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John Aiso and the M.I.S. : Japanese-American soldiers in the Military Intelligence Service, World War II

Author: Tad Ichinokuchi; Daniel Aiso; Military Intelligence Service Club of Southern California.
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA (707 E. Temple St., Los Angeles 90012) : The Club, ©1988.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
By the summer of 1941, a group of intelligence specialists in the Military Intelligence Division of the U.S. War Department were frantically preparing for an almost inevitable war with Japan. Colonel Carlisle Dusenberry, Wallace Moore, Rufus Bratton, and Clarence Heubener were convinced that Japanese Americans were loyal to America and that they were the only Americans capable of performing Japanese language
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
John Aiso and the M.I.S.
Los Angeles, CA (707 E. Temple St., Los Angeles 90012) : The Club, ©1988
(OCoLC)654158061
Named Person: John Fujio Aiso; John Fujio Aiso
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Tad Ichinokuchi; Daniel Aiso; Military Intelligence Service Club of Southern California.
OCLC Number: 18715545
Description: 256 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Responsibility: [edited] by Tad Ichinokuchi, assisted by Daniel Aiso ; sponsor, the Military Intelligence Service Club of Southern California.

Abstract:

By the summer of 1941, a group of intelligence specialists in the Military Intelligence Division of the U.S. War Department were frantically preparing for an almost inevitable war with Japan. Colonel Carlisle Dusenberry, Wallace Moore, Rufus Bratton, and Clarence Heubener were convinced that Japanese Americans were loyal to America and that they were the only Americans capable of performing Japanese language military intelligence. Approvals were obtained to establish a Japanese language military intelligence school at the Presidio in San Francisco with a budget of $2,000. Lt. Col. John Weckerling, a former Japanese language assistant military attaché in Tokyo, was assigned to be General John DeWitt's assistant chief of staff for intelligence and commandant of the proposed school. Scanning the results of Captain Kai Rasmussen's interviews of 4,000 draftees in army training camps along the West Coast, Weckerling selected Pvt. John Aiso at Camp Hahn in Riverside, California, to become the chief instructor of the new school because of his educational credentials and knowledge of Japanese. Although Aiso had been working in the motor pool at Camp Hahn, a job he was ill-suited for, Aiso was reluctant to take the appointment. Aiso agreed only after Weckerling told him, "John, your country needs you." Having been berated in America as a "Jap" and socially discriminated against in Japan as a "son of an emigrant," Aiso often felt like a "man without a country." Moved by the colonel's words, Aiso consented.

At the Presidio of San Francisco, Aiso was originally assigned as a student, but was soon promoted to assistant instructor and then head instructor. At this time, Aiso was introduced to Akira Oshida and Shigeya Kihara, who worked with Aiso as civilian Japanese instructors. Together with Oshida and Kihara and several other civilian instructors, Aiso prepared teaching materials and the school was formally opened on November 1, 1941. Following the outbreak of war on December 7, 1941, and the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the Pacific Coast to incarceration camps, the school was transferred from San Francisco to Camp Savage, Minnesota, and placed directly under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army, Military Intelligence Division. The army provided personnel, logistical, and administrative support, but the doctrine, development, and implementation of the program remained with John Aiso, now the director of training. By the end of the war in 1945, Aiso had turned out over 6,000 military intelligence specialists. General Charles Willoughby stated that the MIS men shortened the war by two years and saved a million lives.

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