Military Intelligence School at the Presidio
By the late 1930s, as diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan deteriorated, the U.S. Army established the 4th Army Intelligence School at the Presidio. The army converted hanger Building 640, on Crissy Field, into classrooms and a barracks for a language school which trained Nisei – Japanese Americans born to parents who had come to the U.S from Japan – to act as translators in the war against Japan. Despite wartime prejudices and the harsh internment of all Japanese immigrants and their American children during World War II, the Nisei solders proved their loyalty and through their intelligence work shortened the war in the Pacific.
“Patriotism and Prejudice: Japanese Americans and World War II”
The Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center
Did You Know?
Major Jonathan Letterman--after whom the hospital at the Presidio was renamed in 1911--was the medical director of the Army of the Potomac. A founding father of military medicine, Letterman organized forward first-aid stations, mobile field hospitals, and ambulance services during the Civil War.