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Text below is sourced from a local FB group I’m in.
From news article: The declaration of war and the drafting and enlistment of men to serve in World War II caused a decrease in country’s labor force. Camp Polk (now called Fort Polk) became a site for German Prisoners of War (POW). A temporary labor program was established resulting in prisoners being assigned to work details for the area surrounding Camp Polk.
News of this successful program spread to the southern areas of Louisiana and Vermilion Parish. Under the direction of the parish Labor Advisory Committee, surveys were conducted to assess the conditions of the parish in 1944. An agent was sent to Camp Polk with the survey results and a request for prison laborers. Approximately 735 prisoners were needed to assist 47 parish farmers; an additional 175 men were needed to work in nine rice mills and warehouses. To house the prisoners, ‘side camps’ needed to be constructed. Due to its central location in the parish, the town of Kaplan was selected as a location for a side camp and Gueydan was to be the site for another side camp.