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Wilpers, who captured a PM, dies at 93

March 5, 2013 at 8:37 AM   |   Comments

SILVER SPRINGS, Md., March 5 (UPI) -- John Wilpers, the last known survivor of a team that captured the Japanese prime minister after World War II, died in Maryland, his family confirmed. He was 93.

Wilpers died Thursday, a son said.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered the prime minister, Hideki Tojo, to be arrested 9 days after Japan's surrender, The New York Times said.

Tojo attempted to commit suicide the day Wilpers' Army intelligence team reached him, but the Army transported him to a hospital, where he recovered, the Times said.

He was later tried for war crimes and was executed in 1948.

Wilpers, who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 33 years after leaving the Army, didn't tell his family about the event for many years.

"All of this was very sad," he said of the war in 2010 after receiving the Bronze Star. "I didn't want to do anything to describe it as wonderful. What happened happened. Like any war, it should be regretted."

He is survived by his two sons and three daughters, the Times said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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