The Luckiest Guerrilla, A True Tale of Love, War and the Army (memoir)


RELEASE DATE: November 26, 2018

by Patricia Murphy Minch

“The Filipino people were loyal, went without food so we could eat, and suffered torture and death at times to protect us. I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for their support. Certainly our guerrilla action couldn’t have succeeded without them.” — Arthur Philip Murphy, in reference to his experience in North Luzon during World War II (18 August 1964)

Following the surrender on Bataan, 1942, brutal Japanese captors marched these poor unfortunates sixty-eight miles in the blazing sun, without food or water, north toward a filthy prison at Camp O’Donnell. Without weapons and without hope, the prisoners could only put one foot in front of the other and try to keep up. Thousands never made it.

As the grim enemy occupation took shape in mid-1942, approximately one hundred Americans remained loose in North Luzon. Some had fled into the jungle at the time of the surrender on Bataan. Others had managed to escape from the Death March. A few had gotten away from the hell that was Camp O’Donnell. Those who never reached Bataan had disappeared into the mountains. Gradually a few leaders emerged among them, and the guerrilla movement was born. Over the next three years, right under the noses of the Japanese occupation forces, the movement grew as disparate pockets of American and Filipino guerrillas were organized into an army totaling more than 22,000 men, poised to attack the hated enemy from the rear when General MacArthur finally made good on his promise.



The Luckiest Guerrilla
A True Tale of Love, War and the Army

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.

Additional information

Weight 1.5 lbs
Dimensions 6.14 × 9.21 × 1 in
Choose Format

Hardback w/Dustjacket, Paperback


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