Fort Missoula (detention facility)


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US Gov Name Fort Missoula Internment Camp
Facility Type Department of Justice Internment Camp
Administrative Agency U.S. Department of Justice
Location Missoula, Montana (46.8667 lat, -113.9833 lng)
Date Opened December 18, 1941
Date Closed July 1, 1944
Population Description Held more than 1,000 Italian seamen captured in U.S. waters; also held 1,250 Japanese immigrants from the continental U.S. and Hawai'i.
General Description Located at an old U.S. Army post on the southwest edge of Missoula, Montana, that was turned over to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1941. Missoula is in western Montana.
Peak Population 2,003
National Park Service Info
  • Alien Enemy Hearing Boards for the Issei were held from June to August 1942, and if the Issei was recommended for permanent internment, he was sent to Camp Livingston, a U.S. Army internment camp in Alexandria, Louisiana. By August, there were only 109 Issei left at Fort Missoula.
  • The internees of Japanese and Italian descent lived in different barracks and ate in separate mess halls but occasionally played softball together.
  • After the internees were sent to U.S. Army camps, Fort Missoula was used to hold military prisoners of war (POWs) from Europe.

For More Information

"Alien Detention Center." The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula website. http://www.fortmissoulamuseum.org/index.php.

Fiset, Louis. Imprisoned Apart: The World War II Correspondence of an Issei Couple. Foreword by Roger Daniels. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997. [Letters between Iwao Matsushita at Fort Missoula, Montana, and Hanaye Matsushita at Minidoka.]

Flewelling, Stan. Shirakawa: Stories from a Pacific Northwest Japanese American Community. Foreword by Gordon Hirabayashi. Auburn, WA: White River Valley Museum, 2002.

Kashima, Tetsuden. Judgment Without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002.

Van Valkenburg, Carol Bulger. An Alien Place: The Fort Missoula, Montana, Detention Camp 1941-1944. Missoula, MT: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Inc., 1995, 2009.

Wyatt, Barbara, ed. Japanese Americans in World War II: A National Historic Landmarks Theme Study. Washington, DC: National Historic Landmarks Program, National Park Service, August 2012.