WW II: A Battle Fought at Home and Abroad

WW II: A Battle Fought at Home and Abroad (HMRKG)

Location: Alexandria, VA 22308
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 42.939', W 77° 3.162'

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The United States engaged in World War II (WWII) at home and on foreign soil. With formal entry of the United States into WWII, the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) began two top-secret programs, known as MIS-Y and MIS-X, at Fort Hunt.

Under the MIS-Y program, the military utilized Fort Hunt as the nation's primary Joint Interrogation Center (JIC). At this location, known at the time only as P.O. Box 1142, Army and Navy personnel interrogated Axis prisoners-of-war (POWs) who possessed special strategic or technical information. Roughly 4,000 prisoners were questioned at Fort Hunt between 1942-1946. The War Department called the camps Temporary Detention Centers or Detained Interrogation Centers, not POW Camps, because the Geneva Convention of 1929 required certain rights and privileges for POWs which would interfere with interrogation strategies.

As a component of the MIS-X program, Fort Hunt military personnel sent secret escape devices concealed inside humanitarian aid or "care packages" to American POWs in Europe. This operation was so secret that not even the fort commander knew of its existence; only the President, a few top officials, and limited staff had knowledge of the program. American POWs were notified in advance about incoming packages via coded letters. Within the care packages, a prisoner might find a tiny compass encased in a button, maps or money hidden inside a checkerboard, or a radio transmitter in the heel of a new pair of shoes.

Battery Commander's Station
The tower to your right, the Battery Commander's Station, served as the "nerve center" of fort operations during the turn of the century. From the tower, with the help of range-finding and sighting equipment, military personnel could spot enemy ships approaching the fort. Once a target was identified, staff relayed its coordinates to others at adjacent gun batteries.

Completed: August 1901
Dimension: 16.5 feet wide (base only) x 16.5 feet deep (base only) x 26.5 feet high.

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· Stay on designated paths. Please watch your step. Historic surfaces are uneven and may be damp or slippery. Use handrails when climbing stairs.
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· It is illegal to remove anything from Fort Hunt Park. Everything is protected so you and future generations may enjoy these historic resources.
Placed ByGeorge Washington Memorial Highway - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 12:24pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 321535 N 4287222
Decimal Degrees38.71565000, -77.05270000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 42.939', W 77° 3.162'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 42' 56.34" N, 77° 3' 9.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8940 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria VA 22308, US
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