United States POW Booklets and Chits


The large number of POWs captured during the North Africa campaign resulted in a need to find space outside of the UK and it’s Commonwealth Nations.  It was decided that the United States would have to begin receiving new POWs.  Prior to April 1943 there were less than 5000 POWs in the United States.  By mid-August the number reached over 130,000 and by 1945 over 400,000 POWs had been sent to the United States.  There were over 100 POW camps in over half of the 50 states that had camps, many with more than one.  Camps were divided into 3 groups POW Camps, Civilian Internment Camps, and Italian Service Units.  Cardboard or heavy paper resembling movie tickets and referred to as chits were used as scrip.  The chits were issued in booklets with 5 chits of the same denomination per page.  Booklets were issued in 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 denominations.  Chits are found in 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent denominations with several camps also having a 1 dollar chit.

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