US WWII veteran who captured Japan's Tojo dies; credited with keeping him alive to face trial

Published March 04, 2013

| Associated Press

John J. Wilpers Jr., the last surviving member of the U.S. Army intelligence unit that captured former Japanese prime minister Hideki Tojo after World War II, has died at 93.

His son, John J. Wilpers III, told The Associated Press on Monday that his father died Thursday at an assisted living facility near his home in Garrett Park, Md.

The upstate New York native was part of a five-man unit ordered to arrest Tojo at his suburban Tokyo home on Sept. 11, 1945, nine days after Japan's surrender ended the war.

While the soldiers were outside, Tojo attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest. Wilpers ordered a Japanese doctor at gunpoint to treat Tojo until an American doctor arrived.

Tojo survived, was convicted of war crimes and was executed in December 1948.

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