During the Sino-American War, this location was used to detain suspected Chinese spies or saboteurs who were allegedly working against the United States. Prisoners were kept in abysmal conditions, with outhouses being the only sanitary facilities available and Spartan bunk beds crammed into wooden houses serving as living quarters. Watchtowers with searchlights were erected at the perimeter while many security robots patrolled the base.
All dead bodies were stored in the morgue, beneath the administration building. The morgue also contained a small crematorium, where bodies were disposed of when the morgue was full. Many ethnic Chinese were under suspicion, citizen, or not.
It seems that just before or on October 23, 2077, several prisoners escaped via the morgue drainage channel, with the remaining inmates rioting, ending with them holing up in one of the bunkhouses. This is indicated by a barricade in Bunkhouse A, with several makeshift weapons accompanying the skeletons and skeletal remains in the drainage tunnel and its exit.
The detention camp is composed of six buildings: four huts (bunkhouse A and B, and two interrogation rooms), a concrete administration building and an underground morgue. Inside the morgue, there is a waste tunnel that leads to the outside. The camp is fenced and several guard towers are located at the corners of the fence, as well as at the entrance.
Many hostile feral ghouls and sentry bots can be found in and around the camp. Depending on the player character's level and the game difficulty, these ghouls can include any number of swamp ghouls, feral ghoul roamers, glowing ones and feral ghoul reavers. A group of three to four smugglers may spawn here as well. In addition, there are sentry bots as well as turrets mounted under the guard towers.
Turtledove Detention Camp had a back area that was used as a toxic dumping site, as indicated by the mound of waste barrels and detritus near the camp's western perimeter. This toxic waste has permeated the swampy ground, and has resulted in the sludge in and around the camp to be extremely toxic - much of the camp is radioactive. This toxic, radioactive environment lures ghouls to the region in droves; even after the area is cleared out, they will continue to migrate to the camp.
The toxins are particularly concentrated in a few areas, most notably a horrid chemical pool in the camp's center. Here, the chemicals bubble and churn constantly, giving off a foul gas that is irradiated and cannot be drank. Occasionally, the chemicals react unpredictably, causing large bubbles to form and foul the air with a sickening pop and a burst of gas moments later. Every once in a while, a bubble breaks free of the surface and bounces around for a few seconds before popping. Feral ghouls congregate here in large numbers to bask in the radiation.
These bubbles can be picked up and moved, but are also highly volatile; they will explode like a bio-gas canister if shot with energy weapons, incendiary weapons, or exposed to extreme heat or fire.
- Mini nuke - On the shelf in the administration's armory.
- Stealth Boy - In the bunkhouse A's locker in front of the player on the shelf.
- Submarine self-destruct codes - By opening the cadaver compartment that houses the remains of Wan Yang in the morgue underneath the Turtledove Detention Camp.
- Toy knife - Can be found directly south of Turtledove Detention Camp, close to a yellow sign that is near the road (which is visible on the world map). With ones back to the sign, turn until one sees a relatively long and impassible line made of bushes to the west/northwest. It is hidden behind it, sitting on a wooden crate with a hockey mask.
- There are already a number of ghouls around the camp when approaching, but once entering the actual camp, another wave of ghouls will approach from all directions. The amount and the type of ghouls is level-dependent.
- Most of the time at low to mid levels, sentry bots patrolling the area will kill ghouls whenever they enter the vicinity, as will the turrets if detected, with the exception of Reavers.
- The morgue contains the corpses of Wan Yang (TD-0181), Ashley Cheng (TD-0831) and Mei Shen (TD-0204).
- There is a metal barrel south of interrogation room A with a skeleton inside of it. This is a form of punishment known as the sweatbox.
- It is advised against fast-traveling to this location if not visited for an extended period of time, as upon arrival the player character will likely be immediately swarmed with large numbers of various feral ghouls.
Behind the scenes
- The camp's name is a reference to alternate-history author Harry Turtledove, famous for The Guns of the South and other Civil War novels.
- The camp is heavily similar to the general practice of American Japanese internment, which occurred in both our world and in the Fallout universe during World War II. Many ethnic Asians, including American citizens, were imprisoned on suspicion of being Japanese spies, agents, or infiltrators.
- Turtledove Detention Camp terminal entries; Terminal, Doe, John (submariner): "Hunter requested method B interrogation clearance, so I'm putting through to Quantico for that in the morning."
Note: "Quantico" refers to the U.S. military installation of Marine Corps Base Quantico, indicating that the Camp was under Marine jurisdiction.
- In this wide angle image of the entrance to the camp, one can read the camp's entrance sign.
- Turtledove Detention Camp terminal entries; Terminal