Born Little Rock, Arkansas, 26 January, 1880.
Graduated first in his 93-man class, West Point Military Academy.
Commissioned "Corps of the Engineers". Sent to the Philippines. 1904: Promoted to First lieutenant.
Promoted to Major. World War 1: MacArthur commanded the 42nd Division on the Western Front. Decorated 13 times. Promoted to rank of Brigadier in 1918. Became divisional commander in France.
Promoted to Brigadier General. 1922: Sent to Philippines to commanded newly established Military District of Manila. 1928: Appointed president of American Olympic Committee.
1930: Promoted to Chief of Staff. 1935: President Roosevelt sent MacArthur to organize defence of the Philippines. 1937: He retired from army. Became the Philippines military adviser.
1941: Roosevelt recalled MacArthur to active duty. Japanese attacked the Philippines and destroyed half of MacArthur's air force. 22nd December, Japanese gained control of Manila. MacArthur orders a general retreat to the Bataan peninsula. 22nd February, 1942, MacArthur leave Bataan and goes to Australia.
MacArthur appointed Supreme Commander of Southwest Pacific Area. 7th August: Allied landings at Guadalcanal. MacArthur developed his island hopping tactics. MacArthur's last amphibious operation was at Okinawa.
After Japan surrendered, MacArthur was named Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. Head of the Allied occupation of Japan. He organized the war crimes tribunal in Japan.
1950: MacArthur appointed commander of the United Nations forces during Korean war. 15th September, 1950: MacArthur landed American and South Korean marines at Inchon. Harry S. Truman told MacArthur to limit the war to Korea. MacArthur disagreed, making stupid inflammatory statements showing his disagreements with the government.
April 1951: Harry S. Truman removed MacArthur from his command. In the United States MacArthur led a campaign against Harry S. Truman. Dwight Eisenhower elected president in 1952. He consulted with MacArthur about the Korean War. MacArthur's advice was the "atomic bombing of enemy military concentrations and installations in North Korea" and an attack on China. He rejected the advice. Died in Water Reed Hospital, Washington, 5th April, 1964.
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur,GCB (January 26, 1880 - April 5, 1964), was an American general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and later played a prominent role in the Pacific theater of World War II, receiving the Medal of Honor for his early service in the Philippines and on the Bataan Peninsula. He was designated to command the invasion of Japan in November 1945, and when that was no longer necessary he officially accepted their surrender on September 2, 1945. MacArthur oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951 and is credited for implementing far-ranging democratic changes. He led the United Nations Command forces defending South Korea in 1950-1951 against North Korea's invasion. MacArthur was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman in April 1951 for publicly disagreeing with Truman's Korean War Policy. MacArthur is credited with the military dictum, "In war, there is no substitute for victory" but he also warned, "The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." He fought in three major wars (World War I, World War II, Korean War) and was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army.
Douglas MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1880 in an upstairs room of the The Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal while his parents were briefly stationed there. His parents were Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr., a recipient of the Medal of Honor, and Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur of Norfolk, Virginia. Douglas MacArthur was the grandson of jurist and politician Arthur MacArthur, Sr. He was baptized at Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock on May 16, 1880. MacArthur's father was posted to San Antonio, Texas, in 1893. There, Douglas attended West Texas Military Academy (now known as T.M.I.: The Episcopal School of Texas), where he became an excellent student. MacArthur entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1898; accompanied by his mother, who occupied a hotel suite overlooking the grounds of the Academy. (The story is that his mother would use a telescope to look over into his room to ensure that he was studying.) An outstanding cadet, he graduated first in his 930-man class in 1903. For his prowess in sports, military training, and academic pursuit he was awarded the coveted title of "First Captain Of The Corps Of Cadets." Only two other students in the history of West Point surpassed his achievements (Robert E. Lee being one). MacArthur became a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After leaving West Point, MacArthur served his first tour of duty in the Philippines. Later, MacArthur served as an aide-de-camp to his father, and visited Japan during the Russo-Japanese war. In 1906 he was aide-de-camp to President Theodore Roosevelt. Leaving the White House in 1907, MacArthur performed engineering duties in Kansas, Milwaukee, and Washington D.C. until his assignment to the General Staff (1913-1917).
MacArthur distinguished himself with several acts of personal bravery in the Vera Cruz Expedition during 1914, including a railroad chase back to American lines. These duties were performed when he was serving on the Army General Staff. MacArthur was later in charge of dealing with the National Guard Bureau within the War Department. In early 1917, prior to U.S. entry into World War I, MacArthur was elevated two grades in rank from major to full colonel. Upon his promotion to full Colonel, he transferred his basic branch from the Corps of Engineers to the Infantry.
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During World War I MacArthur served in France as chief of staff of the 42nd ("Rainbow") Division. Upon his promotion to Brigadier General he became the commander of the 84th Infantry Brigade. A few weeks before the war ended, he became division commander. During the war, MacArthur received two Distinguished Service Crosses, seven Silver Stars, a Distinguished Service Medal, and two Purple Hearts. Douglas MacArthur made it his policy to "lead... men from the front". Because of this policy, and the fact that he usually refused to wear a gas mask while the rest of his men would, he had respiratory problems the rest of his life. Still, he was the most decorated officer of the war, and General Charles T. Menoher once said that he was the "greatest fighting man" in the army.
In 1919 MacArthur became superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which had become out of date in many respects and was much in need of reform. MacArthur ordered drastic changes in the tactical, athletic and disciplinary systems; he modernized the curriculum, adding liberal arts, government and economics courses. In October 1922, MacArthur left West Point for the Philippines. From 1922 to 1930, MacArthur served two tours of duty in the Philippines, the second as commander of the Philippine Department (1928–1930); he also served two tours as commander of corps areas in the states. In 1925, he was promoted to major general, the youngest officer of that rank at the time, and served on the court martial that convicted Brigadier General Billy Mitchell (he later portrayed himself in a non-speaking role in the Otto Preminger movie based on the trial). In 1928, he headed the U.S. Olympic Committee for the Amsterdam games.
General MacArthur was married twice. His first marriage was to Mrs. Henrietta Louise Cromwell Brooks on February 14, 1922, the divorced wife of Walter Brooks, Jr., and stepdaughter of Edward T. Stotesbury, a wealthy Philadelphia banker. She obtained a divorce from him in 1929 on the ground that he had failed to support her. She later married Lionel Atwill and died in August 1973. (Her brother James H.R. Cromwell was the husband of Doris Duke) MacArthur was married to Jean Faircloth of Murfreesboro, Tenn., April 30, 1937. Their only child, Arthur, was born in Manila on Feb. 21, 1938. Arthur graduated from Columbia University in 1961. ("Arthur" was a family name - being the name of MacArthur's grandfather, father and elder brother. Since his brother had failed to produce any male progeny, Douglas "laid claim" to the name for his own son, thus Arthur MacArthur IV.)
His most controversial act came in 1932, when Hoover ordered him to disperse the "Bonus Army" of veterans who were in the capital protesting against the government. MacArthur was criticized for using excessive force to disperse the protesters.
By the time MacArthur finished his tour as Chief of Staff in October 1935. MacArthur's main programs included the development of new mobilization plans, the establishment of a mobile general headquarters air force, and a four-army reorganization which improved administrative efficiency. He supported the New Deal by enthusiastically operating the Civilian Conservation Corps. He brought along many talented mid-career officers, including George C. Marshall, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, MacArthur's support for a strong military and his public criticism of pacifism and isolationism made him unpopular with the Roosevelt administration. Following his retirement in December 1937, he reverted to his permanent grade of major general and accepted an offer in the Philippines.
When the Commonwealth of the Philippines achieved semi-independent status in 1935, President of the Philippines Manuel L. Quezon asked MacArthur to supervise the creation of a Philippine Army. As a general, MacArthur elected not to retire and remained on the active list as a major general, and with Roosevelt's approval MacArthur accepted the assignment. MacArthur had been friends with Quezon when his father was Governor General. Among MacArthur's assistants as Military Adviser to the Commonwealth of the Philippines was Dwight D. Eisenhower. When MacArthur retired from the U.S. Army in 1937, his rank again became that of a general, and he was made Field Marshal of the Philippine Army by President Quezon. (MacArthur is the senior officer on the rolls of the Philippine Army todayhe is also the only American military officer ever to hold the rank of field marshal). In July 1941 Roosevelt recalled him to active duty in the U.S. Army as a major general and named him commander of United States Armed Forces in the Far East promoting him to a lieutenant general the following day. In December, he became a four star general yet again when the Japanese attacked across a wide front in the Pacific.
On December 7, 1941 MacArthur was Allied commander in the Philippines. He courted controversy on several occasions, especially when he overruled his air commander, General Lewis H. Brereton, who had requested permission to launch 35 B-17s to attack Japanese shipping in nearby Taiwan. MacArthur refused and demanded a photo reconnaissance to help target identification prior to launching an attack. Several hours later, the Japanese attacked Clark Field and destroyed 17 of the 35 B-17s while on the ground. MacArthur and Chief of Staff Sutherland disputed Brereton's account of these events. The original prewar plan assumed the Japanese could not be prevented from landings in Luzon and called for U.S. and Filipino forces to abandon Manila and retreat with their supplies to the Bataan peninsula. MacArthur, however, decided to gamble and stop the Japanese at the water's edge. However, the Japanese could not be stopped, and the allied troops barely escaped destruction retreating back to Bataan. Through a clerical error, food to be transferred from Manila to Bataan was left to fall into Japanese hands. Early in April 1942 the allied forces on Bataan surrendered due to Japanese superiority in aircraft and material. MacArthur's headquarters during the Philippines campaign of 1941-1942 was on the island fortress of Corregidor. His fortress was clearly marked and was the target of Japanese air attacks, until Manuel Quezon cautioned MacArthur "not to subject himself to danger." In March 1942, as Japanese forces tightened their grip on the Philippines, MacArthur was ordered by President Roosevelt to relocate to Melbourne, Australia, after Quezon had already left. With his wife, four-year-old son, and a select group of advisers and subordinate military commanders, MacArthur left the Philippines on PT 41 commanded by Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley, and successfully evaded an intense Japanese search for him.
MacArthur reached Mindanao on March 13 and boarded a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber three days later; on March 17, he arrived at Batchelor Airfield in Australia's Northern Territory, about 60 miles (100 km) south of Darwin, before flying to Alice Springs where he took the Ghan railway through the Australian outback to Adelaide. His famous speech, in which he said, "I came out of Bataan and I shall return", was first made at Terowie, (a small railway township) in South Australia, on March 20. Upon his arrival in Adelaide, MacArthur abbreviated this to the now-famous, "I came through and I shall return" that made headlines; Washington asked MacArthur to amend his prophecy to, "We shall return." He ignored the request. And unlikely as it seemed in the far reaches of Australia, he would arise from the ignominy of flight and return in triumph to make his prophecy come true'. Also, during this period, President Quezon decorated MacArthur with the Philippine Distinguished Conduct Star. For his leadership of the defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor (April 1, 1942). . Arthur and Douglas MacArthur are the first father and son to be awarded a Medal of Honor. (They remained the only pair until 2001 when Theodore Roosevelt was awarded one posthumously for his service during the Spanish American War. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. had earned one posthumously for his service during World War II). MacArthur was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA). Australian Prime Minister John Curtin put MacArthur in command of the Australian military, which following the isolation of the Philippines was numerically larger than MacArthur's American forces. The Allied force under his command included a small number of personnel from the Netherlands East Indies and other countries. One of MacArthur's first tasks was to reassure Australians, who feared a Japanese invasion. The fighting at this time was predominantly in and around New Guinea and the Dutch East Indies. On July 20, 1942, SWPA headquarters was moved to Brisbane, Queensland, taking over the AMP Insurance Society building (later known as MacArthur Central). Australian successes at the Battle of Milne Bay and the Kokoda Track campaign came in late 1942, the first victories by Allied land forces anywhere against the Japanese. When it was reported the 32nd U.S. Infantry Division, an inexperienced National Guard unit, had proved incompetent in the Allied offensive against Buna and Gona, the major Japanese beachheads in northeastern New Guinea, MacArthur told U.S. I Corps commander, Robert L. Eichelberger, to assume direct control of the division: Bob, I'm putting you in command at Buna. Relieve Harding ... I want you to remove all officers who won't fight. Relieve regimental and battalion commanders; if necessary, put sergeants in charge of battalions and corporals in charge of companies ... Bob, I want you to take Buna, or not come back alive ... And that goes for your chief of staff, too. Allied land forces commander, General Thomas Blamey, did not want the 41st U.S. Infantry, another inexperienced National Guard division, to reinforce the Gona assault, and requested 21st Australian Infantry Brigade be sent instead, as "he knew they would fight". This was done but a regiment of the 41st later went to Gona. In March 1943, the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved MacArthur's grand strategy, known as Operation CARTWHEEL, which aimed to capture the major Japanese base at Rabaul by taking strategic points to use as forward bases. During 1944 this was modified to bypass Rabaul and let the forces there "wither on the vine." Initially, the majority of his land forces were Australian, but increasing numbers of U.S. troops arrived in the theater, including Marines, the Sixth Army (Alamo Force), and later the Eighth Army. MacArthur's advancement of land forces up the 1,500 mile (2,400 km) coast was sequenced specifically on terrain selected for its ability to be made into landing strips for the tactical support aircraft. By advancing in leaps always within the range of his fighter-bombers (typically P-38 Lightnings), he could maintain air superiority over his land operations. This provided critical close air support and also denied the enemy sea and airborne resupply, effectively cutting the Japanese forces off as they were under attack.
Allied forces under MacArthur's command, covered by aircraft from Halsey's carriers, landed at Leyte Island, on October 20, 1944, fulfilling MacArthur's vow to return to the Philippines; the carriers were tied up providing support for months, until the rainy season (which MacArthur doubtless knew about, after a decade in the islands) ended, before MacArthur's engineers could build airstrips ashore. He consolidated his hold on the archipelago in the Battle of Luzon after heavy fighting, despite a massive Japanese naval counterattack in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, too late to stop the invasion or do more than slow the conquest. With the reconquest of the islands, MacArthur moved his headquarters to Manila, where he announced his plan for the invasion of Japan in late 1945. The invasion was pre-empted by the Japanese capitulation, and on 2 September, MacArthur received the formal Japanese surrender, which ended World War II.
MacArthur was ordered on August 29 to exercise authority through the Japanese government machinery. Some believe MacArthur may have made his greatest contribution to history in the next five and a half years, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan (SCAP). However, some historians criticize his work to exonerate Emperor Showa and all members of the imperial family implicated in the war such as prince Chichibu, prince Asaka, prince Takeda, prince Higashikuni and prince Hiroyasu Fushimi from criminal prosecutions. As soon as November 26, 1945, MacArthur confirmed to admiral Mitsumasa Yonai that the emperor's abdication would not be necessary.  MacArthur exonerated Hirohito and ignored the advice of many members of the imperial family and Japanese intellectuals who publicly asked for the abdication of the Emperor and the implementation of a regency. MacArthur and his GHQ staff helped a devastated Japan rebuild itself, institute a democratic government, and chart a course that made Japan one of the world's leading industrial powers. The U.S. was firmly in control of Japan to oversee its reconstruction, and MacArthur was effectively the interim leader of Japan from 1945 until 1948. In 1946, MacArthur's staff drafted a new constitution that renounced war and reduced the emperor to a figurehead; this constitution remains in use in Japan to this day. He also pushed the Japanese Diet into adopting a decentralization plan to break apart the large Japanese companies (zaibatsu) and foster the first Japanese labor unions. "The Japanese people since the war have undergone the greatest reformation recorded in modern history. With a commendable will, eagerness to learn, and marked capacity to understand, they have from the ashes left in war’s wake erected in Japan an edifice dedicated to the supremacy of individual liberty and personal dignity, and in the ensuing process there has been created a truly representative government committed to the advance of political morality, freedom of economic enterprise, and social justice." - General Douglas MacArthur's Address to Congress of the United States, April 19, 1951. These reconstruction plans alarmed many in the U.S. Defense and State Departments, believing they conflicted with the prospect of Japan (and its industrial capacity) as a bulwark against the spread of communism in Asia. Some of MacArthur's reforms, such as his labor laws, were rescinded in 1948 when his unilateral control of Japan was ended by the increased involvement of the State Department. MacArthur handed over power to the newly-formed Japanese government in 1949 and remained in Japan until relieved by President Truman on April 11, 1951. Truman replaced SCAP leader MacArthur with General Matthew Ridgway of the U.S. Army. By 1952, Japan was a sovereign nation under the democratic constitution MacArthur had pushed for, which had been in effect since 1947. In late 1945, Allied military commissions in various cities of the Orient tried 4,000 Japanese officers for war crimes. About 3,000 were given prison terms and 920 executed; the charges included the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, and the sack of Manila. The trial in Manila of General Yamashita Tomoyuki, Japanese commander in the Philippines from 1944, was under MacArthur's direction and has been particularly criticized. General Yamashita was hanged for the massacre of Manila which he had not ordered and of which he was probably unaware. It was ordered by Vice Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi who was nominally subordinate to General Yamashita. Iwabuchi had killed himself as the battle for Manila was ending.
In 1945, as part of the surrender of Japan, the United States agreed with the Soviet Union to divide the Korean peninsula into two occupation zones at 38th parallel north. This resulted in the creation of two states: the western-aligned Republic of Korea (ROK) (often referred to as "South Korea"), and the Soviet-aligned and Communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) (generally referred to as "North Korea"). After the surprise attack by the DPRK on June 25, 1950, started the Korean War, the United Nations Security Council authorized a United Nations (UN) force to help South Korea. MacArthur, as US theater commander, became commander of the UN forces. In September, MacArthur's force made a daring and successful amphibious landing at Inchon, deep behind North Korean lines. This outflanked the North Koreans, forcing them to retreat northward in disarray. UN forces pursued the DPRK forces, eventually approaching the Yalu River border with the China. MacArthur boasted: "The war is over. The Chinese are not coming... The Third Division will be back in Fort Benning for Christmas dinner." With the DPRK forces largely destroyed, troops of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) quietly crossed the Yalu River. Chinese foreign minister Zhou Enlai issued warnings via India's foreign minister, Krishna Menon, that an advance to the Yalu would force China into the war. When questioned about this threat by President Truman and Secretary of State Dean Acheson, MacArthur dismissed it completely. MacArthur's staff ignored battlefield evidence that PLA troops had entered North Korea in strength. The Chinese moved through the snowy hills, struck hard, and routed the UN forces, forcing them on a long retreat. Calling the Chinese attack the beginning of "an entirely new war," MacArthur repeatedly requested authorization to strike Chinese bases in Manchuria, inside China. Truman was concerned that such actions would draw the Soviet Union into the conflict and risk nuclear war.
In April 1951, MacArthur's habitual disregard of his superiors led to a crisis. He sent a letter to Representative Joe Martin (R-Massachusetts), the House Minority Leader, disagreeing with President Truman's policy of limiting the Korean war to avoid a larger war with China. This, and similar letters and statements, were seen by Truman as a violation of the American constitutional principle that military commanders are subordinate to civilian leadership, and usurpation of the President's authority to make foreign policy. MacArthur had ignored this principle out of necessity while SCAF in Japan. Surrounding himself with sycophants and publicity spinners, MacArthur effectively cut himself off from Washington and ignored suggestions and even orders from superiors, as he felt that none were superior to him. By this time President Truman decided MacArthur was insubordinate, and relieved him of command, leading to a storm of controversy.
MacArthur returned to Washington, D.C. (his first time in the continental U.S. in 11 years), where he made his last public appearance in a farewell address to the U.S. Congress, interrupted by thirty ovations. In his closing speech, he recalled: "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away." "And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-bye." On his return from Korea, after his relief by Truman, MacArthur encountered massive public adulation, which aroused expectations that he would run for the presidency as a Republican in the 1952 election. However, a U.S. Senate Committee investigation of his removal (which largely vindicated the actions taken by President Truman), chaired by Richard Russell, contributed to a marked cooling of the public mood, and hopes for a MacArthur presidential run died away. MacArthur, in Reminiscences, repeatedly stated he had no political aspirations.
In the 1952 Republican presidential nomination contest, MacArthur was not a candidate and instead endorsed Senator Robert Taft of Ohio; rumors were rife Taft offered the vice presidential nomination to MacArthur. Taft did persuade MacArthur to be the keynote speaker at the convention. The speech was not well received. Taft lost the nomination to Dwight Eisenhower; MacArthur was silent during the campaign, which Eisenhower won by a landslide. Once elected, Eisenhower consulted with MacArthur and adopted his suggestion of threatening the use of nuclear weapons to end the war. MacArthur became head of Remington Rand Corporation and spent the remainder of his life in New York. He made a spectacular "sentimental journey" to the Philippines in 1961, when he was decorated by President Carlos P. Garcia with the Philippine Legion of Honor, rank of Chief Commander. President John F. Kennedy solicited MacArthur's counsel in 1961. The first of two meetings was shortly after the Bay of Pigs Invasion. MacArthur was extremely critical of the Pentagon and its military advice to Kennedy. MacArthur also cautioned the young President to avoid a U.S. military build-up in Vietnam, pointing out domestic problems should be given a much greater priority. Shortly prior to his death he gave similar advice to the new President, Lyndon Johnson.
MacArthur was enormously popular with the American public, even after his defeat in the Philippines, and across the United States streets, public works, children and even a dance step were named for him.
The Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, an extension of Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, is named for the general. It has a life-size statue of MacArthur in front of the building. Douglas MacArthur's Medal of Honor is on permanent display in the MacArthur Gallery, along with a collection of MacArthur's effects, including swords from the Philippines and Japan, a collection of his pipes, and other personal belongings. Two towns in the Philippines are named after him: MacArthur, Leyte, and General MacArthur, Eastern Samar. The highway that spans from Kalookan, Metro Manila to as far as La Union in the Philippines is named after MacArthur. It is now aptly called "MacArthur Highway." The large MacArthur Central plaza in downtown Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, is named after Douglas MacArthur and has as its logo the five stars of his rank.
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