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MIS-X: The U.S. Escape and Evasion Experts

X-ray photograph of radio concealed in a cribbage board. (U.S. Air Force photo)

X-ray photograph of radio concealed in a cribbage board. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Modeled on the British escape branch M.I.9, the top secret MIS-X (Military Intelligence Service-X) organization gave U.S. service personnel formal training and special tools for escape and evasion. Their efforts helped those airmen who were evading and those who had become POWs. 

MIS-X craftsmen modified common items found in POW aid packages to conceal hidden maps, radios, saws, compasses,and money, among other things. MIS-X also employed the help of several companies, which inserted material as part of the manufacturing process. To avoid compromising genuine aid societies, MIS-X sent these items to POWs in parcels shipped under the cover of fictitious aid organizations. 

MIS-X aided several of the 737 U.S. military members who successfully escaped from German POW camps during WWII. Perhaps more importantly, MIS-X maintained contact with U.S. POWs at 64 German camps, both giving and receiving useful and timely information from the so-called "barbed wire front." 

At the end of the war, the War Department disbanded MIS-X and most of the material related to this highly secret organization was destroyed. 

Click here to return to Winged Boot: Escape and Evasion in World War II.


Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

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