Nisei Hall

An invite to participate in the dedication of Nisei Hall, the name to be given the West and South Europe Division Building, 620, of the Defense Language Institute, Westcoast Branch, Presidio, Montery [sic] California, was received by Club 100 several weeks ago.

However, communication was rather vague and meager. So this matter was referred to the AJA Council. The 442 had also received a similar type of communication. And jointly, most appropriately, appropriate action was taken in the form of a resolution sent to this dedication.

Nisei Hall is dedicated to those who proudly gave their lives in defense of the United States and to the thousands of Nisei graduates of the first language school.

As many of the Niseis fought and died in Europe during World War II, it is appropriate to name the West and South Europe Division Building, 620, NISEI HALL!

Only a few weeks before Pearl Harbor, the school, Fourth Army Intelligence School, opened with 60 students, 58 of them Niseis, in a hanger at Crissy Field on the Presidio of San Francisco, California. Thereafter, the school moved successively to Camp Savage, Minnesota, Ft, Snelling, Minnesota, and then back to Presidio, San Francisco.

Some of the graduates served in the Pacific, others in Europe and still others in Asia. They were instrumental in intercepting and translating Japanese Navy Battle plans. A feat which proved decisive in the destruction of the Japanese Imperial Fleet in the Battle of the Coral Sea. They also broke the Japanese Code for all the military units, thought indestructable [sic] by the Japanese Military, never thinking that Niseis would be used.

The very existence of Nisei troops was as closely guarded a military secret as the Atom Bomb. And today, years later, credit is still given to them for helping to shorten the war. The Niseis actually became the “eyes and ears” of virtually every campaign in the Pacific.

And the 100th Bn (Sep), the original predecessors of today’s Club 100, contributed 200 plus such Niseis as translators or interpreters or combinations to the Pacific Theater.

The first contingent left from Camp McCoy in November 1942, in the bleak of night—destination unknown—and ended up in MISIS, Camp Savage, Minnesota, miles north of St. Paul, Minneapolis. Among the first graduates from the 100th were such greats as Sgt.Honda, Sgt. Kiyazaki who served with distinction with the Merril’s Mauruders in the China-Burma-India Theatre. Sgt. Mitsukado, Sgt. Yamamoto (Hirotoshi) and Sgt. Nakada who served with distinction in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre; Sgt. Morita who served in the Aleutians.

I am informed that another contingent was sent out from Shelby, Mississippi, prior to the 100th’s departure for the European Theatre of Operation in September 1943!

The 100th served both fronts—the European and the Asiatic! And well! What do you know about that!!!