13 February 1942 – Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan

Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan, a World War II officer, was done for spying for Japan on this day in 1942.

Heenan was born in New Zealand and was serving in the Indian army when he was caught spying for the opposition. He was found out during the Malayan campaign of the Second World War.

There was no trial – the only thing the accusers had to go on was that, in the face of certain defeat against the Japs, Heenan had been taunting his men, saying he’d be free while they were all taken as prisoners. So the military police took their own course of action – Heenan was reportedly shot in a summary execution during the Battle of Singapore.

According to the journalist and author, Lynette Silver said: ‘it is alleged he was taken to the dockside, where a sergeant executed him with a single pistol shot to the back of the head. The body was then dumped in the harbour.’

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