Deep Pockets, was owner operator of Club Tsubaki, a slinky Cabaret that came ever so close to that fine line of “brothel,” located in the heart Manila Philippines. Deep Pockets ran the ultra-exclusive nightspot and dance club, greeting the clientele at the door. The high end clientele consisted of high ranking Japanese officers, usually in route to various locations in the South Pacific to carry out the war. Floor shows, lap dances and sake flowed freely.
Deep Pockets' real name was Dorothy Clara Fuentes, a Filipina with Italian extraction...usually dressed in a white evening gown with a plunging neckline. Her real purpose was to get the Japanese drunk….make’em happy….and then get all the intelligence she could. Sometimes it was as simple as to the next destination of a troop transport ship. Other times it was the Japanese intentions and plans of an impending battle. The covert operation ran deep and wide….all the way to General MacArthur’s ears.
Even more interesting than the Covert Operations Brothel was the background of the Mrs. Fuentes, the Filipina Italian. Her real name was not Clara Fuentes….and she wasn’t from the Philippines. She was a red blooded American from Oregon and her name was Claire Phillips. She had married John Phillips who served in the 31st Infantry of the U.S. Army. They were stationed in Manila before the war started. John was killed when the Japanese invaded the Philippines and through a convoluted means lead to his widowed wife becoming a U.S. Spy. When learning about her decease husband, she tanned herself in a rice field for a week, came up with her means and a cover…and now you know of an unsung hero.
Where her services really aided in the American effort was what she did for the American POW of Bataan. The money that the club earned was used to by medical supplies, semblance of food and other necessities for the men of Cabanatuan compound. They were snuck in by the chaplains…often at high risks. The spy ring was wide…and there was always a fear of the hammer dropping. Clara Phillips was once tortured by the Japanese when they encroached on her efforts. She refused to break….and was released. She continued.
We are two weeks out from Bataan Memorial Marathon and the taper has begun. Over the past two years, when I get to the taper, I am mentally and emotionally spent. It is not the case this time. I don’t know if it is the history behind the race or the efforts of raising money for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, but I think that this may have something to do with it. The support I have had for the training and the running of this race has made each step easier. I cannot tell you what many of your emails and comments have meant to me and my family. I am a blessed guy, humbled and I thank you. This past Saturday consisted of only a 10 mile run with the pack. All of my other workouts have stayed consistent with the rest of my training schedule.
Join me next week as we close out the Bataan Story.