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POW Chapel

Prisoner of War ChapelThe Prisoner of War chapel, also called the "Chapel in the Meadow" is a reminder of the rich history of Camp Atterbury and the men from Italy and Germany who were Prisoners of War at Atterbury during World War II.

The chapel, an 11' x 16' buildling, was constructed in 1943 with the blessing of the commanding officer of the internment camp, Lt. Col. John L. Gammel, and by the camp priest, Father Imhoff. A group of Italian POWs who were skilled artisans worked to construct the chapel, which was used by prisoners for daily worship as well as Mass.

Following the deactivation of Camp Atterbury in 1953, the tiny chapel built by the Italian Prisoners of War (POW) Chapel fell into a state of disrepair. When the Indiana National Guard accepted control of Camp Atterbury in 1969, the restoration of the 33,132 acres as a usable military training installation took precedence over the restoration of the decaying POW Chapel.

In the late 1980's, the Indiana National Guard, the Italian Heritage Society and a group of private citizens led the effort to restore the POW Chapel to its original dignity. In 1989, the interior and exterior of the Chapel were repaired; with attention given to restoring the intricate, hand-painted frescos on the chapel floor, ceiling, and walls.

The renovated POW Chapel was dedicated in the autumn of 1989 and an annual ceremony in honor of the POW Chapel has been held every August since. Many former Italian and German Prisoners of War have returned to Camp Atterbury to visit the Chapel in the Meadow. 

Rock crafted by Italian POW's Commemorative plaque at chapel site

Chapel exterior Chepel interior

 Chapel interior Chapel interior

Ornate chapel ceiling Chapel interior art

Last updated on March 24, 2014

  

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