Japanese Americans Wait for Special Train to Take Them to Manzanar War Relocation Center

Japanese Americans wait for special train at Old Santa Fe Station near Little Tokyo to take them to Manzanar War Relocation Center. On March 21 the Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA) issued a press release that stated: "In striking contrast to the fleeing refugees in other lands, the first exodus of Japanese and Japanese Americans from the Western parts of the Pacific Coast states, starts in Los Angeles Monday morning, with a voluntary movement., in ordered arrangement, with military forces as escorts rather than guards. Instead of pushcarts and wheelbarrows, or walking, the 1000 Japanese affected will travel in their own automobiles, in busses, and by train to the Manzanar Reception Center... The Los Angeles voluntary movement is the first mass departure from Military Area No. 1 in accordance with the evacuation decrees of Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt. . . . Other evacuations will be continued, to fulfill the Army's mission of minimizing sabotage and espionage in the critical areas of the Pacific Coast...Those leaving in their own car report at 0600 Hours Monday at the South end of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. They come prepared to start at 6:15, their tanks filled with gasoline, their tires and a spare in good shape, and prepared to buy their own gasoline enroute. Those going by buses report at 0700 at 222 South Hewitt Street, Los Angeles. The train contingent will leave the old Santa Fe depot at 0800. Each person will bring his or her bedding, except mattresses, tools of his trade, cooking and eating utensils, clothing and personal belongings, and a gallon of water. Those going by train can take what they can carry with them. Those using their own cars can carry what they can load into their machines. Each must care for his own belongings. Under escort of troops, the caravans will travel in 10-car convoys. Two persons to a coupe or roadster, three to a touring car, and four to a truck are the passenger limitations. Evacuees will have eaten breakfast when they appear for removal. They will be furnished a cold lunch enroute — and at the end of their 300 mile drive, or their train trip, a warm supper will await them, they will be comfortably housed, awaiting their establishment of community life and their later departure for permanent location under the War Relocation Authority."
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Library of Congress
Date Photographed: 
Monday, April 6, 1942
Los Angeles
United States