Percival in Centre with Sultan of Johore and Bennett on his right.
At the Surrender 15 February 1942 at the Ford Factory – Percival is on right.
General Percival is at the centre of Japanese Photographers Feb 1942
Yamashita – the Japanese General who outfoxed Percival and Malaya Command – surely Wavell should have taken some responsibility for the surrender.
Initially Percival spent time in Singapore as POW at Changi before being sent to Formosa and then onto Manchuria with several dozen VIP captives. Both he and US General Wainwright were held at a special camp at Hsian in Japanese-occupied Manchuria. Hsian was about 100 miles north east of Mukden.
An OSS team had arrived at Hsian in August 1942 and freed them just weeks previously and before the Russians could reach him – Percival was recovered at the same time.
The Surrender, 2 September 1945
There were more than 250 warships anchored in Tokyo Bay and soon the sky would be filled with 450 carrier planes from US 3rd Fleet flying over in formation followed by US Army Air Force B-29 Bombers.
On VJ-Day, MacArthur invited two unexpected guests to witness the signing.
“Will General Percival and General Wainwright step forward and accompany me while I sign?” General Douglas MacArthur
General MacArthur invited Wainwright and Percival to the signing of Japan’s surrender on board USS ‘Missouri’.
‘General Douglas MacArthur never surrendered the Philippines. He was ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to relocate his headquarters to Australia. On the night of March 12, MacArthur, his family and some members of his staff were evacuated by PT-boats from Corregidor to Mindanao. They flew from the Del Monte Airfield to Australia. The US Armies in the Philippines were surrendered by Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright.’
‘Unfortunately, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941 (Philippine time) was a real surprise for MacArthur’s undermanned, underequipped command. Without any expectation of immediate reinforcements and supplies, it had to fight a rearguard action down the Bataan Peninsula and, finally, Corregidor. Wainwright had to surrender the entire USAFE or IJA General Homma would resume hostilities to the end.’
US General Wainwright had been the man left holding the fort at Corregidor in the Philippines after MacArthur departed the islands. Wainwright surrendered his force in May 1942, and he went into captivity.
‘Before leaving them, MacArthur gave his desperate troops false hope of reinforcements. MacArthur assured them that many thousands of fresh troops were on their way, with strong air support, to relieve the beleaguered American and Philippine forces on Bataan. He ordered them to fight on until these reinforcements arrived. The promise of a relieving force from the United States was a cruel lie, and MacArthur knew it to be so. The order to sick and starving troops to fight on in a hopeless cause.’
From the safety of Australia, MacArthur orders his troops to fight to the end
From the safety of Australia, MacArthur sent the following
callous message to General Wainwright:
“I am utterly opposed under any circumstances or conditions to the ultimate capitulation of this command (i.e. the Philippines). If food fails, you will prepare and execute an attack upon the enemy”.
MacArthur also lied that reinforcements were on their way from US.
One of the abandoned Americans on Bataan, Brigadier General William E. Brougher expressed the views of most of the sick and starving abandoned troops when he described the order and lie as:
“A foul trick of deception played on a large group of Americans by a commander-in-chief and his small staff who are now eating steak and eggs in Australia”.