Thank you for publishing the outstanding speeches of Dr. James McNaughton and Maj. Gen. Arthur Ishimoto in the April 17, 2015, issue of The Hawai‘i Herald.
Dr. McNaughton urged the younger generation in the audience to ask the veterans present what they did in the Military Intelligence Service. He encouraged youngsters to ask their grandfathers the same question. Unfortunately, many of those grandfathers have already passed away, leaving, at best, only official documents to answer questions.
For more than 20 years, various independent researchers have been compiling a database containing the service information of Japanese Americans who served in World War II, the Battle of Okinawa and during the U.S. Occupation of Japan. However, due to the secrecy of the assignments of the Military Intelligence Service personnel, the records of 2,000 Hawai‘i MIS veterans are incomplete. This does not do justice to their service.
During the March 27 and 28 MIS Veterans National Reunion, the incomplete database was displayed, much to the delight of surviving family members, who learned for the first time where their veteran fathers had attended language school, the nature of his military service and where he had served in that capacity. Sadly, there were others who were equally disappointed because their father’s records were incomplete. Fortunately for some, the database provided information so that former classmates of their father could be located among the attendees and perhaps share some information.
Attempts were also made to complete the records of those veterans in attendance — the return rate of responses has been very encouraging.
Dr. McNaughton concluded his speech by saying, “So, you know, we still have a lot of work to do on this MIS story . . .”
To continue to build this database of service records, volunteers are needed to conduct simple research in Honolulu. Training will be provided; hours are flexible (weekdays, business hours) and record-copying expenses will be furnished. “Service Learning” credit may be awarded to qualifying students.
To volunteer, or for more information, write to: researchmis2K@gmail.com.
Thank you for publishing this plea for help in setting the MIS record straight.
Thank you for the beautifully written article, “Under the Blood Red Sun (Hawai‘i Herald, Jan. 16, 2015).” I bought the film.
It brought back memories of World War II when I attended Cannon’s Business School in Honolulu. Pearl Harbor was bombed; school shut down and our lives changed drastically. I was called home to the Big Island — to do what? No business schools in Hilo then so I went to work in a tailor shop to sew men’s wear.
Then the U.S. Army took over. Every night was “black out” night and the MPs (military police) knocking on the door: “Turn out that light!” We even had to blacken our old kerosene lamp chimneys to comply. Then the volcano erupted and lit up the whole island! We had to laugh at the irony of it! Still, it was no laughing matter for the Issei. Our parents lived in fear, for some were removed from their homes and shipped to internment camps on the Mainland. Most of them never returned to Hawai‘i.
It was a sad time for all.
Betty (Takamori) Johnson