MacArthur's Spies: The Soldier, the Singer, and the Spymaster Who Defied the Japanese in World War II
By: Peter Eisner
By: Peter Eisner
A thrilling story of espionage, daring and deception set in the exotic landscape of occupied Manila during World War II.
On January 2, 1942, Japanese troops marched into Manila unopposed by U.S. forces. Manila was a strategic port, a romantic American outpost and a jewel of a city. Tokyo saw its conquest of the Philippines as the key in its plan to control all of Asia, including Australia. Thousands of soldiers surrendered and were sent on the notorious eighty-mile Bataan Death March. But thousands of other Filipinos and Americans refused to surrender and hid in the Luzon hills above Bataan and Manila. MacArthur's Spies is the story of three of them, and how they successfully foiled the Japanese for more than two years, sabotaging Japanese efforts and preparing the way for MacArthur’s return.
From a jungle hideout, Colonel John Boone, an enlisted American soldier, led an insurgent force of Filipino fighters who infiltrated Manila as workers and servants to stage demolitions and attacks.
“Chick” Parsons, an American businessman, polo player, and expatriate in Manila, was also a U.S. Navy intelligence officer. He escaped in the guise of a Panamanian diplomat, and returned as MacArthur’s spymaster, coordinating the guerrilla efforts with the planned Allied invasion.
And, finally, there was Claire Phillips, an itinerant American torch singer with many names and almost as many husbands. Her nightclub in Manila served as a cover for supplying food to Americans in the hills and to thousands of prisoners of war. She and the men and women who worked with her gathered information from the collaborating Filipino businessmen; the homesick, English-speaking Japanese officers; and the spies who mingled in the crowd.
Readers of Alan Furst and Ben Macintyre—and anyone who loves Casablanca—will relish this true tale of heroism when it counted the most.
Reviewed by: Barbara Krueger
Tells a little-known story about American women who posed as Eastern Europeans, with the help of Filipinos, to gather information on the occupying Japanese military. They supported the prisoners of war by giving them medicine and food and critical information for American and Gorilla forces. It is well written in newspaper style reporting from the beginning to the end of Japanese rule of the Philippines.