• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

Military Intelligence School at the Presidio

historic photo of Japanese-American soldiers studying at tables
Japanese-American soldiers studying in Crissy Field Building 640, circa 1941.
PARC,  NPS
 

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.

 
brochure showing photo and text

“Patriotism and Prejudice: Japanese Americans and World War II”

For more information on the Nisei and their inspiring story, please download the National Park Service brochure (pdf file, 900 KB.)

 
industrial buildng located on Crissy Field

The Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center

Visit the new MIS Historic Learning Center, located at Crissy Field, Presidio of San Francisco. To learn more about the Japanese American experience, please visit the National Japanese American Historical Society webpage.

Did You Know?

The Officers' Club at the Presidio

The modern-day Officers' Club was part of the original Spanish Presidio. In the front section of the building, excavations have uncovered adobe walls dating from the 1790's.