Wednesday, March 06, 2013

John Wilpers Captured Japan's PM Tojo after WWII, Dies at 93

"But whether by coincidence or because advance word had reached him, Tojo had prepared to commit suicide the day Lieutenant Wilpers and his team reached him. He had invited a doctor to attend him in his dying moments. After letting Tojo know through an interpreter that he was being taken into custody, the intelligence team heard a gunshot inside the house.

Forcing their way in, they found Tojo lying on a couch, his white shirt stained in blood from a bullet in his chest. The physician standing nearby, intending to help Tojo die, refused Lieutenant Wilpers’s order to give Tojo medical help. The officers quickly found another doctor and had Tojo removed to an Army hospital, where he recovered. Later tried for war crimes, Tojo was executed in 1948.

Mr. Wilpers worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 33 years after leaving the Army.

John Wilpers III, another son, said Mr. Wilpers eventually talked to his family about some of his experiences, including the capture of Tojo. But partly from a habit of secrecy acquired at the C.I.A., and partly because “that generation didn’t come back and brag,” John Wilpers said, his father did not say much."
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