Bonner Frank Fellers
- Born: Feb 7, 1896
- Marriage: Dorothy Bush Dysart on Nov 25, 1925 in West Point, New York
- Died: Oct 7, 1973, Washington, DC at age 77
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Bonner Frank Fellers (1896 - 1973), during World War II, was a Colonel who served as the USA military attaché to Cairo, Egypt.
Adolph Hitler called Fellers "our good source" because, for months during the darkest days of the Second World War, he acted recklessly in collecting and then sending military facts and gossip concerning Malta, North Africa and the Mediterranean, (learned from Allies who had trusted his discretion too much), to General George C. Marshall by radio dispatches encoded in the US "Black Code" which had been stolen by an Italian spy and given to the Germans.
Rommel referred to Fellers as "my bonnie fellow" for the Code intercepts. In Fellers' defense, he had been ordered to use State Department codes over his objections and had been ordered to report in great detail by Marshall. Fellers followed his orders explicitly and the Postwar attacks on him generally come from those who distrusted him because of his close association both before and during the War with Douglas MacArthur. Marshall never found any fault with Fellers or with his actions in Cairo.
German Naval Intelligence used Fellers' necessarily voluminous information to help sink Allied convoys that were attempting to deliver vital war supplies to Malta, increasing the starvation and suffering of the embattled citizens of the vitally strategic island, and making possible some of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's early victories in North Africa. At MacArthur's request and over the objections of both the State and War Departments, Fellers was transferred from Cairo to the South-West Pacific.
(General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave "the cut direct", a back-turning insult, to an English beauty who expressed admiration for Fellers, after saying "Any friend of Bonner Fellers is no friend of mine!" Quote from "At All Costs" by Sam Moses.) If this story is true, it probably came from Eisenhower's long-standing dislike of everyone connected in any regard with Douglas MacArthur. Eisenhower did not know Fellers well and had no basis for making such a remark.
Fellers was later promoted to Brigadier General and assigned to the Pacific where he served as the Chief of Psychological Operations under General Douglas MacArthur. He played a major role during the occupation of Japan by meeting the major criminal suspects of the Tokyo tribunal and, according to historians Herbert Bix and John W. Dower, allowing them to coordinate their stories to exonerate Emperor Hirohito and all members of his family (H. Bix, Hirohito and the making of modern Japan, Perennial, 2001, p.583, John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat, 1999.) This was in accordance with Supreme Commander of Allied Powers instructions that the Emperor was to be given a free pass.
In October 1946, Fellers was demobilized by Dwight Eisenhower and returned to his permanent rank of full colonel. He then began to work for the Republican National Committee in Washington. (P and S Seagrave, The Yamato dynasty, 1999, p.216)
Bonner married Dorothy Bush Dysart on Nov 25, 1925 in West Point, New York. (Dorothy Bush Dysart was born on Jun 14, 1900 in St. Louis, Missouri and died in 1981.)