The Military Intelligence Service (MIS) Historic Learning Center reveals a fascinating era in Presidio history.
The center is located at Crissy Field at the actual historic site where, on the eve of war with Japan in 1941, the U.S. Army secretly trained Japanese American linguist soldiers as interpreters, translators, interrogators, instructors, propaganda specialists, and signal technicians.
Ironically, the Military Intelligence Service school operated just a short distance from the Presidio building from which the executive order to intern Japanese Americans was issued following Pearl Harbor.
More than 6,000 MIS graduates served during World War II, mostly in the Pacific, participating in every major campaign. They provided vital intelligence that saved countless Allied lives, hastening the end of the war and collectively earning them a Presidential Unit Citation. Later, they played a crucial role during the Occupation of Japan, helping rebuild that country and strengthen the close U.S.-Japan bilateral relations that endure to this day.
The center, which opened on Veterans' Day in 2013, offers a permanent exhibition and public education programs. The permanent exhibition includes a re-created classroom and a mission map room that illustrates the historic achievements of the MIS. Exhibits will be expanded over time.