PROJECT 01 - Japanese Internment in Alaska: Fort Richardson Internment Camp (FRIC)
The Alaska Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League recently learned of what appears to have been a temporary WWII camp on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. We learned of the Fort Richardson Internment Camp (FRIC) through Morgan Blanchard, PhD and his company, Northern Land Use Research Alaska, LLC (NLURA) when they were undertaking a Level II Cultural Resources Survey for Jacobs Engineering Group. Dr. Blanchard shared an aerial photograph that had an outline of a former building, but much of the area has been developed since the FRIC was closed.
Through Dr. Blanchard's efforts to obtain additional information documenting the FRIC, the project yielded a historic context for the site which included a list of the foreign nationals arrested in Alaska during WWII, a history of the camp, and a history of almost all of the individuals known to have been interned at Fort Richardson in 1941 ad 1942.
Although NLURA concluded that the FRIC is not eligible for listing on the National Registry of Historic Places (NRHP), due to lack of integrity of the site, the existence of the FRIC is part of Alaska's recorded history. Our Chapter would like to undertake a project to establish a memorial on the site, and apply for the National Park Service grant program under the Japanese American Confinement Sites. We are also working to obtain records from the National Archives and other sources, on the individuals who were temporarily placed at JBER to preserve and share this history.
ARTICLE: Alaska’s Forgotten Japanese Internment Camp Rediscovered