Skip to comments.War story: US vet who caught Japan's Tojo speaks
Posted on 09/11/2010 5:02:49 AM PDT by nuconvert
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. John J. Wilpers Jr. went decades without publicly revealing details about his international headline-making exploits at the end of World War II, a string of silence befitting a former Army intelligence officer-turned-career CIA employee.
It took the belated awarding of a Bronze Star to the upstate New York native to finally loosen the lips of the man credited with preventing former Japanese prime minister Hideki Tojo from committing suicide on Sept. 11, 1945, nine days after Japan officially surrendered. Tojo was eventually put on trial for war crimes and executed in 1948.
"I never wanted it in the first place," Wilpers, 90, said of the attention he received after capturing Tojo and again earlier this year when he finally received the medal.
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
I had an uncle that was a marine for the entire war, he was already a Sgt when PH was attacked.
The only thing I could ever get him to say was “War is so horrible I hope to God you never have to find out” He died and took his exploits to the grave in 1968.
I wish I could talk to him now.
War is where you do horrible things to your enemy as he does horrible things to you and whoever’s horrible things destroy his enemy’s ability to do horrible things wins.
I wish I could still talk to my Dad, he’s been dead for 30+ years. He never spoke much about WW2. All I ever got out of him was that he was the XO on a destroyer in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. I never even knew the name of his ship.
Try William Manchester’s ‘Goodbye, Darkness”.
Very riveting account of his experience(s) as a wartime Marine in the Pacific.
So many nuggets, insights and truths in the annals of time have come from the lips of eyewitnesses and participants in important historical events.
There'd be gaping holes in the chronicles of civilized man if all participants in events clammed up.....even for the most commendable of personal reasons such as shyness, self-deprecation, modesty or trying to avoid attention for oneself or family.
At the least, national-security-vetted memoirs can always be released after an honorable death.
I had no idea that Tojo attempted suicide by gunshot in his own home to avoid imminent arrest and I'm a pretty good student of history.
Thanks for posting.....and who can get that photographic clipping turned around, LOL.
Try; War’s End
By Charles W. Sweeney
He flew the photography plane over Hiroshima and the Drop plane over Nagasaki.
He wanted the true story put in print to nagate revisionist history.
My uncle was a First Marine Raider in WW2 and I didn’t even get that much out him. I feel that I should have pressed him but I that was many years ago.
Good man. Sorry to pass along my neck crick to everyone, lol!
Thanks - I’ve read (and reread) it many times.
First..."The best way of finding Tojo was to find our own U.S. newspaper people, because they were there well ahead of us," Wilpers recalled...
...got me to thinking how today's ass-kissing "press corps" would take you to Obama. It wouldn't be the enemy's press-corps, but our own. And the fact that there don't seem to be any real investigative journalists like those Mr. Wilpers describes.
Second, you have to love Mr. Wilpers nonchalance and humble comment "I just happened to be the one who busted open the door." A true American with firm American characteristics.
If you've never read it, I highly recommend The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. You may understand your father's reticence to talk about his experience after reading that book. It's an amazing recounting of the battle.
I also recommend With the Old Breed, mentioned above, for the same reason; it tells the story of the island war in the Pacific as the men on the beach experienced it.