"Wonder who your wives and girl friends are out with tonight?" cooed Tokyo Rose to GIs in the Pacific in World War II, hoping that her infamously seductive lilt would chip away at their morale. In fact, there never was a Tokyo Rose. The name was given by GIs to twelve or more English-speaking women who, beginning in 1942, regularly broadcast out of Tokyo and other points. By her own admission, one of the sultry voices belonged to Mrs. Iva Toguri d' Aquino, now 59, who operates a gift shop in Chicagoand is still thought of by some as Tokyo Rose.
She was a Los Angeles-born U.S. citizen when she went to Japan in 1941 to visit a sick aunt. She was trapped in the war, and as a virtual P.O.W., she claims, was forced to make several of the 340 U.S.-monitored broadcasts. Her on-the-air nickname was "Orphan Ann." A 1946 U.S. Army legal memo acknowledged that there was no evidence that she had ever addressed treasonous remarks to specific American units. She never renounced her American citizen ship and, as a result, was convicted in San Francisco in 1949 on one count of treason. She thus lost her citizenship, spent 6½ years in prison and was fined $10,000.
Now the 30,000-member Japanese-American Citizens League is circulating a petition to have Mrs. Aquino pardoned by President Ford. "The judge sentenced the legend of Tokyo Rose," contends the league, not a real person. Mrs. Aquino is far from sanguine about the outcome of the pardon effort, but recognizes that it would at least restore her U.S. citizenship. "America is my home; it will always be my home," she declares, "and I never did anything disloyal to the country I love."