“America’s Secret Weapon: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service”

U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii
Fort DeRussy, Honolulu, Hawaii

Changing Gallery & Theater : MG (Ret) Herbert E. Wolff and the 33rd Anniversary of the U. S. Army Museum of Hawaii

The changing gallery features temporary exhibits that often coincide with the anniversaries of significant events in US Army History. The gallery is dedicated to the memory of MG Herbert E. Wolff, US Army, Retired. General Wolff was a visionary leader and lifelong supporter of the transformation of Battery Randolph into the U. S. Army Museum of Hawaii. He was also the long serving President of the Hawaii Army Museum Society, a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3, whose mission is the support of the Museum and the education of the public of the history and the mission of the U. S. Army in Hawaii.

Current Exhibit

“America’s Secret Weapon: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service”

“America’s Secret Weapon: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service,” a fascinating new exhibit has opened at the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii.

The exhibit reveals the little-known story of thousands of Americans of Japanese ancestry who waged war against their parents’ homeland in World War II as members of the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence Service. These “Nisei” — second generation Japanese Americans — used their knowledge of the enemy’s language and culture to give America a priceless edge that shortened the war and saved countless lives.

Produced by three baby boomers from Hawaii, the exhibit uses scores of photos and artifacts and a local perspective to tell the story of the 6,000 Nisei who served in the MIS. From the Aleutians and Guadalcanal to Okinawa and Philippines, MIS Nisei served in every major battle and campaign of the war against Japan, gleaning vital information from prisoners and documents, flushing caves, fighting as infantrymen. After the war, they were vital to the rebuilding of Japan as a modern democracy and staunch U.S. ally. The MIS Nisei’s feats are largely unknown because they were classified for years. And the Nisei intelligence specialists usually served in small groups on temporary duty, so their work often went unrecorded.

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