PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Sometime in 1943, during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, a group of more than 40 officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy strolled into Club Tsubaki, an exclusive gentlemen’s club in the heart of downtown Manila.
They were there for one last evening of fun while they were still in port. That very evening, they were scheduled to climb back into their submarines and set out on an extended cruise.
The private party had been arranged by one of the subs’ commanders, who had struck up a friendship with the owner of Club Tsubaki, a gorgeous Italian-Filipina dancer named Dorothy Fuentes, aka Madame Tsubaki.
For hours, as Madame Tsubaki and her sultry staff danced and sang for the officers, the men had the time of their lives. The floor show was magnificent, the women were alluring, and the alcohol was flowing freely.
And, after a few more drinks, so were the details: The flotilla of subs was on its way to the Solomon Islands and would be leaving the next morning.
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