A Nisei was a second-generation Japanese American who was trained in such skills as the translation of Japanese documents written in the complex and polyalphabetic Japanese language. They would also be involved in the interrogation of Japanese prisoners. 

The first class of 60 Nisei's  were trained by 4 instructors at the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) at Crissy Field, Presidio, San Francisco on 11 January 1941. 

45 Nisei eventually graduated from MISLS in May 1942. They were immediately set to Alaska, Australia and New Caledonia.

Nisei's who were sent to Australia were assigned to the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) at Indooroopilly in Brisbane. ATIS was a unit comprising Australian and American intelligence personnel placed into an integrated structure. Many of the 2,000 Americans who served in ATIS were Nisei.

The interrogation of Japanese POW's took place in the old mansion called "Tighnabruaich" at 195 Clarence Road, Indooroopilly in Brisbane. The Nisei personnel who handled much of the interpretation were housed almost directly across the Brisbane river in Camp Chelmer, which was later a home for aged women.


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This page first produced 1 April 2002

This page last updated 17 January 2020