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Japanese American MIS soldiers to be recognized

A new photo exhibit to honor Japanese American soldiers kept secret for decades will be unveiled in San Francisco in November.

The National Japanese American Historical Society is urging surviving veterans of the Military Intelligence Service and their families to register and submit photographs for the exhibition.

The military recruited 13,000 MIS service members to form the first intelligence unit in U.S. military history in 1941.

They trained at an airport hangar in San Francisco’s Presidio. Their knowledge of the Japanese language and customs made them ideal candidates to be spies.

They were forbidden to even talk about their covert operations until 1971 when a Freedom of Information Act filing lifted the cloak of secrecy.

The digital photo exhibition is the focal point of the 10th anniversary celebration of the opening of the MIS Historic Learning Center where the original language school was located in San Francisco.

The photo kiosk will be located near the MIS Honor Wall which lists some of the names of those who served.

If you know someone who should be honored, you are asked to submit a photo of your veteran in military uniform for inclusion in the photo collection.

  • Scan the image (300 DPI) by October 1. For questions, you can email Tara Hirose [email protected] or call her at (408) 234-3749.
  • Fill out the information form and photo release.
  • Email your photo to [email protected] by October 1.
  • A suggested donation is $100 will be used to prepare your photo for display.

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