In the closing days of the Second World War:
Weeks before, [Captain Roger Hilsman] had asked his former commanding officer, Colonel Ray Peers, to allow him to go on any rescue mission into Manchuria. Hilsman wanted to look for his father, a colonel captured in 1942 in the Philippines and last reported at Mukden. It was not known whether his father was still alive.
When Peers began to select men for the mercy missions, he remembered Hilsman’s request and sent for him. Dressed only in jungle fatigues, the captain hitched a ride to Kunming but missed the first flight to the advance base at Hsian.
He was forced to linger a day at Kunming, waiting for another plane. When he finally got to Hsian, he found he had missed again. Operation Cardinal had already gone on to Mukden.
On August 17 Hilsman got a ride on a B-24 going into the Mukden area. As it came over the airport, he could see a Russian fighter parked on the runway. When his plane landed and he jumped down on the apron, he saw a Japanese general engaged in conversation with a Russian officer. Hilsman went up to the two men and asked for transportation to the Hoten camp. The Japanese general put a staff car at his disposal.
Still dressed in his camouflage uniform, Hilsman leaped out of the car at the prison gate, ran inside, and asked the nearest man where he might find a Colonel Hilsman. The soldier stared at him, thought a moment, then said, “Yes, sir, that barracks there. Second floor.” He pointed at a building.
The captain ran through the door and went upstairs. He scanned the beds and went up to one of them where a middle-aged man sat. The man was staring at him and murmuring, “My God, my God.” Captain Roger Hilsman’s search had ended.
– William Craig, The Fall of Japan