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As World War II nears its end, American correspondent Phil Sutton arrives in the Philippines to get first-hand information on U. S. Col. John Hannegan. Sutton has written several paperback books extolling Hannegan's heroic leadership of a small band of Filipino guerrillas who are routing the remnants of Japanese troops. Sutton quickly realizes, however, that his idol is a ruthless killer who never takes prisoners, preferring to flush out the enemy and then shoot them. Sutton's revulsion at Hannegan's methods is somewhat mollified when they come across a native village where the inhabitants have been slaughtered by a fanatical Japanese officer intent upon destroying the local hospital. When the hospital's medical officer and personnel refuse to vacate their post, Hannegan reluctantly leaves some of his men behind while he takes to the hills to harass the enemy until reinforcements arrive. Sutton offers to join Hannegan and is granted permission. After delaying the attack on the hospital by hit-and-run tactics, Sutton and Hannegan return in time to help repulse the onslaught, but Hannegan is killed just before the reinforcements arrive. In spite of Hannegan's questionable methods, Sutton realizes that he will be remembered as a hero and decides to keep secret what he has learned.