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Claire Phillips - Heroine of WWII

Claire Phillips
DOB/DOD: December 2, 1908 Died: May 22, 1960
BACKGROUND: actress, singer, guerrilla leader, war hero
ALIASES/NICKNAMES: Dorothy Fuentes, a.k.a. High-Pockets
WANTED BY: Japanese Army
RANK: Civilian
OUTCOME: Using her nightclub, she extracted secrets from Japanese officers and secretly smuggled supplies to American prisoners and eventually captured before eventually being captured and tortured by the Japanese
HONORS: Presidential Medal of Freedom, recommended by General Douglas MacArthur

Revealed Information on Japanese Troops
and Gave Supplies to American Prisoners - Claire Phillips

In 1941, Claire Phillips moved to Manila with her baby daughter, planning to join a song and dance revue. She fell in love and married a young American soldier, her second marriage.

Claire fled Manila when the Japanese attacked the Philippines during World War II and she tried to stay near her husband's outfit. He was captured by the Japanese and later killed.

To evade the Japanese and avoid internment in a prison camp, she assumed a new, Italian identity -- Dorothy Fuentes. "Dorothy" took a dancing job in a nightclub and planned to open her own club.

Her plan, to relax Japanese officers in Manila and manipulate them to reveal troop movements. Her Club Tsubaki became the hotest club in the Phillipines. The sexy fan dances and glittery floor shows accomplished there purpose. Claire began supplying the local guerrilla units with intelligence reports and eventually the U.S. Navy. Claire became known as "High Pockets" -- a reference to stashing money and valuables in her lingerie.

Using the considerable income from her club, she started secretly supplying necessities to the prisoners at Cabanatuan including quinine, drugs, fruit, even food and letters. Her efforts saved lives and raised spirits.

After 18 months of spying, the Japanese arrested her. Despite torture, Phillips refused to talk. She was held in solitary confinement for six months.

American forces liberated the prison where she was held. Claire and her daughter returned home to Portland, Oregon and she published Manila Espionage.

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