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James Cushing Is Dead

Aug. 29, 1963 - James Cushing (right), an American guerrilla leader who, during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II, captured a Japanese admiral (left) along with Japanese plans for the defense of the Marianas Islands — in particular, Saipan — died of a heart attack in Manila Monday at the age of 53. Mr. Cushing, who held the rank of lieutenant colonel, operated on Cebu Island during the war. It was there that he led a tattered force that captured Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome and nine staff officers when their seaplane was forced to land. Cushing transmitted plans he found in the admiral’s possession to Allied headquarters in Australia. They proved invaluable. When the Japanese learned of the capture, they threatened to massacre the inhabitants of Cebu unless Cushing returned Admiral Fukudome and his staff to the Japanese garrison. Cushing had orders from Australia to ignore the Japanese demand, but he went ahead and released Fukudome and other survivors of the crash — but not the captured military plans — so that Japanese forces would not perpetrate the massacre, which they did not. Cushing was temporarily demoted but later restored to full rank, and he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1945. His brother Walter, also a guerrilla leader, operated in northern Luzon and was killed by the Japanese. After the war, Col. Cushing lived in obscurity and poverty in Taytay, Palawan island.


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