NVC Newsletter

WAC in the MIS: Remembering Kathleen T. Iseri

by Rodney Inefuku
November 2018, Volume 68, Issue 10

Kathleen T. Iseri was born in Merrit Island, CA and graduated from Union High School in Elk Grove, CA in 1940.  At the outset of WWII, the Iseri family was incarcerated at the Gila River concentration camp.

Kathy left Gila River to be employed as a secretary in the WRA office in New York and studied English Literature at NYU in the evening.   Kathy’s brother Ken took a job with the FCC Intelligence Division in Washington DC.  Sister Marilyn left Gila River for Long Island to study and train at Genesee Hospital in Rochester, NY so she could join the US Nurse Cadet Corps.

Kathy Iseri volunteered for the Women's Army Corps (WAC) exactly one year after leaving the concentration camp at Gila River and was among the 51 Nisei women who trained at the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) at Fort Snelling, MN.  Following her induction on March 22, she left New York for basic training at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

She stated in a newspaper interview that she was proud to be an American citizen:  " I have volunteered for the Women's Army Corps because I am proud that I am an American citizen...There are thousands of American boys of Japanese ancestry serving in our armed forces,... and it is in the tradition which they have set that I, as a soldier of the United States Army, Women's Army Corps, shall proudly serve my country.”

After leaving the WAC, she moved to the Washington DC area.  She retired as Chief of Publications section of the Water Resources Division of the US Geological Survey.

Ms. Kathleen Iseri of Arlington, VA died on February 3, 2005 at 83 years of age.