On January 2, 1942, Japanese troops marched into Manila unopposed by U.S. forces commanded by General Douglas MacArthur. Manila was a strategic port, a romantic American outpost and a jewel of a city, and Tokyo saw conquest of the Philippines as essential toward cutting off Allied supply lines and the key in its plan to control of all of Asia, including Australia. Thousands of soldiers surrendered and sent on the notorious Bataan Death March to 80 miles to a prison camp. But thousands of other Filipinos and Americans refused to surrender and hid in the Luzon hills above Bataan and Manila. This is the story of three of them, and how they successfully foiled the Japanese for more than two years, sabotaging Japanese efforts - including their planned invasion of Australia-and preparing the way for MacArthur's return. They were an American G.I., a Navy intelligence officer, and one remarkable American woman who risked everything to aid the cause.
Colonel John Boone, an enlisted American soldier, led from a jungle hideout a crafty insurgent force that infiltrated Filipino fighters into Manila as workers and servants, staging demolitions and attacks, defying the Japanese who brutally retaliated against civilians for any slight.
oChicko Parsons, American businessman, accomplished polo player, and expatriate in Manila, was also a Naval intelligence officer. He escaped after the invasion in the guise of a Panamanian diplomat, and returned as MacArthur's spymaster, coordinating the guerilla 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 who, concealing her identity, established a nightclub in Manila that served as a cover for supplying food to Americans in the hills and to thousands of prisoners of war at Cabanatuan POW camp just outside Manila. More importantly, 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. They sent MacArthur's military command in Australia intelligence that tracked Japanese troop and ship movements off the coast, until she herself was arrested.