The old post chapel once occupied this site where, in 1940, officials located the fort's administrative center. Built for $15,300, the tall stucco-covered frame building housed the commanding officer and his staff. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the U.S. government detained thousands of Japanese and German American citizens, as well as Italian nationals. During this dark period, Fort Missoula was one of the nation's largest internment camps. The camp was not a relocation center. It housed more than one thousand internees of Japanese descent and as many Italian nationals during the course of World War II. Government officials took Japanese American citizens from their communities, often separating them from family. They were interned at camps like Fort Missoula, far from home. Although they were not necessarily mistreated, according to the son of one Fort Missoula internee, the pain and shame of this experience can never be forgotten. Administrative staff processed internees' records and questioned them, compiled rosters and duty schedules, dispensed military justice, and managed fort business until 1962.