The Luckiest Guerrilla tells the remarkable, enchanting story of Philippines survivor Colonel Arthur Philip Murphy. Relying extensively on letters from Arthur and his wife Lillian, their daughter Patricia has penned an engrossing World War II narrative that is both a historical treasure chest and captivating on a personal level.
Only ten hours after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they also bombed Luzon, Philippines. Ten days later enemy troops swarmed ashore, bent on swiftly annihilating General MacArthur’s ill-prepared defenses, commandeering the country’s natural resources, and subjugating its people.
By pure happenstance, Murphy avoided the pitiful surrender to the Japanese of 70,000-plus Fil-American troops there in April 1942, and he avoided the infamous Bataan Death March that resulted in the deaths of thousands. Instead, he opted to defy the surrender order and, with three companions, take his chances in the Igorot mountain country.
An obstinate, outspoken rebel, incurable romantic, amateur philosopher, and stoic executioner, Murphy was never captured, never wounded. He not only survived for three years behind enemy lines, he helped create a 22,000-man guerrilla army that harassed the Japanese, provided invaluable intelligence to MacArthur’s island-hopping army, and played a significant role in the battles fought during the waning months of the war, all while cultivating and maintaining, by whatever means necessary, continued support and loyalty among the Igorot headhunters of North Luzon.