Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Camp Florence Days Now Available on Kindle!

For e-book fans, the book Camp Florence Days is now available for Amazon Kindle. The price is only $6.99. For readers who prefer a traditional book, signed by the author, please contact Ralph Storm at 715.832.2927 or e-mail

Ralph Storm is always happy to hear from people who have any kind of connection to Camp Florence, Arizona or the Poston Japanese Internment camp.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Camp Florence Days books available

Copies of Ralph Storm's book, Camp Florence Days, are still available for purchase. Please contact Ralph at - e-mail or telephone 715-832-2927.

Ralph Storm is always happy to hear from people connected in any way to the World War II prisoner of war camp at Florence, Arizona. This includes veterans, wives, children and grandchildren and anyone else with a story to tell about Camp Florence, or questions to ask. Feel free to contact Ralph by e-mail or telephone.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ralph Storm Interviewed by WWII Historian, Anna Rosmus, at 11th Armored Division Reunion

Ralph Storm talks with WWII historian, Anna Rosmus, at the 11th Armored Division Reunion in Jacksonville, Florida

Ralph Storm and his wife, Muriel, attended the annual reunion of the 11th Armored Division Association which was held in Jacksonville, Florida, August 12-19. Fewer veterans are able to attend each year but still there was a good crowd with veterans and their families present. Ralph enjoyed talking with WWII historian, Anna Rosmus, who was doing research for another book. Anna Rosmus is the author of Against the Stream: Growing up Where Hitler Used to Live, Out of Passau: Leaving a City Hitler Called Home , Wintergreen: Suppressed Murders and several other books. The 1990 film "The Nasty Girl" is based on Anna Rosmus. As a high school girl in Passau, Germany, in the late 1970's, she began doing research on events in her home town during WWII. She was shocked to discover that her Bavarian home town had been very supportive of the Nazis. This led to threats against her life and Anna eventually left Germany with her children and now lives in the Washington, DC area. She has been interviewed on 60 Minutes twice and continues to do research and write about Germany and WWII.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Book Signing in Florence, Arizona Was a Success

Ralph Storm, author of the book Camp Florence Days signed books for almost two hours on March 17 at the Pinal County Historical Society in Florence, Arizona.
The author arrived a little early and people were already waiting, books in hand. Chris Reid of the Historical Society was pleased with the turnout. Afterwards, Ralph posed for photos with family and some of his readers. It was a warm day in Florence but the Historical Society Museum was cool and comfortable and an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

Books are still available for sale, at the Pinal County Historical Society in Florence, Arizona, from Crossroads Books in Eau Claire, Wisconsin or directly from the author.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Book Signing for Camp Florence Days

Ralph Storm, the author of Camp Florence Days, will be doing a book signing on Saturday, March 17 from 2-4 pm, at the Pinal County Historical Society, 715 S. Main Street, Florence, Arizona. The book will be available for purchase and will be personally signed by the author. For more information, please call: 520-868-4382.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Casa Grande Dispatch, Casa Grande, Arizona, about Camp Florence Days

Former MP recalls days at POW, Relocation camps
By MARK COWLING, Staff Writer, Casa Grande Dispatch January 09, 2007

FLORENCE - A Wisconsin man has written a book about his experiences working as an American military policeman in the Florence prisoner-of-war camps during World War II.

"Camp Florence Days" by Ralph A. Storm puts that time in historical context and also describes his jobs away from Florence in chapters on the Poston relocation camp for Japanese-Americans and Italian POWs at work in cotton-picking season in Eloy:"The guards with their Enfield rifles spent the day patrolling the edges of the fields. I was not aware of any prisoner escapes while under close guard at Florence or Eloy. During basic training the guards had been given precise instruction on how to guard prisoners on work details: If a prisoner began to wander away, a guard would shout "Halt" three times before shooting and if a guard should shoot a prisoner, he would be given a carton of cigarettes, some leave time and perhaps a transfer," Storm wrote.

Storm, 82, came to Camp Florence as a new high school graduate on July 10, 1943 and served there until May 1944. He said he probably couldn't have remembered so much about those days without the daily letters he wrote home, about 300 in all.

"My mother kept them in shoe boxes. I reread them and found a lot of things I'd forgotten," he said in a phone interview from his home in Eau Claire.

He recalled Italian prisoners arriving by train, 500 to 600 at a time and still in their military uniforms, as he and other MPs stood with their Tommy guns. But at that point, the prisoners weren't interested in offering much trouble.

"They were a tired-looking bunch," Storm recalled, " ... glad to get in the barracks and get a shower."

At the Poston relocation camp, Storm wrote that the predominant religion was Buddhism and its practice was allowed. But several internees were also Christian. On Easter Sunday morning in 1944, Storm recalled seeing "several dozen" Japanese get up for a sunrise service, and others celebrate another Easter service.

Storm also has memories of downtown Florence and some of the local taverns at that time. In a chapter entitled "Recreation," he quotes from the local newspaper's account of a party at the Florence Woman's Club:

"Open house for soldiers from the army camp near Florence was held with a group of young ladies invited for dancing and games. The committee served refreshments and the evening was enjoyed by all. The Committee, consisting of Mesdames W.S.S. Branaman, Norman R. Freeman, Ronald J. Ellis, and Messrs. Dugald Stewart, J. Houston Allen, Father Joseph Dominic Jacques, Rev. S.B. Hannah and Rev. John Knight, are gathering all kinds of equipment to be placed in the building in order to make it a comfortably equipped center for lounging, letter writing, reading and whatever else solders off duty care to do. The Florence Woman's Club public library is also centered in the clubhouse, and the books will be available for the soldiers. The center will be open each evening from 7-9; social evening on Tuesday."

Storm also wrote of how the camp changed after he left it:

"With Italians no longer in the prisoner-of-war category, these men were moved to form labor gangs in California. After the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the first trainloads of Germans came to Florence. ... When admitted to the camp hospital, the prisoners were likely to be under the care of black nurses. Both arrangements, Jewish doctors and black nurses, were violations of Nazi racial doctrines."

Storm also wrote of how German POWs dispensed their own justice in a chapter entitled "Murder at Papago Park."

Unfortunately, his memories of the Italians don't include the unique chapel those prisoners built. He does remember a construction project of some kind under way in the spring shortly before he left. Some Florence Gardens residents hope to construct a replica of the chapel.

It turned out Florence was only Storm's first perspective of the war. When he left in 1944, he spent a summer in training, then served in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. He was in Austria when the war ended.

The book includes several pages of black-and-white photos, maps and documents, some credited to the Pinal County Historical Society Museum in Florence. Storm said he decided to put his story into a book at the suggestion of Chris Reid at the museum. A limited number of copies are for sale at the museum; Storm said if there's more interest, there may be another printing.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Camp Florence Days: A World War II Prisoner of War Camp

Camp Florence Days: A World War II Prisoner of War Camp

True account of eleven months in an Arizona prisoner of war camp during World War II. The story of nine Army recruits from Camp Grant, Illinois, who received their basic training in a hot desert climate, then served as military police guards in a POW camp in southern Arizona.

Only a few German prisoners were housed in the Camp Florence prisoner stockade in 1943, the majority were Italians. After the Allied invasion of France in June of 1944, great hordes of German prisoners were shipped to Arizona camps where they were encouraged to pick cotton for the American war effort.

The writer was in a group of MPs sent to the Poston Relocation Camp in early 1944. This concentration camp housed as many as 16,000 Japanese Americans. These evacuees were victims of the anti-Japanese hysteria that incensed many West coast Americans after the Pearl Harbor attacks. The writer draws from his own letters that he wrote home as a 19 year old from a small town in Wisconsin, as well as extensive research into the background of the subject matter.

Posted by Ralph Storm at 8:42 AM 0 comments

Storm, Ralph A. Camp Florence Days: A World War II Prisoner of War Camp Publisher: Self Published Eau Claire, WI 2006. Fine with no dust jacket Softcover New book. "True account of eleven months in an Arizona prisoner of war camp during World War II." By one of the MPs in the camp. ; B&W Photographs; 11 x 8-1/4"; 135 pages
Appr.: AUD 18.92 CAD 17.38 EUR 11.41 GBP 7.63 JPY 1,779.76 ZAR 105.06 Purchase direct from: Crossroad Books. Item number: 31211.

Posted by Ralph Storm at 8:14 AM 0 comments

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