1942: Avraham Stern, a strange bedfellow 270: St. Valentine

1942: Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan, Japanese spy

February 13th, 2008 Headsman

On this date in 1942, with the British about to abandon Singapore to the Japanese, turncoat officer Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan was summarily executed at Keppel Harbour.

Heenan, who had taken a long leave in Japan in 1938-39, used a wireless set to feed intelligence aiding the Japanese army’s invasion of Southeast Asia.

Heenan was caught on December 10, but there was little werewithal to handle his case as the defenders’ situation deteriorated desperately — less for anything Heenan had on offer than for the comprehensive weakness of the British position. He never seems to have been judicially sentenced, but he was shot by a guard chosen by lot two days before Britain surrendered Singapore. Something of an outsider to begin with, Heenan had begun taunting his guards on their impending defeat.

The particulars of Heenan’s betrayal, and even his identity, were covered up until long after the war. His name was even listed on Britain’s Battle of Singapore memorial.

Part of the Themed Set: Unruly Britannia.

Also on this date

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,England,Espionage,Infamous,No Formal Charge,Occupation and Colonialism,Shot,Singapore,Soldiers,Spies,Summary Executions,Treason,Wartime Executions

2 Responses to “1942: Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan, Japanese spy”

  1. 1
    Fiz (UK) Says:

    I can’t really say I care about the fate of this man. My brother in law lost his father when he was shot by the Japanese at Changi for the supreme crime of listening to the BBC World Service! We found his last letters to his wife inside a hidden desk drawer. My brother in law had never seen them before and it was a great shock to us all. His last sentences were ” They are coming for me now. Kiss the boy for me and always remember I love you”. I’d rather remember him than a spy!

  2. 2
    ExecutedToday.com » Themed Set: Unruly Britannia Says:

    [...] Feb. 13: Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan [...]

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