US WWII veteran who captured Japan’s Tojo dies
ALBANY, N.Y. — 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.
Wilpers died Thursday at an assisted living facility near his home in Garrett Park, Md., his son John J. Wilpers III said today.
The upstate New York native was part of a five-man unit ordered to arrest Tojo at his home in a Tokyo suburb 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.
Wilpers, a retired CIA employee, didn’t give media interviews until 2010, when he was awarded a belated Bronze Star by the Army.
“He was terribly proud of what he did but was not boastful,” his son John told The Associated Press.