed to produce a 'short snorter' was obliged to buy the round of drinks.
The body of Lt. Howard M. Median was not immediately recovered. Later he was buried in Riverview Cemetery in Algona.

12/15/2015

The museum will be open extra hours this week and next week. We'll be open December 15-18 and December 21-23 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. We are also open on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-4:00. Come see us this holiday season and bring a friend!

Algona Nativity Opens for 71st Season
12/03/2015
Algona Nativity Opens for 71st Season

Algona Nativity Opens for 71st Season

ALGONA, Iowa -- This week the Algona Nativity opened to the public for its Christmas run. The half-sized characters were the creation of 6 Prisoners of War held in Algona during World War II. One o...

Timeline Photos
11/26/2015

Timeline Photos

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114 S. Thorington St
Algona, IA
50511

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Comments

When will the nativity be open for the 2019 holiday season?
The POW book is out!!! Here is the cover in case you haven't seen it yet. I have books, IF you want some for Christmas presents. My eight-year old grandson looked it over and asked questions. I was completely surprised he knew what a POW was. Now we need a trip to where the camp was south of Waverly. I'm pleased with it, and will be speaking in the spring again. Have your librarian invite me if you want me to come to your area. Hope to see you next year!!! You can contact my publisher at 800.765.1690 to get books. As of Dec. 19, my publisher says she can't promise Christmas delivery. Thanks!!
My great grandfather was a POW in Algona and made this chess set during his time. I am currently in the States which made me think of him and his experiences here. Is there a way to find out more and even find some pictures or other traces of his life here? His name was Stephan Jaeger. Thank you
My dad, Eugene "Steve" Huber was a civilian guard at Camp Algona, after being discharged on "points" from the Navy. He had spent WW2 based in Casablanca (dad was also a WW1 Navy veteran). As a boy in Algona during the war, my pals and I were fascinated by the POWs, who worked with the City of Algona and on local farms. Then after dad started working there, I bicycled out from town one day and met the men building the Christmas Creche. The last time I visited the Museum was in 2007 when my granddaughter, daughter, and I came to Algona to celebrate my mom's 100th birthday - mom, Helen Huber, passed in 2009.
The cover story of the new issue of Iowa History Journal is about the nativity scene created by WWII POWs from Camp Algona! Pick it up at your local Casey's or Hy-Vee or online at iowahistoryjournal.com.