Released 19 February 2012
Executive Order 9066: The Salvation Army Remebers Attempt
to Protect Japanese Orphans
SAN FRANCISCO (February 19, 2012) This year marks the 70th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, the order which lead to the relocation
of Japanese Americans to internment camps. On this anniversary, The Salvation
Army pauses to
remember the thousands of Japanese Americans whose lives were changed by this
WWII declaration and also honor those brave individuals who fought to protect
lives of innocent Japanese children. During that time of fear and
uncertainty, The Salvation Army tried to protect the children at The
Salvation Army's Japanese Children's Home from living in an internment camp
environment. Unfortunately, after numerous attempts, The Salvation Army
was forced to surrender the
When the evacuation of
Japanese was ordered
after Pearl Harbor, The Salvation Army refused at first, hoping to save its
Japanese orphans from the internment camps. Requests were denied.
The Army tried another solution -- moving them from the orphanage in San
Francisco to Lytton Springs in Marin County.
Approximately 22 children
moved to Lytton on
December 26, 1941. Within the first few days, some left to go to
relatives. Then Lytton was declared to be the Priority I area and the
Army was ordered to transfer the children again. The superintendent evidently
did all he could to keep them, but many appeals were denied. Some
children left January 12th. The last group left March 21, 1942.
In a 1973 memo to Colonel
Lawrence Smith at [Salvation Army] Territorial Headquarters, Lt.
Colonel Margaret Cox
said it had been her responsibility to see to an orderly transfer. She
remembered that they tried to find relatives living outside California and in
some cases were successful. Other children had to be returned to the
Public Welfare Department responsible for them.
"We had no alternative,"
she said, "but were
given a deadline, which had to be met. It was a most difficult time,
especially for the children." Many of them had lived at The Salvation Army's
Japanese Children's Home for years.
-Excerpt from "The Bells of San
Francisco: The Salvation Army With Its Sleeves Rolled Up" by Judy
Many orphans evacuated from The Salvation Army's Japanese Children's Home
were relocated to Children's Village at the War Relocation Authority Center at
Manzanar, to join other children who were evacuated from two other Japanese
Children's Homes in Los Angeles.
Over 40 years later, The Salvation Army hosted a reunion of people who were
once residents of The Salvation Army's Japanese Children's Home. Many
recalled positive times and memories from their time at the Children's
Home. More importantly, the event reunited many people whose lives had
Evacuee orphans of Japanese ancestry
by Dorothea Lange on July 1, 1942 at the Children's Village at the War
Relocation Authority Center at Manzanar. Photograph by Dorothea Lange |
Dorothea Lange, UC Berkeley, Ban