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San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Military Intelligence Service Language School

November 1941 - April 1942

 
 
Military Intelligence Service Language School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 18, 2009
1. Military Intelligence Service Language School Marker
Inscription. This building was the site of the first class of the
Military Intelligence Service Language School
November 1941 - April 1942
Eventually, six thousand Japanese-American soldier graduates served their country valiantly in the Pacific area during World War II.
The United States of America owes a debt to these Nisei linguists and their families which it can never repay.
Dedicated by the Military Intelligence Service Association of Northern California on November 1, 1993
 
Erected 1993 by Military Intelligence Service Association of Northern California.
 
Location. 37° 48.173′ N, 122° 27.744′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on Old Mason Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94129, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Francisco National Cemetery (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); U.S.S. Oregon Marine Corps Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Montgomery Street Barracks (approx. ¼ mile away); Music in the Military: Presidio Band Barracks
Military Intelligence Service Language School Marker wayside exhibit image. Click for full size.
By Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee", circa March 2010
2. Military Intelligence Service Language School Marker wayside exhibit
(approx. ¼ mile away); Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (approx. 0.3 miles away); Braving Wind and Waves (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Ordoñez Gun (approx. 0.3 miles away); War in the Philippines (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. The marker is at the base of the east side of the building, next to an interpretive sign.
 
Regarding Military Intelligence Service Language School. {Presented verbatim from the National Park Service's interpretive sign next to the marker:} Just one month before the United States entered World War II, this former air mail hangar became the site of a secret Army language school organized to train Nisei(second generation Japanese American) soldiers for a unique role in the Pacific War. From November 1941 to May 1942, sixty students studied Japanese language and military terminology under demanding and spartan conditions.

But the first class in this building was also the last. Wartime fears and hysteria had already led to the expulsion of all Japanese and Japanese
View from Military Intelligence Service Nisei Language School Building image. Click for full size.
By Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee", circa March 2010
3. View from Military Intelligence Service Nisei Language School Building
Americans and their incarceration in isolated camps such as Manzanar, now designated a National Historic site. The families of these "Yankee Samurai" were no exception. Ironically, the Army's Western Defense Command carried out the eviction orders from its San Francisco headquarters, just one-quarter mile from here.

The military service of Japanese Americans under these trying circumstances was an important factor that led to the government's acknowledgment of the injustice of the wartime internment in post-war years.
 
Also see . . .
1. The MIS of Northern Calfiornia Homepage. Contains a history of the Military Intelligence Service Language School, including photos, first person stories, and video excerpts of a documentary made about the school. (Submitted on April 24, 2009.) 

2. Military Intelligence Service Language School at Fort Snelling. The Minnesota Historical Society's history of the MISLS. (Submitted on April 24, 2009.) 

3. New U.S. Army Center for Military History publication. The U.S. Army Center for Military History has announced the publication of this vital historical resource "Nisei Linguists Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II" (Submitted on April 22, 2010, by Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee" of Fremont, California.) 
 
Additional keywords.
Site of the first Military Intelligence Service Language School image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 18, 2009
4. Site of the first Military Intelligence Service Language School
The abandoned hangar used by the MISLS was part of Crissy Field, an airstrip established in 1915 for the U.S. Army Air Service, as part of the Presidio army base.

Inasmuch as the Nisei soldiers were subject to Executive Order 9066, the tenure of the first MISLS class at the Crissy Field hangar was short, and the school and its students were relocated to Camp Savage in Minnesota.
Nisei Soldiers
 
Categories. Asian AmericansEducationNotable BuildingsWar, World II
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 24, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 2,023 times since then and 49 times this year. Last updated on April 22, 2010, by Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee" of Fremont, California. Photos:   1. submitted on April 24, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   2, 3. submitted on April 22, 2010, by Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee" of Fremont, California.   4. submitted on April 24, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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