Douglas MacArthur, the son of the high-ranking military figure, Arthur MacArthur, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on 26th January, 1880. Although previously a poor scholar, in 1903 MacArthur graduated first in his 93-man class, at West Point Military Academy.
Commissioned in the Corps of the Engineers, MacArthur was sent by the United States Army to the Philippines and by 1904 had been promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. Later that year he joined his father who was serving in Far East before becoming aide-de-camp to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.
MacArthur was assigned to general staff duty with the War Department and was an official observer with the Vera Cruz Expedition. On the advice of General Leonard Wood, MacArthur was promoted to major.
In the First World War MacArthur commanded the 42nd Division on the Western Front and was decorated 13 times and cited seven additional times for bravery. Promoted the the rank of brigadier in August, 1918, three months later he became the youngest divisional commander in France.
After the war MacArthur returned to the United States where he became brigadier general and the youngest ever superintendent of West Point in its 117 year history. Over the next three years he doubled its size and modernized the curriculum.
In 1922 MacArthur was sent to the Philippines where he commanded the newly established Military District of Manila. At the age of forty-three MacArthur became the army's youngest general and in 1928 was appointed president of the American Olympic Committee.
MacArthur was appointed chief of staff of the US Army in 1930. Once again he was the youngest man to hold the office and over the next few years attempted to modernize America's army of 135,000 men. MacArthur developed right-wing political views and at one meeting argued that: "Pacifism and its bedfellow, Communism, are all about us. Day by day this cancer eats deeper into the body politic."
In June 1932, MacArthur, controversially used tanks, four troops of cavalry with drawn sabers, and infantry with fixed bayonets, on the Bonus Army in Washington. He justified his attack on former members of the United States Army by claiming that the country was on the verge of a communist revolution. Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton also took part in this operation.
The radical journalist, Drew Pearson, was highly critical of MacArthur's actions. MacArthur's ex-wife, Louise Cromwell, provided Pearson with confidential information about her former husband. This included the story that MacArthur's promotion to major general had come through the political intervention of her father, Edward T. Stotesbury. After publishing the story Pearson found himself being sued by MacArthur for $1,750,000.
Pearson looked to be in trouble when Louise Cromwell refused to testify in court. After receiving a tip-off from one of his contacts, Pearson met MacArthur's young mistress who had been dispatched back to the Philippines. She handed over a collection of his love letters. Pearson then used these letters to persuade MacArthur to withdraw his libel action.
In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent MacArthur to organize the defence of the Philippines. He retired from the army in 1937 but stayed on the island where he became the country's military adviser.
When negotiations with the Japanese government broke down in June 1941, Roosevelt recalled MacArthur to active duty as a major general and was granted $10 million to mobilize the Philippine Army. It was also decided to send MacArthur 100 B-17 Flying Fortress to help defend the Philippines.
Most of MacArthur's troops were deployed to protect the two main islands of Luzon and Mindanao and by October 1941, MacArthur informed General George Marshall that he now had 135,000 troops, 227 assorted fighters, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft and this provided a "tremendously strong offensive and defensive force" and claimed that the Philippines was now the "key or base point of the US defence line."
The Japanese Air Force attacked the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on the 7th December 1941. The following day they carried out air strikes on the Philippines and destroyed half of MacArthur's air force. MacArthur was much criticized for this as he had been told to move his airforce after the raid on Hawaii the previous day.
The Japanese Army also invaded the Philippines and they soon held the three air bases in northern Luzon. On 22nd December the 14th Army landed at Lingayen Gulf and quickly gained control of Manila from the inexperienced Filipino troops. Although only 57,000 Japanese soldiers were landed on Luzon it had little difficulty capturing the island.
General Douglas MacArthur now ordered a general retreat to the Bataan peninsula. A series of Japanese assaults forced the US defensive lines back and on 22nd February, 1942, MacArthur was ordered to leave Bataan and go to Australia. General Jonathan Wainright remained behind with 11,000 soldiers and managed to hold out until the beginning of May.
The American forces were re-organized and MacArthur was appointed Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area and Admiral Chester Nimitz became Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet. Along with Admiral Ernest King Commander-in-Chief of the US Navy, Macarthur and Nimitz, decided that their first objective should be to establish and protect a line of communications across the South Pacific to Australia. This resulted in the battles of Coral Sea and Midway, where the Japanese Navy lost all four of her carriers.
In the summer of 1942 fighting in the Pacific was concentrated around Rabaul, the key Japanese military and air base in the Soloman Islands. On 7th August there was an Allied landings at Guadalcanal. Over the next eight months there were ten major land battles and seven major naval engagements in this area.
MacArthur now developed what became known as his island hopping tactics. This strategy involved amphibious landings on vulnerable islands, therefore bypassing Japanese troop concentrations on fortified islands. This had the advantage of avoiding frontal assaults and thus reducing the number of American casualties.
By the spring of 1944, 100,000 Japanese soldiers were cut off at Rabaul and the Japanese 18th Army were surrounded in New Guinea. In September US troops took Morotai and all of New Guinea was now in Allied hands.
It was not until 1944 that MacArthur was given permission to begin the campaign to recapture the Philippines. The first objective was the capture of Leyte, an island situated between Luzon and Mindanao. After a two day naval bombardment General Walter Krueger and the 6th Army landed on 22nd October, 1944.
This was followed by Leyte Gulf, the largest naval engagement in history. It was a decisive victory for the Allies with the Japanese Navy lost four carriers, three battleships and ten cruisers. It was now clear that the US Navy now had control of the Pacific and that further Allied landings in the region were likely to be successful.
After bitter fighting the US forces captured the important port of Ormoc on 10th December. By the time Leyte was secured the US Army had lost 3,500 men. It is estimated that over 55,000 Japanese soldiers were killed during the campaign.
On 9th January 1945 Allied troops landed on Luzon, the largest of the islands in the Philippines. The Japanese Army, under General Tomoyuki Yamashita, fought a vigorous rearguard action but within a month MacArthur and his troops had crossed the Central Plain and were approaching Manila. Yamashita and his main army now withdrew to the mountains but left enough troops in Manila to make the capture of the city as difficult as possible. An estimated 16,000 Japanese soldiers were killed before it was taken on 4th March 1945.
General Robert Eichelberger and the US 8th Army landed on Mindanao on 10th March and began advancing through the southern Philippines. This included the capture of Panay, Cebu, Negros and Bohol.
MacArthur's last amphibious operation was at Okinawa. Lying just 563km (350 miles) from the Japanese mainland, it offered excellent harbour, airfield and troop-staging facilities. It was a perfect base from which to launch a major assault on Japan, consequently it was well-defended, with 120,000 troops under General Mitsuru Ushijima. The Japanese also committed some 10,000 aircraft to defending the island.
After a four day bombardment the 1,300 ship invasion forced moved into position off the west coast of Okinawa on 1st April 1945. The landing force, under the leadership of Lieutenant-General Simon Buckner, initially totalled 155,000. However, by the time the battle finished, more than 300,000 soldiers were involved in the fighting. This made it comparable to the Normandy landing in mainland Europe in June, 1944.
On the first day 60,000 troops were put ashore against little opposition at Haguushi. The following day two airfields were captured by the Americans. However when the soldiers reached Shuri they came under heavy fire and suffered heavy casualties.
Reinforced by the 3rd Amphibious Corps and the 6th Marine Division the Americans were able to repel a ferocious counter-attack by General Mitsuru Ushijima on 4th May. At sea off Okinawa a 700 plane kamikaze raid on 6th April sunk and damaged 13 US destroyers. The giant battleship, Yamato, lacking sufficient fuel for a return journey, was also sent out on a suicide mission and was sunk on 7th May.
On 11th May, Lieutenant-General Simon Buckner, ordered another offensive on the Shuri defences, and the Japanese were finally forced to withdraw. Buckner was killed on 18th June and three days later his replacement, General Roy Geiger, announced that the island had finally been taken. When it was clear that he had been defeated, Mitsuru Ushijima committed ritual suicide (hari-kiri).
The capture of Okinawa cost the Americans 49,000 in casualties of whom 12,520 died. More than 110,000 Japanese were killed on the island. While the island was being prepared for the invasion of Japan, a B-29 Superfortress bomber dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945. Japan did not surrender immediately and a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later. On 10th August the Japanese surrendered and the Second World War was over.
MacArthur was named Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) and he received the formal surrender and President Harry S. Truman appointed him as head of the Allied occupation of Japan. He was given responsibility of organizing the war crimes tribunal in Japan and was criticized for his treatment of Tomoyuki Yamashita, who was executed 23rd February, 1946. However he was praised for successfully encouraging the creation of democratic institutions, religious freedom, civil liberties, land reform, emancipation of women and the formation of trade unions.
On the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, MacArthur was appointed commander of the United Nations forces. The surprise character of the attack enabled the North Koreans to occupy all the South, except for the area around the port of Pusan. On 15th September, 1950, MacArthur landed American and South Korean marines at Inchon, 200 miles behind the North Korean lines. The following day he launched a counterattack on the North Koreans. When they retreated, MacArthur's forces carried the war northwards, reaching the Yalu River, the frontier between Korea and China on 24th October, 1950.
Harry S. Truman and Dean Acheson, the Secretary of State, told MacArthur to limit the war to Korea. MacArthur disagreed, favoring an attack on Chinese forces. Unwilling to accept the views of Truman and Acheson, MacArthur began to make inflammatory statements indicating his disagreements with the United States government.
MacArthur gained support from right-wing members of the Senate such as Joe McCarthy who led the attack on Truman's administration: "With half a million Communists in Korea killing American men, Acheson says, 'Now let's be calm, let's do nothing'. It is like advising a man whose family is being killed not to take hasty action for fear he might alienate the affection of the murders."
In April 1951, Harry S. Truman removed MacArthur from his command of the United Nations forces in Korea. McCarthy now called for Truman to be impeached and suggested that the president was drunk when he made the decision to fire MacArthur: "Truman is surrounded by the Jessups, the Achesons, the old Hiss crowd. Most of the tragic things are done at 1.30 and 2 o'clock in the morning when they've had time to get the President cheerful."
On his arrival back in the United States MacArthur led a campaign against Harry S. Truman and his Democratic Party administration. Soon after Dwight Eisenhower was 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 and MacArthur played no role in Eisenhower's new Republican administration.
After leaving the United States Army, MacArthur accepted a job as chairman of the board of the Remington Rand Corporation. Douglas MacArthur died in the Water Reed Hospital, Washington, on 5th April, 1964.
29th January, 1942: MacArthur has started a Hood of communications that seem to indicate a refusal on his part to look facts in the face, an old trait of his. He has talked about big naval concentrations; he has forwarded (probably inspired) letter from Mr. Quezon; statements (Quisling) from Aguinaldo; he complains about lack of unity of command, about lack of information. He's jittery!
3rd February, 1942: Looks like MacArthur is losing his nerve. I'm hoping that his yelps are just his way of spurring us on, but he is always an uncertain factor. The Dutch want planes; the Australians want planes; ABDA has to have planes; China must get them; the British need them in Near East. What a mess!
8th February, 1942: Another long message on "strategy" to MacArthur. He sent in one extolling the virtues of the flank offensive. Wonder what he thinks we've been studying for all these years. His lecture would have been good for plebes. Today another long wail from Quezon. I'll have to wait though, because it is badly garbled. I think he wants to give up.
23rd February, 1942: Message to MacArthur was approved by president and dispatched. I'm dubious about the thing. I cannot help believing that we are disturbed by editorials and reacting to "public opinion" rather than to military logic. Watson is certain we must get MacArthur out, as being worth "five army corps. " He is doing a good job where he is, but I'm doubtful that he'd do so well in more complicated situations. Bataan is made to order for him. It's in the public eye; it has made him a public hero; it has all the essentials of drama; and he is the acknowledged king on the spot. If brought out, public opinion will force him into a position where his love of the limelight may ruin him.
19th March, 1942: MacArthur is out of Philippine Islands. Now supreme commander of "Southwest Pacific Area." The newspapers acclaim the move - the public has built itself a hero out of its own imagination. I hope he can do the miracles expected and predicted; we could use a few now. Strange that no one sees the dangers. Some apply to MacArthur, who could be ruined by it. But this I minimize; I know him too well. The other danger is that we will move too heavily in the Southwest. Urging us in that direction now will be: Australians, New Zealanders, our public (wanting support for the hero), and MacArthur. If we tie up our shipping for the SW Pacific, we'll lose this war.
Admiral King claimed the Pacific as the rightful domain of the Navy; he seemed to regard the operations there as almost his own private war; he apparently felt that the only way to remove the blot on the Navy disaster at Pearl Harbor was to have the Navy command a great victory over Japan; he was adamant in his refusal to allow any major fleet to be under other command than that of naval officers although maintaining that naval officers were competent to command ground or air forces; he resented the prominent part I had in the Pacific War; he was vehement in his personal criticism of me and encouraged
Navy propaganda to that end; he had the complete support of the Secretary of the Navy, Knox, the support in general principle of President Roosevelt and his Chief of Staff, Admiral Leahy, and in many cases of General Arnold, the head of the Air Force.
I once again pointed outlaw necessary for the winning of the war was the recapture of Luzon, and how simple it would be, once Manila Bay and the northern part of Luzon were back in our hands, to deny Japan the oil, rubber, and rice she was presently draining out of the conquered areas along the shores of the South China Sea and farther south. The President interrupted: "But Douglas, to take Luzon would demand heavier losses than we can stand." "Mr. President," I replied, "my losses would not be heavy, anymore than they have been in the past. The days of the frontal attack should be over. Modern infantry weapons are too deadly, and frontal assault is only for mediocre commanders. Good commanders do not turn in heavy losses."
I sketched my own over-all plan for future operations in the South-west Pacific. Once I held the Philippines, I would begin the reconquest of the Dutch East Indies, using the Australian First Army for the ground operations. Operating from the Philippines, I could sweep down on these Japanese-held islands from the rear.
I spoke of my esteem for Admiral King and his wise estimate of the importance of the Pacific as a major element in the global picture, however I might disagree with some of his strategic concepts.
Admiral Leahy seemed to support what I said, and the President accepted my recommendations and approved the Philippine plan.
At 3.40 on Sunday morning, December 8, 1941, Manila time, a long-distance telephone call from Washington told me of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but no details were given. It was our strongest military position in the Pacific. Its garrison was a mighty one, with America's best aircraft on strongly defended fields, adequate warning systems, anti-aircraft batteries, backed up by our Pacific Fleet. My first impression was that the Japanese might well have suffered a serious setback.
We had only one radar station operative and had to rely for air warning largely on eye and ear. At 9:30 a.m. our reconnaissance planes reported a force of enemy bombers over Lingayen Gulf heading toward Manila. Major General Lewis H. Brereton, who had complete tactical control of the Far East Air Force, immediately ordered pursuit planes up to intercept them. But the enemy bombers veered off without contact.
When this report reached me, I was still under the impression that the Japanese had suffered a setback at Pearl Harbor, and their failure to close in on me supported that belief. I therefore contemplated an air reconnaissance to the north, using bombers with fighter protection, to ascertain a true estimate of the situation and to exploit any possible weaknesses that might develop on the enemy's front. But subsequent events quickly and decisively changed my mind. I learned, to my astonishment, that the Japanese had succeeded in their Hawaiian attack, and at 11:45 a report came in of an over- powering enemy formation closing in on Clark Field. Our fighters went up to meet them, but our bombers were slow in taking off and our losses were heavy. Our force was simply too small to smash the odds against them.
MacArthur was convinced that an occupation of the Philippines was essential before any major attack in force should be made on Japanese-held territory north of Luzon. The retaking of the Philippines seemed to be a matter of great interest to him. He said that he had sufficient ground and air forces for the operation and that his only additional needs were landing-craft and naval support.
Nimitz developed the Navy's plan of by-passing the Philippines and attacking Formosa. He did not see that Luzon, including Manila Bay, had advantages that were not possessed by other areas in the Philippines that could be taken for a base at less cost in lives and material. As the discussions progressed, however, the Navy Commander in the Pacific admitted that developments might indicate a necessity for occupation of the Manila area. Nimitz said that he had sufficient forces to carry out either operation. It was highly pleasing and unusual to find two commanders who were not demanding reinforcements.
Roosevelt was at his best as he tactfully steered the discussion from one point to another and narrowed down the area of disagreement between MacArthur and Nimitz. The discussion remained on a friendly basis the entire time, and in the end only a relatively minor difference remained - that of an operation to retake the Philippine capital, Manila. This was solved later, when the idea of beginning our Philippine invasion at Leyte was suggested, studied and adopted.
General MacArthur's invasion forces have established three firm beachheads on the east coast of the island of Leyte, in the Central Philippines, and last night were reported to be pushing inland against stiffening Japanese resistance. According to a broadcast from the Leyte area, picked up in San Francisco. Tacloban airfield, on the north-eastern tip of Leyte Island, has been captured.
Earlier President Roosevelt announced in Washington that the operations are going according to plan, with extremely light losses.
The Japanese were taken by surprise because, as General MacArthur explained in his announcement of the landing, they were expecting attacks on the large island of Mindanao, south of Leyte. "The strategic results of the capturing of the Philippines will be decisive." MacArthur said. " To the south 500,000 men will be cut off without hope of support and the culmination will be their destruction at the leisure of the Allies."
Thus General MacArthur has fulfilled the promise to return that the made two and a half years ago when his forces left the Philippines. An American broadcaster said that the Commander-in-Chief waded ashore with one of the landing parties and quoted him as saying, "I will stay for the duration now."
The President of the Philippine Commonwealth, Sergio Osmena, with members of his Cabinet, went with the American forces and already has established the seat of government on Philippine soil.
Shortly after my arrival in Tokyo, I was urged by members of my staff to summon the Emperor to my headquarters as a show of power. I brushed the suggestions aside. "To do so," I explained, "would be to outrage the feelings of the Japanese people and make a martyr of the Emperor in their eyes.
No, I shall wait and in time the Emperor will voluntarily come to see me. In this case, the patience of the East rather than the haste of the West will best serve our purpose."
The Emperor did indeed shortly request an interview. In cutaway, striped trousers, and top hat, riding in his Daimler with the imperial grand chamberlain facing him on the jump seat, Hirohito arrived at the embassy. I had, from the start of the occupation, directed that there should be no derogation in his treatment. Every honor due a sovereign was to be his. I met him cordially, and recalled that I had at one time been received by his father at the close of the Russo-Japanese War. He was nervous and the stress of the past months showed plainly. I dismissed everyone but his own interpreter, and we sat down before an open fire at one end of the long reception hall.
I offered him an American cigarette, which he took with thanks. I noticed how his hands shook as I lighted it for him. I tried to make it as easy for him as I could, but I knew how deep and dreadful must be his agony of humiliation. I had an uneasy feeling he might plead his own cause against indictment as a war criminal. There had been considerable outcry from some of the Allies, notably the Russians and the British, to include him in this category. Indeed, the initial list of those proposed by them was headed by the Emperor's name. Realizing the tragic consequences that would follow such an unjust action, I had stoutly resisted such efforts. When Washington seemed to be veering toward the British point of view, I had advised that I would need at least one million reinforcements should such action be taken. I believed that if the Emperor were indicted, and perhaps hanged, as a war criminal, military government would have to be instituted throughout all Japan, and guerrilla warfare would probably break out. The Emperor's name had then been stricken from the list. But of all this he knew nothing.
But my fears were groundless. What he said was this: "I come to you, General MacArthur, to offer myself to the judgment of the powers you represent as the one to bear sole responsibility for every political and military decision made and action taken by my people in the conduct of war." A tremendous impression swept me. This courageous assumption of a responsibility implicit with death, a responsibility clearly belied by facts of which I was fully aware, moved me to the very marrow of my bones. He was an - Emperor by inherent birth, but in that instant I knew I faced the First Gentleman of Japan in his own right.
1. The emancipation of the women of Japan through their enfranchisement - that, being members of the body politic, they may bring to Japan a new concept of government directly subservient to the well-being of the home.
2. The encouragement of the unionization of labor-that it may have an influential voice in safeguarding the working man from exploitation and abuse, and raising his living standard to a higher level.
3. The institution of such measures as may be necessary to correct the evils which exist in the child labor practices.
4. The opening of the schools to more liberal education-that the people may shape their future progress from factual knowledge and benefit from an understanding of a system under which government becomes the servant rather than the master of the people.
5. The abolition of systems which through secret inquisition and abuse have held the people in constant fear-substituting therefor a system of justice designed to afford the people protection against despotic, arbitrary and unjust methods. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of religion must be maintained. Regimentation of the masses under the guise or claim of efficiency, under whatever name of government it may be made, must cease.
6. The democratization of Japanese economic institutions to the end that monopolistic industrial controls be revised through the development of methods which tend to insure a wide distribution of income and ownership of the means of production and trade.
7. In the immediate administrative field take vigorous and prompt action by the government with reference to housing, feeding and clothing the population in order to prevent pestilence, disease, starvation or other major social catastrophe. The coming winter will be critical and the only way to meet its difficulties is by
the full employment in useful work of everyone.
It is not easy for me to pass penal judgment upon a defeated adversary in a major military campaign. I have reviewed the proceedings in vain search for some mitigating circumstances on his behalf. I can find none. Rarely has so cruel and wanton a record been spread to public gaze. Revolting as this may be in itself, it pales before the sinister and far reaching implication thereby attached to the profession of arms. The soldier, be he friend or foe, is charged with the protection of the weak and unarmed. It is the very essence and reason for his being.
When he violates this sacred trust, he not only profanes his entire cult but threatens the very fabric of international society. The traditions of fighting men are long and honorable. They are based upon the noblest of human traits-sacrifice. This officer, of proven field merit, entrusted with high command involving authority adequate to responsibility, has failed this irrevocable standard; has failed his duty to his troops, to his country, to his enemy, to mankind; has failed utterly his soldier faith. The transgressions resulting therefrom as revealed by the trial are a blot upon the military profession, a stain upon civilization and constitute a memory of shame and dishonor that can never be forgotten. Peculiarly callous and purposeless was the sack of the ancient city of Manila, with its Christian population and its countless historic shrines and monuments of culture and civilization, which with campaign conditions reversed had previously been spared.
It is appropriate here to recall that the accused was fully forewarned as to the personal consequences of such atrocities. On October 24-four days following the landing of our forces on Leyte - it was publicly proclaimed that I would "hold the Japanese Military authorities in the Philippines immediately liable for any harm which may result from failure to accord prisoners of war, civilian internees or civilian non combatants the proper treatment and the protection to which they of right are entitled."
On December 23rd, General Walker was killed in a freak jeep accident. It was a great personal loss to me. It had been "Johnny" Walker who had held the line, with courage and brilliant generalship, at the very bottom of Korea, until we could save him by slicing behind the enemy's lines at Inchon. It had been Walker who, even in the darkest hours, had always radiated cheerful confidence and rugged determination.
It was a difficult time to change field commanders, but I acquired one of the best in General Matthew Ridgway. An experienced leader with aggressive and fighting qualities, he took command of the Eighth Army at its position near the 38th parallel. After inspecting his new command, he felt he could repulse any enemy attempt to dislodge it. On New Year's Day, however, the Reds launched a general offensive in tremendous force, making penetrations of up to 12 miles. It forced the Eighth Army into further withdrawal. By January 4th, the enemy had recaptured Seoul, and by January 7th, the Eighth Army had retired to new positions roughly 70 miles south of the 38th parallel.
The dispute that rages between General Douglas MacArthur and the Truman administration over how to win the Korean war has reached fever heat again. The administration may shortly ask the general to clear with broad foreign policy issues.
This may or may not prove acceptable to MacArthur, but State Department officials as well as some others with great influence at the White House privately say something must be done to prevent a repetition of last week's exchange of shocks and harsh words between Tokyo and Washington.
President Truman circulated last December a firm, government-wide directive declaring that any statement on foreign
policy by any official or employee of the government in a speech, article or other public utterance, should be cleared with
the State Department. Informants said today that order was called to MacArthur's attention at that time.
Friday night, Washington time, MacArthur left Tokyo for the Thirty-eighth Parallel area of Korea to order United Nations forces to cross into North Korea as tactical requirements made necessary. Before leaving Tokyo he issued a statement to the press.
In this statement he made a bid for peace talks with his opposite number on the Communist side, said the Chinese Reds were licked and incapable of waging modem war and warned that if the United Nations launched attacks on Chinese bases and coastal area the Red nation would probably suffer military collapse.
This statement, a check showed, caught the State Department completely unawares. It apparently also caught President Truman without advance notice. After several hours of parleying, including a talk between Secretary of State Acheson
and Mr. Truman, a rather meaningless statement was issued, designed to say on Saturday that Washington had nothing to do with what MacArthur had declared Friday night.
The statements said MacArthur had authority to conduct military operations but that political issues which "he has stated are beyond his responsibilities are being dealt with in the U.N. and by the governments having troops in Korea."
The key MacArthur clause which set off the alarm here was that the United Nations could probably succeed in forcing a
military collapse of Red China by a limited coastal attack and base-bombing war. A Tokyo dispatch yesterday suggested MacArthur probably was trying to divert the Chinese Reds' attention from Korea to the danger of a coastal attack.
Whatever his objective, any statement he makes - even mingled in with "ifs" - about extending the war in the Far East always sends huge shudders among the Canadian, French, British and other friendly governments. When the Europeans come in to the State Department wanting to know "what does MacArthur propose to do," Acheson and his aides get upset about the problems of holding together the political side of the coalition of which MacArthur is military commander.
No words of any broadcaster will add to, or detract from, General MacArthur's military stature. When the President relieved him of his commands at one o'clock this morning, a sort of emotional chain reaction began. It might be useful to examine some of the issues raised by this decision, for they are rather more important than the fate of a general, or a president, or a group of politicians.
Did the President have the constitutional power to fire General MacArthur? He did, without question; even the severest critics of his action admit this. One of the basic principles of our society is that the military shall be subject to civilian control. At the present time when, as a result of our rearmament programme, the military is exercising increasing influence and power in both domestic and international affairs, it is of some importance that that principle be maintained. It is a principle to which the over-whelming majority of professional soldiers subscribe.
There developed, over a period of months, a basic disagreement between General MacArthur on the one hand and the President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department and our European allies on the other as to how the war in Korea should be conducted; and, more importantly, a disagreement as to how, and where, the forces of the free world should be deployed to meet the threat of world Communism. General MacArthur was sent certain instructions, and he ignored or failed to obey them. Those orders, wise or foolish, came from his superiors. We as private citizens are entitled to agree or disagree with the policy and the orders, but so far as military men are concerned, the Constitution is quite specific. It doesn't say that a President must be a Republican or a Democrat, or even that he must be wise. It says that he is the commander-in-chief. There occurred an open and public clash between civilian and military authority. It was dramatic, and it was prolonged over a period of almost four months. What hung in the balance was not MacArthur's reputation as a soldier, or Truman's as a statesman, but rather the principle of civilian control of the military men and forces of this country. The issue has now been resolved. It is, as many have remarked, a personal tragedy for General MacArthur at the climax of a brilliant military career. But these matters must be viewed in perspective. Tragedy has also overtaken about fifty-eight thousand young Americans in Korea, and for about ten thousand of them it was permanent - before their careers began.
That war is still going on. Is there any reason to believe that General MacArthur's removal will increase the prospects of ending it? Some diplomats are inclined to hope it will. They point to the fact that the Communists have labelled MacArthur the number one aggressor and warmonger. But there is nothing in Communist doctrine to indicate that their policies are determined by the personalities of opposing generals, nothing to hint their objectives do not remain what they were.
In his autobiography, Ridgway recalls a 1950 meeting where the Joint Chiefs of Staff wondered what they could do to restrain General Douglas MacArthur from his head-over-heels plunge toward the Chinese border and disaster in Korea. The chiefs could already look at the map and recognize that MacArthur had arrayed his troops as for a parade, divided their columns and left between them the mountain where enemies could assemble in peace and await the securest chance for war. The chiefs had passed the hours helplessly struggling between their awe of a commander who had been riding with the Cavalry when they were in rompers and their awareness of his terminal folly.
Ridgway was then only deputy Chief of Staff and forbidden to speak up in the company of his superiors. Crisis compelled him to break the laws of silence at last. "We owe it to ourselves," he said, to call MacArthur to halt; and it must be done now because even tomorrow could be too late. The chiefs sustained the shock of this breach of Old Army custom and continued to sit inert until what they knew might happen did and all too soon.
After the meeting, Air Force Chief of Staff Hoyt Vandenberg congratulated him for his courage. His answer was not thanks for the compliment but renewed urgings that MacArthur be curbed. "Oh, what's the use," Vandenberg replied. "He won't listen." And, thereafter of course, it would be for Ridgway to restore the ruin of the Korean campaign.
From the time MacArthur first came into prominence as the youngest American general of World War I, and then the youngest commandant of West Point, and then the youngest Army Chief of Staff, he displayed certain peculiarities that tended to raise the hair on the back of Drew Pearson''s neck: an unfailing theatricality; a tendency to portray his life as a series of triumphal processions; and a rhetoric with a martial ring that, for instance, identified pacificism with Communism. Here was a hero in unheroic times, unhappily hemmed in by the humdrum of peace and the flummery of civilian politics, a general looking for a star of destiny; worse, a general who had the Roman profile, the messianic urge, the oratorical artillery, the mastery of imagery, the brains and the guile to create a great deal of mischief should a fortuitous conjunction of events arise.
If Drew had one emotional spring that ran deeper than his fear of military men of destiny, it was his sympathy for the downtrodden and the derelict. He never forgave Chief of Staff MacArthur for the gung-ho manner in which he had carried out President Hoover's order to break up the ramshackle Washington encampment of down-and-out veterans who were demonstrating for a speed-up of their promised World War I bonuses. To the end of MacArthur's life, Pearson would periodically lampoon him for changing into his dress uniform and personally leading the assault on the tattered vets, and for prancing about before the news cameras like Napoleon on the field of Austerlitz, and for his overblown post-mortems on the great victory. But for his action, MacArthur had proclaimed, "I believe the institutions of our government would have been severely threatened... I have entered villages in wartime which have been in the grip of the enemy for three
years and I know what their gratitude means. But never have I seen, even in those days, such expressions of gratitude as from the crowds today."
Drew periodically pricked MacArthur with ridicule in the years that followed, much of it told to Drew by MacArthur's ex-wife, Louise
Cromwell, the most offensive item alleging that MacArthur's promo-
tion to major general had come through the political intervention of
her father, Edward T. Stotesbury, a J. P. Morgan partner. In 1934 the
tormented MacArthur descended from Olympus and entered the pit
with the muckrakers, slapping Pearson and Robert S. Alien with a
$1,750,000 libel suit. MacArthur contended that the column had por-
trayed him as, among other caricatures, "dictatorial, insubordinate,
arbitrary, harsh, disloyal, mutinous and disrespectful of his superiors";
in later years Drew would point to this complaint as a classic demon-
stration of his prescience, but at the time he was hard pressed to prove
his case. Had the litigation been successful, or even partially successful,
it would have wiped out the two partners, financially and professionally.
Written by Robbin M. Dagle
Updated Sep 8, 2020 5:41:41 PM
Here are five controversies you probably didn't know about the general. Photo from INTRAMUROS ADMINISTRATION/FACEBOOK
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — World War II ended 75 years ago on September 2, when Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri. In his speech, General Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Allied Forces, recalled how the Japanese succumbed to its imperialist aspirations:
“But alas, the knowledge thereby gained of Western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought were denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force.”
Today, MacArthur’s warning is eerily resonant. Myths of supremacy still drive nations to exclude and take advantage of others. Tyrants create cults of personality to rally their base and oppress their enemies.
MacArthur was himself prone to such delusions. Historian William Manchester called him the “American Caesar,” extolled for his genius and bravery, but fatally flawed in his hubris and ambition.
Here in the Philippines, where collective memory of the war is quickly fading, MacArthur’s legacy remains steadfast. He is best known for making and keeping his promise to Filipinos: “I shall return.” This earned the respect and adulation from the people, who even named him then as “Defender and Liberator of the Philippines.”
Recently, the Intramuros Administration held an online event with historians to discuss MacArthur’s mixed yet enduring legacy. Here are five controversies you probably didn't know about the general.
Quezon, MacArthur, and the $500,000 payment
Manuel Quezon was so sure of winning the presidency in 1935 that he asked his long-time friend MacArthur a year prior to beef up the Philippines’ national defense. Ricardo Jose, professor at UP Diliman’s Department of History, said that MacArthur probably saw the post as an “adventure,” having already reached the heights of military service as Chief of Staff. It was also a homecoming of sorts for the general, who started his military career in the country in 1903.
MacArthur, who requested Quezon for “adequate living quarters,” was given the luxurious penthouse suite of the Manila Hotel. (The room is still available for guests.) The two were even compadres, acting as godparents to each other’s sons.
But just as world war became more imminent, MacArthur was suddenly hard to reach for Quezon. Jose said that MacArthur was probably “distracted,” spending more time with his family and watching movies. This frayed ties between the two, as Quezon sought counsel from other officers of the Philippine Army and Major Dwight Eisenhower, MacArthur’s chief aide.
MacArthur and Quezon would later reconcile after Japan’s surprise attack on the Philippines. Quezon even gave MacArthur a payment of $500,000 for his services to the Commonwealth. While legal, this proved to be controversial as American officers were generally prohibited to take money from foreign governments. Jose believes that Quezon “was trying to make amends” to MacArthur and was also “probably trying to get MacArthur to call for more US aid.” Quezon made similar offers to Eisenhower, who refused, and to MacArthur’s chief of staff General Richard Sutherland, who accepted.
MacArthur's return to the Philippines almost didn't happen. MacArthur (photo center) and the Allies had to first claw their way back up and defeat the Japanese forces in New Guinea. Photo from the US ARMY/PUBLIC DOMAIN
MacArthur assured Quezon that the Philippines “can be defended” in the event of war, given proper funding. Despite this assurance, some have blamed MacArthur for the Filipinos’ lack of preparation when the Japanese finally attacked.
Jose attributes the ill-prepared Filipino forces to gaps in funding and execution. “The reality was usually different from what was on paper,” he says. MacArthur “pushed and pushed” for more reinforcements and equipment from the Americans and thought that everything would be ready by March 1942.
Japan attacked on December 8, 1941. Hours after their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese planes bombed Clark and Iba airfields, decimating the Philippines’ air fleet (which was still mostly on the ground when the Japanese attacked). There were not enough planes to counter Japan’s air power. The enemy also attacked from the beaches, landing in Lingayen Gulf. The plan was to deploy torpedo boats to defend the Philippine coastline and pepper the beaches with heavy artillery. This never happened. MacArthur, an Army man, also left out the US Navy’s Asiatic Fleet in his plans. Jose says the Army-Navy rivalry may have influenced the general’s decision.
Cooperating with the Japanese
As the occupation of Manila was imminent, MacArthur declared the capital an “open city” on December 26, 1941 to prevent further destruction. War Plan Orange was now in effect — troops had to abandon defense of the beaches, withdraw to Bataan and Corregidor, and blow up bridges along the way to obstruct the enemy.
MacArthur, Quezon, and select cabinet officials had to escape before the Japanese arrived. Before leaving, the general met with the cabinet at Quezon’s Marikina residence. Here, MacArthur reportedly told Jose P. Laurel, Jorge B. Vargas, and other cabinet members to “cooperate” with the Japanese, but not to take an oath of allegiance. MacArthur had denied this account, but Jose says most of those present in the meeting remembered the general’s words “very clearly.”
Laurel, who was associate justice of the Supreme Court when war broke out, would later become president of the Japanese-sponsored Second Philippine Republic in 1943. Vargas, who was mayor of Manila when it was declared an open city, was named chair of the Philippine Executive Commission, the interim government set up by the Japanese before the Second Republic.
Meanwhile in Corregidor Island, MacArthur set up his wartime headquarters at Malinta Tunnel. Here, they constantly monitored updates from nearby Bataan, where Filipino and American troops had retreated. Bataan’s rugged terrain was strategic for holding off the Japanese while awaiting reinforcements from the Americans.
MacArthur only visited his troops in Bataan once on January 10, 1942. Some viewed this as cowardice and lack of leadership, at a time when his men needed a morale boost. This earned him the nickname “Dugout Doug,” as in hiding inside a tunnel while his troops faced death. Jose is not sure why MacArthur did not visit Bataan often, but perhaps, MacArthur wanted to maintain a “more mystical and untouchable” aura.
In Corregidor, MacArthur maintained a brave face. According to Jose, MacArthur was never photographed wearing a helmet. Sometimes, he exposed himself “needlessly” to enemy air attacks and did not seek shelter during ongoing air raids.
MacArthur almost did not return
Despite the Allied Forces’ gallant stand, Bataan and Corregidor fell to the Japanese by April-May 1942. By then, MacArthur and his family had already left the Philippines in a daring escape to Australia, upon orders from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was in Melbourne where he promised Filipinos: “I shall return.”
This almost did not happen. MacArthur and the Allies had to first claw their way back up and defeat the Japanese forces in New Guinea. The Americans were also divided on where to go from there.
Two years later, and fresh off victories in New Guinea, Roosevelt called MacArthur for a meeting in Hawaii to strategize the invasion of Japan. The plan was to proceed to enemy-held Formosa (now Taiwan), thus bypassing the Philippines. MacArthur vigorously opposed the plan since it would be more strategic to retake Luzon first and stage the invasion from there, rather than fighting it out in hostile Formosa.
But James Zobel, director of the MacArthur Memorial Library and Museum in Virginia, USA, said that it was probably MacArthur’s moral plea that eventually convinced Roosevelt to change his mind. For the general, bypassing the Philippines would mean leaving thousands to die, betraying their commitment to the Filipino people, and diminishing America’s standing in the world.
World War I and After
At the start of World War I, MacArthur was promoted to major and assigned to what were essentially intelligence and administrative units. However, after the United States declared war on Germany, the 42nd Division (the so-called “Rainbow Division,” a National Guard unit composed of soldiers from a number of states) was created, and MacArthur was promoted to colonel and put in its command. In 1918 he participated in the St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Sedan offensives, during which he repeatedly distinguished himself as a capable military leader.
Upon returning from Europe, MacArthur became the superintendent of West Point, a post he held for the next three years. During this time he was promoted to brigadier general of the Army and also married his first wife, Louise Cromwell Brooks. For the rest of the 1920s, MacArthur again held various military posts and also headed the American Olympic Committee. He divorced Louise in 1929.
In 1930, MacArthur was promoted to general and selected as the Army chief of staff. Over the next few years his efforts were primarily devoted to maintaining a military that, like the rest of the country, was crippled by the Great Depression. He also spoke frequently of what he considered to be the increasingly serious threat of Communism, both in the United States and abroad. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt chose MacArthur as his military adviser to the Philippines and sent him there to establish a defensive military force. MacArthur married his second wife, Jean Faircloth, in 1937, and the following year she gave birth to a son, Arthur.
The Story Behind General Douglas MacArthur's Legendary Missouri-Made Pipe
U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur charged into World War II chaotic combats armed with a bit of Show-Me tenacity. Along with his signature wheel hat and aviator sunglasses, his third must-have was a Missouri-made corn cob pipe for strategic pointing.
To this day, the commander’s namesake, “MacArthur 5-Star Corn Cob Pipe,” remains a popular purchase from Missouri Meerschaum Company, a business that propelled Washington, MO., into being “the corn cob pipe capital of the world.”
The pipe company just celebrated its 150 th anniversary during April. The factory is still housed in its original, 1884 red-brick building abutting the Missouri River.
MacArthur was a longtime fan of corn cob pipes, and he actually sent proposed pipe-construction schematics through his personal assistant, who lived in Union, to the Missouri Meerschaum company in hopes of receiving a custom pipe. “When the company’s staff at the time sent him that creation, he was delighted and would rarely be seen in a photograph without it,” says Meerschaum General Manager Phil Morgan.
General MacArthur with his pipe
That pipe’s reputation helped Missouri Meerschaum gain the title of the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of cool, sweet-smoking corn cob pipes.
The MacArthur 5-Star Pipe features a shortened and absorbent tobacco chamber, an extended bowl, and a long shank to allow faster, wider-open puffing compared to wooden pipes. It currently sells for $14.89 from Meerschaum.
Credit for Missouri’s initial corn cob pipe goes to a Dutch immigrant woodworker named Henry Tibbe, who began producing them in 1869 after a farmer requested one. By 1878, Tibbe even patented his process. In 1907, the H. Tibbe & Son Co. became the Missouri Meerschaum Company.
A MacArthur 5-Star Pipe
MacArthur was known for burning a ring around the shank on every new pipe he received. Phil says they still burn a ring around each 5-Star pipe shank in honor of the general.
An interesting business opportunity emerged in 1951 when Missourian and U.S. President Harry Truman relieved MacArthur of service during the Korean War. Meerschaum Museum and Retail Shoppe Manager Rebeca Clinkinbeard says hundreds of MacArthur devotees besieged the company with orders for the iconic 5-Star Pipe–which is how MacArthur’s prototype became a true legacy.
Because the general started rotating his Meerschaum pipes, quantities were shipped to him regularly, reveals Rebeca. In a March 1959 letter to Missouri Meerschaum owner Carl Otto, MacArthur stated: “With the passage of time I find each year brings increasing enjoyment of my corncob pipes.”
Rebeca says this original letter still whiffs of seasoned pipe tobacco.
By 1925, a dozen corn cob pipe companies operated in Missouri’s Franklin County, most of them in Washington. But today, Missouri Meerschaum stands alone as the first and only surviving slice of this living history.
These pipes are smoked and loved all over the world, to the tune of about 700,000 corn cob pipes sold each year, says Phil. They also are used as souvenirs, often imprinted with city names, businesses, or commemorative events.
Born in 1880 at Fort Dodge, Arkansas, MacArthur was fated to spend much of his childhood at a series of Army outposts in the West, each more godforsaken than the last.
His father, Arthur MacArthur, Jr., was an Army captain who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Civil War and decided to make the military a career. As a youth, MacArthur remembered seeing a band of unhappy Apache warriors shoot a salvo of flaming arrows over the wall of tiny Fort Selden on the Mexican Border where he“learned to ride and shoot”before he could read and write. The first sound he ever remembered hearing was the post bugle, and while others suffered in this “Gethsemane” of heat and dust and cold and dust, interspersed by storms, flash floods, rattlesnakes, even Gila monsters, young Douglas MacArthur flourished.
His mother, Mary “Pinky” MacArthur, came from old Virginia stock (three of her brothers had been Confederate officers). She instilled in MacArthur a strong sense of moral obligation: “We were to do right, no matter what the personal sacrifice might be,” he wrote in his memoir long afterward. “Our country was always to come first. Two things we must never do—never lie, never tattle.”
Because of his father’s military career, MacArthur’s family moved around a lot, which exposed him to a wide variety of environments and people. MacArthur’s entry into first grade coincided with his father’s transfer to the U.S. Infantry and Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1886. His wild upbringing in the western deserts had not prepared him for formal schooling, and by his own account he did not fare well in the classroom. When he was ten, new vistas opened for MacArthur upon his father’s transfer to Washington D.C., where his grandfather Arthur MacArthur was a prominent federal judge. This exposed the unworldly youth to the “glitter and pomp” of society in the nation’s capital where, in overhearing adult conversations, he got a taste of the political, social, and financial intrigues of the day.
There are five ranks for generals in the U.S. Army. A single-star brigadier general, in theory, leads a brigade. These are arranged with four squads to a platoon, which come four platoons to a company—four to as many as eight of which make up a battalion—several more of which form a brigade of 4,000 to 6,000 men. A two-star major general commands a division, which is composed of several brigades. A three-star lieutenant general commands an army corps, a four-star general of the army commands an army consisting of several corps, and a five-star general of the armies commands more than one army, such as Gen. Douglas MacArthur did in the Pacific theater in World War II.
Another Army transfer found a 13-year-old MacArthur at the West Texas Military Academy near Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio where, in his own words, his horizons were expanded “with a desire to know, a seeking of the reason’s why, a search for the truth.” He recalled those years as the happiest of his life, studying Homer and Virgil in Latin and translating The Iliad and The Aeneid, epic works that conveyed to him the “nerve-tingling battlefields of the great captains.” Academic honors and medals came his way and he played sports—first team in football and baseball. In short, Douglas MacArthur had found himself.
The Making of a Hero: Douglas MacArthur’s Daring Mexican Heroics
American sailors and soldiers exchange fire with Mexican troops in 1914.
A brash young U.S. Army officer lived up to his hair-raising heritage
The Superintendent: Within decades of his Mexican exploits, Douglas MacArthur later returned to West Point as Academy commander. (Bettmann/Getty Images)
DOUGLAS MACARTHUR was a paradox. He received 13 awards for bravery, including the Medal of Honor. Perhaps the most gifted battlefield soldier America ever produced, he orchestrated remarkable victories in France, New Guinea, the Philippines, and Korea while economizing on casualties. As viceroy of Japan, he bestowed forgiveness and introduced Dai Nippon to civil liberties and equal rights for women. Yet MacArthur’s heroics, displays of principle and magnetic aura were inevitably offset by pettiness, paranoia, and appalling vindictiveness. In short, wrote biographer William Manchester, “No more baffling, exasperating soldier ever wore a uniform.”
MacArthur first achieved fame as a boy brigadier in the Great War. Doughboys called him the “the fighting Dude,” and he seemed to enjoy a charmed life. Once, near Saint-Mihiel, he and a young tank officer were standing close together as German rounds crumped closer and closer. “Don’t worry, Major,” Douglas MacArthur said as George Patton flinched. “You never hear the one that gets you.”
As the next war was engulfing the United States and Japanese pilots were raiding Corregidor, MacArthur, walnut cane under one arm and a crushed, weathered campaign hat atop his head, stood by a hedge, coolly counting enemy fighters and bombers. “Look what they have done to the garden,” he remarked with patrician aplomb as water splashed and clods of earth erupted around him. Some Corregidor veterans later vilified him as “Dugout Doug,” but MacArthur was never one to dodge shot and shell. Still, even his valor could generate controversy. Perhaps the earliest example came in 1914 when, during a standoff between the United States and Mexico, MacArthur led a covert reconnaissance deep into enemy territory outside Veracruz.
It’s fair to say that the 1903 West Point graduate inherited his brass. In November 1863 at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in what Manchester termed an “act of magnificent insubordination,” young MacArthur’s father, Arthur Jr., a stripling Union Army captain, screamed “On, Wisconsin!” as he led his 24th Regiment volunteers triumphantly up Missionary Ridge. A quarter-century later, after spending many years at dirt-choked frontier duty, Arthur would receive a Medal of Honor for his Missionary Ridge feat. String-pulling by his father, a well-connected Washington judge, boosted his visibility and finally propelled him up the ranks. Missionary Ridge was one bookend to Arthur’s career. The other was his role in the Filipino insurrection of 1899-1902. First as an Army brigadier and then as the archipelago’s military governor, Arthur MacArthur managed to outfight and outfox guerrilla leader Emilio Aguinaldo’s insurrectos.
Later, however, Arthur crossed William Howard Taft, President William McKinley’s political emissary to the Philippines. When Taft replaced him in Manila, Arthur MacArthur came stateside to higher rank and shrinking relevance until, at the 24th Wisconsin’s 1912 reunion, he collapsed and died, leaving behind wife Mary and sons Arthur III, a navy officer stationed aboard a destroyer, and Douglas, an army captain at Fort Leavenworth.
Two years later, in April 1914, Captain Douglas MacArthur, now serving on the army General Staff, was sidelined with tonsillitis and living with his mother at the Hadleigh apartment house at 16th and U streets NW in Washington D.C. Reading an order in the form of a telegram from Chief of Staff Major General Leonard Wood, “Pinky” MacArthur rousted her 34-year-old bachelor son and got him into uniform. She had known Wood since Arthur’s frontier fort days indeed, her husband’s passing had pulled Douglas into Woods’s orbit.
His Biggest Fan: Mary “Pinky” MacArthur never wavered in her faith in her younger son, seen here in his plebe year at the Academy. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Pinky MacArthur believed in her son’s high destiny, but not everyone agreed. Douglas graduated first in his class at West Point and performed creditably as a shavetail engineering officer in the post-insurrection Philippines, but on subsequent assignments his performance stirred doubt. He was, wrote Manchester, “already haughty, dashing, fearless, and consumed by the ambitions bequeathed him by his parents.”
In November 1903, during his Philippines tour, two Filipino bandits ambushed Second Lieutenant MacArthur. A shot ripped the peak of his campaign hat, but MacArthur coolly leveled his revolver to dispatch both attackers. “Begging thu Loo’tenant’s paddon,” said a sergeant accompanying him, “but all the rest of the Loo’tenant’s life is pure velvut.”
MacArthur’s hauteur showed in his disinterest in routine assignments and his questioning of authority. In 1905, a superior wondered “with what enthusiasm he [MacArthur] would carry out work…if objection [by MacArthur] came in the way.” Two years later, the commandant of the Army’s Engineer School of Application rated MacArthur’s work “not equal to that of most of the other student officers.” The worst came in a 1908 efficiency report. “Lieutenant MacArthur’s duties,” wrote Major William V. Judson, “were not performed in a satisfactory manner.”
The young officer partially rehabilitated himself. Reversing the reputation of Fort Leavenworth’s lowest-rated infantry company, MacArthur rose to adjutant of his battalion and, in 1911, to captain. Still, he had achieved no breakthrough to match Dad’s on Missionary Ridge.
MacArthur reached the State, War and Navy Building—today’s Executive Office Building—on April 23, 1914, to find Wood fresh from meeting Lindley Garrison, President Woodrow Wilson’s interventionist Secretary of War. Wood had begun his Army career as a civilian physician working on contract. Commissioned in the Medical Corps, he switched to the cavalry, during the Apache Wars garnering a Medal of Honor and in the Spanish-American War serving as overall commander of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Rider s regiment. Upon Spain’s capitulation Wood became Cuba’s military governor. Appointed army chief of staff in 1910, Wood was a political soldier who shared TR’s notions about wielding U.S. power and Roosevelt’s conviction that America’s army should be prepared to fight anybody anywhere at any time.
Wood, Garrison, and Wilson were furious at a provocation by Mexican president Victoriano Huerta. The preceding February, Huerta, in league with American ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, had overthrown his predecessor and now was fighting off various insurrectionist factions.
Huerta had angered the Americans by insulting their flag at a tense time between the United States and Mexico. On April 9, U.S. Navy gunboat Dolphin had dispatched sailors in a whaleboat to buy gasoline at Tampico, an oil town on the Bay of Campeche off the Gulf of Mexico. Mexican soldiers arrested and jailed the nine Americans. Authorities quickly released the bluejackets, but U.S. naval forces commander Admiral Henry T. Mayo demanded of Huerta a formal apology and a 21-gun salute. Huerta issued the apology but declined to order the salute, even though prior to the incident Dolphin, at Mexico’s request, had rendered several such vollies.
Tensions worsened. Wilson contemplated sending Wood south on a punitive expedition. In his office, Wood told MacArthur he had thought of adding the captain to that expedition’s staff, but had decided instead to send MacArthur ahead to assess the situation.
“I can be off in an hour,” MacArthur assured Wood. After securing passage for MacArthur aboard battleship Nebraska, the general sent off his man with instructions specifying that MacArthur obtain “all possible information which would be of value.” Boarding Nebraska at New York City a day later, MacArthur soon sailed. He was en route when a brief, bloody clash erupted between the forces of the United States and Mexico. Tipped off that a German vessel bringing Huerta arms and ammunition was bound for Veracruz, Mexico’s main Gulf port 300 miles south of Tampico, Wilson bypassed Congress to order U.S. sailors and marines to seize Veracruz. The invasion succeeded, at a cost of 500 casualties on both sides. The U.S. Army’s 5th Brigade, with 7,000 troops, occupied Veracruz after an entry an American journalist portrayed as “hobnailed brogans [striking] the asphalt with the regularity of pile drivers.”
El Presidente: Victoriano Huerta poised 11,000 soldiers against 7,000 Americans who had occupied Veracruz. (Bain News Service/Library of Congress)
Captain MacArthur reached Veracruz May 1 and soon was at Brigadier General Frederick Funston’s 5th Brigade headquarters. MacArthur and his host presented a striking contrast. Funston, 15 years older, was carrying much more weight on his 5’5’’ frame than in his youth, and his red hair and Van Dyke had gone gray. A spare six-footer, MacArthur cut the more martial profile.
But Funston was a bona fide combat legend. After stints as a reporter and explorer, he entered military life in 1896 as a filibuster or mercenary, fighting for pay in Cuba’s revolt against Spain. In 22 battles, Funston twice sustained chest wounds and endured two crushed legs when a horse fell from under him. Captured and paroled by Spanish authorities, he returned stateside in January 1898 to acclaim and a colonelcy in the 20th Kansas Volunteers.
When the 20th deployed to the Philippines as part of Arthur MacArthur’s counterinsurgency campaign, Funston again stood out. In March 1901, Funston, masquerading as a POW and with excellent timing, penetrated insurgent territory and personally captured guerrilla leader Aguinaldo. The deed catapulted Funston to brigadier in the regular Army—a career arc of only five years. This was clear evidence to Douglas MacArthur of how, with America pursuing its “manifest destiny,” derring-do could accelerate a soldier’s career.
Now Funston faced a bind no valor of his could unknot. Funston’s 7,000-man brigade was chin-to-chin against Huerta’s 11,000. For all Wilson’s public boldness, the president had his bantam general on a short leash, explicitly ordering that Funston stay inside the lines. “If a disaster should result,” Funston confided to his diary, “I must not be held responsible.”
The Mexicans seemed ready to fight, so Funston badly needed to know his transport options. Veracruz was short on horses, mules, and trucks. The port had rail yards and plenty of freight cars but no locomotives—at least, none Funston could lay hands on. There might be engines inland but he could not risk penetrating Mexican lines to look for them.
MacArthur faced a delicate situation. He reported not to Funston but to Wood, who had pointedly told him to obtain all necessary information. Funston needed to know where there were locomotives. If that was not necessary information, what was? Washington was very far away. He would seize the moment.
Constant Cordier, a captain in one of Funston’s regiments and a Washington pal, pointed MacArthur to a Mexican rail engineer. The railroad man, in his cups, had told Cordier there might be locomotives in Alvarado, 42 miles southeast. MacArthur found the engineer in a rundown cantina, sobered him up and, using his smattering of Spanish, proposed a deal. If the Mexican led MacArthur to Alvarado, MacArthur—upon their successful return—would pay the engineer $150 in gold. The Mexican agreed and the two laid plans.
The Legend: General Frederick Funston invaded Veracruz with an expeditionary force and a reputation for audacity. (Bain News Service/Library of Congress)
Two train lines ran out of Veracruz: broad-gauge rails bearing nearly 300 miles south from Veracruz to Tehuantepec near the Pacific coast, and a narrow-gauge line southeast to Alvarado. American forces held the narrow-gauge line only as far as Tejar, nine miles outside Veracruz. Four miles farther, at Paso del Toro, the Tehuantepec and Alvarado lines crossed. To avoid the Mexicans holding Tejar, MacArthur and the engineer agreed, they would obtain a handcar and travel by broad gauge from Veracruz to Paso del Toro. The engineer would have two railroad workers waiting at Pasa del Toro to transport them the final miles into Alvarado on a narrow-gauge handcar.
There is dispute about how MacArthur equipped himself for his foray. “He decided to take nothing except his .45 pistol, his dog tags and a small Bible,” Arthur Herman writes in a new biography. “He wasn’t even traveling in uniform, though that meant if he was caught, he could be shot as a spy.” Other accounts, including MacArthur’s after-action report to Wood, have him in uniform, but dress probably didn’t matter. At around the same time, a U.S. Army private, Samuel Parks, stole two horses and crossed into Mexican territory. The enemy summarily executed him. MacArthur was risking all as he set out at dusk under squally, overcast skies to reach his rendezvous.
After crossing on foot unseen through American lines, MacArthur found the Mexican engineer at a siding, waiting with the handcar. Over the man’s objections, MacArthur patted him down, confiscating a .38 and a dagger. MacArthur then allowed the engineer to frisk him, to telegraph that the Mexican would be getting his $150 in gold only after they returned—if they returned.
Their handcar, sometimes called a “pump trolley,” was powered by a seesaw-like “walking beam.” Rhythmically pushing down and pulling up on the beam, the two sped along the Tehuantepec line as far as the Jamapa River, where the rail bridge was down. On the bank, they found a small canoe in which they crossed the Jamapa. At the far shore, they stole two ponies and trotted them alongside the Tehuantepec line. Skirting Paso del Toro, the pair found the railroad workers with the promised narrow-gauge handcar awaiting on the Alvarado rails. MacArthur searched his new conspirators, finding no weapons. Hiding the stolen ponies, the four pumped toward Alvarado.
Small bridges and culverts dotted the line. At the first structure, the Mexicans stopped to check it, prompting MacArthur to draw his .45 as a prod. “After getting into the spirit of the thing,” MacArthur wrote in his account to Wood, “their conduct was most admirable.”
Still, MacArthur was taking no chances. At each town he tied himself to one man and sent the other two through on the handcar while he and his “companion” circled the village and rejoined the party on the far side. “This took time,” MacArthur admitted later, “but was the only way I could avoid detection.”
Study Shavetail: Always elegant, Second Lieutenant MacArthur cut a martial figure even on frontier duty. (Getty Images)
Making Alvarado shortly after 1 a.m., MacArthur almost immediately found what he sought: five railroad engines. Two were yard switch engines, “worthless for our purpose,” but three were “fine big road pullers,” he wrote later. Quickly inspecting the locomotives, MacArthur climbed aboard the handcar for the 42-mile run to Veracruz—and a host of troubles.
The pre-dawn return ride was uneventful as far as Salinas, where, as before, MacArthur and a tethered companion set out to edge around the coastal town. Five armed men confronted them—in MacArthur’s words, “one of the marauding bands that infest the country with brigandage as a trade.”
The American and his companion ran for it, outdistancing three pursuers but not the other two, who cornered them. Shots might alert Mexican soldiers and panic the men with the other handcar, but MacArthur had no choice. He stopped, aimed, and fired his .45 automatic. Both assailants went down.
On the handcar, now traveling through a blinding mist, the shaken quartet pushed on to Piedra, where 15 armed horsemen surrounded them. “We were among them before I realized it and were immediately the center of a melee,” MacArthur said later. The engineer stopped a slug with his shoulder. Three rounds passed through MacArthur’s clothes without striking flesh. Riders knocked him from the handcar. Regaining his feet, the captain fired, taking down four foes at close range. The others fled. After reloading his .45 and patching up the wounded man, MacArthur led his squad — bloodied, exhausted, and rattled—north “with all possible speed.”
Near Laguna, halfway to Paso del Toro, the men encountered three mounted pistoleros. A running gunfight ensued, with the handcar rolling hard and riders trying to keep up. Remarkably, the car, occupants laboring like human pistons, outdistanced two horsemen. But the third, “unusually well mounted” in MacArthur’s estimation, “overhauled and passed the car.” After taking another bullet through his shirt and having rounds twice ricochet inches away, MacArthur “felt obliged to bring him down.” The man fell—as did his mount, sprawling dead across the tracks ahead. It took all four men to drag the carcass and corpse out of their way.
Luck seemed to bend their way at Paso del Toro. Leaving their accomplices with the narrow-gauge handcar, MacArthur and the engineer retrieved the ponies and rode to the Jamapa. The canoe was as they had left it. They set to paddling but a snag overturned the boat. Fortunately, the river was shallow enough to keep them from drowning, but MacArthur needed what little remained of his waning strength to keep the wounded Mexican’s head above water as he hauled him ashore. It was after dawn when the men—soaked and disheveled, one wounded, the other in a shirt ventilated by four bullets—passed through the American lines at Veracruz. The adventure was over, but, typical of Douglas MacArthur, controversy was already brewing.
Had the U.S. gone to war with Victoriano Huerta, MacArthur’s exploit might have made headlines. “It is a mystery to me,” Cordier said after seeing MacArthur’s condition, “that any of the party escaped.” MacArthur relayed his information about the locomotives to Funston’s aide, who, perhaps because of the Parks incident, did not forward the hard-earned intelligence to his boss.
The American occupation of Veracruz settled, MacArthur biographer D. Clayton James writes, “into a quiet routine of administering municipal affairs, collecting customs revenues, and introducing public health and judicial reforms.” During Funston’s seven-month standoff with Huerta, MacArthur’s sally and Parks’s execution marked the occupation’s only “hostile acts.”
MacArthur was initially circumspect about his escapade. He mentioned it in passing in a May 7 dispatch to Washington. Leaving Veracruz on August 20, he arrived in Washington to find that Wood, now out of favor with the Wilson administration, had been replaced as Army chief of staff.
After the violence in Veracruz, the Navy Department showered sailors and marines with Medals of Honor. Lopsided naval profligacy—46 Navy and nine Marine awards, only one for an Army soldier—may have figured in the official army response to MacArthur’s daring recon run. The imbalance—the most valor awards for a U.S. battle before or since—likely was indicative of new Secretary of the Navy Josephius Daniel’s partisanship. But it also reflected intense house-to-house fighting by sailors and marines before Army troops ever reached the scene.
Old Glory: United States military personnel at Veracruz keep each beneath a familiar banner. (Bains News Service/Library of Congress)
Two days before MacArthur left Veracruz, Constant Cordier wrote to Wood, “If any deed of daring merits the Medal of Honor surely MacArthur’s audacious undertaking is one.” Wood, now heading the Department of the East and with MacArthur’s report in hand, agreed, and recommended the captain receive a Medal of Honor. However, when Woods’s endorsement and documentation reached Funston, the case began wobbling. The old campaigner claimed that not until after returning from Veracruz did he know of the young officer’s venture. “I had not the slightest information regarding the reconnaissance made by Captain MacArthur,” Funston said.
The case for MacArthur’s receiving the medal fared little better with a review board. Two of three members, while confirming MacArthur’s “distinguished gallantry,” nonetheless questioned the “advisability” of awarding the Medal of Honor for a foray undertaken without the local commanding officer’s knowledge. The third man didn’t equivocate: the case for MacArthur lacked “incontestable proof” and there was nothing “clearly to distinguish him from the gallantry and intrepidity above his comrades.”
Even with that thumbs-down, the matter simmered. Still pulling strings, Wood managed to keep MacArthur’s candidacy alive, requesting clarification—whereupon Douglas MacArthur intervened on his own behalf. Excoriating the board for “rigid narrow-mindedness and lack of imagination,” he protested vehemently to army chief of staff Major General Hugh M. Scott.
MacArthur’s special pleading doubtless sealed his fate. On March 2, 1915, with MacArthur still assigned to the General Staff, the board confirmed an “adverse recommendation.” The roller coaster that was Douglas MacArthur’s career, after soaring on a foreign battlefield, bottomed out in Washington’s corridors of power.
His ride, however, was just beginning.✯
Fading Away: MacArthur, 83, warned LBJ, left, not to send American forces into Vietnam. Johnson did anyway. (Everett Collection/Alamy Stock Photo)
Gen. Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (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 played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign. Arthur MacArthur, Jr., and Douglas MacArthur were the first father and son to each be awarded the medal. He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of general of the army in the U.S. Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.
Douglas MacArthur was raised as a military brat in the American Old West. He attended the West Texas Military Academy, where he was valedictorian, and the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was First Captain and graduated top of the class of 1903. During the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz he conducted a reconnaissance mission, for which he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. In 1917, he was promoted from major to colonel and became chief of staff of the 42nd (Rainbow) Division. In the fighting on the Western Front during World War I he rose to the rank of brigadier general, was again nominated for a Medal of Honor, and was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross as well as the Silver Star seven times.
From 1919 to 1922, MacArthur served as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he attempted a series of reforms. His next assignment was in the Philippines, where in 1924 he was instrumental in quelling the Philippine Scout Mutiny. In 1925, he became the Army's youngest major general. He served on the court martial of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell and was president of the United States Olympic Committee during the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1930 he became Chief of Staff of the United States Army. As such, he was involved with the expulsion of the Bonus Army protesters from Washington, D.C., in 1932, and the establishment and organization of the Civilian Conservation Corps. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines.
MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of U.S. Army Forces Far East. A series of disasters followed, starting with the destruction of his air force on December 8, 1941, and the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese. MacArthur's forces were soon compelled to withdraw to Bataan, where they held out until May 1942. In March 1942, MacArthur, his family and his staff left Corregidor Island in PT boats, and escaped to Australia, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor. After more than two years of fighting in the Pacific, he fulfilled a promise to return to the Philippines. He officially accepted Japan's surrender on September 2, 1945, and oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. As the Supreme Commander Allied Powers (effective ruler) of Japan, he oversaw sweeping economic, political and social changes. He led the United Nations Command in the Korean War from 1950 to 1951. On April 11, 1951, MacArthur was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman. He later became Chairman of the Board of Remington Rand.
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 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.
After being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, Douglas MacArthur affiliated with Manila Lodge No.1 and on March 13th joined the Scottish Rite. On October 19, 1937, he was elected Knight Commander Court of Honor, and on December 8, 1947, he was coroneted Honorary 33rd Degree at the American Embassy in Tokyo. He became a life member of the Nile Shrine Temple in Seattle, Washington.
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
Bornद January 1880 Little Rock Barracks, Little Rock, Arkansas Died April 1964 (aged 84) Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Buried at MacArthur Memorial, Norfolk, Virginia Service/branch United States Army
Years of service Rank US-O11 insignia.svg General of the Army (U.S. Army) Field Marshal (Philippine Army) Service number O-57 Commands held United Nations Command Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers Southwest Pacific Area
Awards Medal of Honor Distinguished Service Cross (3) Army Distinguished Service Medal (5) Navy Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star (7) Distinguished Flying Cross Bronze Star Air Medal Purple Heart (2)
Spouse(s) Louise Cromwell Brooks (m. 1922 divorce 1929) Jean Marie Faircloth (m. 1937 his death 1964)
Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur, Jr., the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.
Raised in a military family in the American Old West, MacArthur was valedictorian at the West Texas Military Academy, and First Captain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated top of the class of 1903. During the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, he conducted a reconnaissance mission, for which he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. In 1917, he was promoted from major to colonel and became chief of staff of the 42nd (Rainbow) Division. In the fighting on the Western Front during World War I, he rose to the rank of brigadier general, was again nominated for a Medal of Honor, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice and the Silver Star seven times.
From 1919 to 1922, MacArthur served as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he attempted a series of reforms. His next assignment was in the Philippines, where in 1924 he was instrumental in quelling the Philippine Scout Mutiny. In 1925, he became the Army's youngest major general. He served on the court martial of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell and was president of the American Olympic Committee during the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1930, he became Chief of Staff of the United States Army. As such, he was involved in the expulsion of the Bonus Army protesters from Washington, D.C. in 1932, and the establishment and organization of the Civilian Conservation Corps. He retired from the US Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines.
MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of United States Army Forces in the Far East. A series of disasters followed, starting with the destruction of his air forces on 8 December 1941, and the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese. MacArthur's forces were soon compelled to withdraw to Bataan, where they held out until May 1942. In March 1942, MacArthur, his family and his staff left nearby Corregidor Island in PT boats and escaped to Australia, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. Upon his arrival in Australia, MacArthur gave a speech in which he famously promised "I shall return" to the Philippines. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor. After more than two years of fighting in the Pacific, he fulfilled a promise to return to the Philippines. He officially accepted Japan's surrender on 2 September 1945, aboard USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay, and oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. As the effective ruler of Japan, he oversaw sweeping economic, political and social changes. He led the United Nations Command in the Korean War until he was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman on 11 April 1951. He later became Chairman of the Board of Remington Rand.
Early life and education A military brat, Douglas MacArthur was born 26 January 1880, at Little Rock Barracks, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Arthur MacArthur, Jr., a U.S. Army captain, and his wife, Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur (nicknamed "Pinky"). Arthur, Jr. was the son of Scottish-born jurist and politician Arthur MacArthur, Sr., Arthur would later receive the Medal of Honor for his actions with the Union Army in the Battle of Missionary Ridge during the American Civil War, and be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. Pinkney came from a prominent Norfolk, Virginia, family. Two of her brothers had fought for the South in the Civil War, and refused to attend her wedding.
MacArthur entered West Point on 13 June 1899, and his mother also moved there to a suite at Craney's Hotel, overlooking the grounds of the Academy. Hazing was widespread at West Point at this time, and MacArthur and his classmate Ulysses S. Grant III were singled out for special attention by southern cadets as sons of generals with mothers living at Craney's.
Junior officer MacArthur spent his graduation furlough with his parents at Fort Mason, California, where his father, now a major general, was serving as commander of the Department of the Pacific.
World War I Rainbow Division MacArthur was promoted to brigadier general on 26 June. In late June, the 42nd Division was shifted to Châlons-en-Champagne to oppose the impending German Champagne-Marne Offensive. Général d'Armພ Henri Gouraud of the French Fourth Army elected to meet the attack with a defense in depth, holding the front line area as thinly as possible and meeting the German attack on his second line of defense. His plan succeeded, and MacArthur was awarded a second Silver Star.The 42nd Division participated in the subsequent Allied counter-offensive, and MacArthur was awarded a third Silver Star on 29 July. Two days later, Menoher relieved Brigadier General Robert A. Brown of the 84th Infantry Brigade of his command, and replaced him with MacArthur.
Superintendent of the United States Military Academy In 1919, MacArthur became Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which Chief of Staff Peyton March felt had become out of date in many respects and was much in need of reform. Accepting the post allowed MacArthur to retain his rank of brigadier general, instead of being reduced to his substantive rank of major like many of his contemporaries. When MacArthur moved into the superintendent's house with his mother in June 1919, he became the youngest superintendent since Sylvanus Thayer in 1817.
Army's youngest major general
MacArthur became romantically involved with socialite and multi-millionaire heiress Louise Cromwell Brooks. They were married at her family's villa in Palm Beach, Florida on 14 February 1922. Rumors circulated that General Pershing, who had also courted Louise, had threatened to exile them to the Philippines if they were married. This was denied by Pershing as "all damn poppycock." In October 1922, MacArthur left West Point and sailed to the Philippines with Louise and her two children, Walter and Louise, to assume command of the Military District of Manila MacArthur was fond of the children, and spent much of his free time with them.
Chief of Staff By 1930, MacArthur was still, at age 50, the youngest of the U.S. Army's major generals, and the best known. He left the Philippines on 19 September 1930 and for a brief time was in command of the IX Corps Area in San Francisco.
In 1934, MacArthur sued journalists Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen for defamation after they described his treatment of the Bonus marchers as "unwarranted, unnecessary, insubordinate, harsh and brutal". In turn, they threatened to call Isabel Rosario Cooper as a witness. MacArthur had met Isabel, a Eurasian woman, while in the Philippines, and she had become his mistress. MacArthur was forced to settle out of court, secretly paying Pearson $15,000.
Field Marshal of the Philippine Army When the Commonwealth of the Philippines achieved semi-independent status in 1935, President of the Philippines Manuel Quezon asked MacArthur to supervise the creation of a Philippine Army. Quezon and MacArthur had been personal friends since the latter's father had been Governor-General of the Philippines, 35 years earlier. With President Roosevelt's approval, MacArthur accepted the assignment.
MacArthur married Jean Faircloth in a civil ceremony on 30 April 1937. Their marriage produced a son, Arthur MacArthur IV, who was born in Manila on 21 February 1938. On 31 December 1937, MacArthur officially retired from the Army. He ceased to represent the U.S. as military adviser to the government, but remained as Quezon's adviser in a civilian capacity. Eisenhower returned to the U.S., and was replaced as MacArthur's chief of staff by Lieutenant Colonel Richard K. Sutherland, while Richard J. Marshall became deputy chief of staff.
In February 1942, as Japanese forces tightened their grip on the Philippines, MacArthur was ordered by President Roosevelt to relocate to Australia. On the night of 12 March 1942, MacArthur and a select group that included his wife Jean, son Arthur, and Arthur's Cantonese amah, Ah Cheu, fled Corregidor. MacArthur and his party reached Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao, where B-17s picked them up, and flew them to Australia. His famous speech, in which he said, "I came through and I shall return", was first made on Terowie railway station in South Australia, on 20 March. Washington asked MacArthur to amend his promise to "We shall return". He ignored the request.
MacArthur's attempts to shield the Emperor from indictment and to have all the blame taken by General Tojo were successful, which as Herbert P. Bix commented, ". had a lasting and profoundly distorting impact on the Japanese understanding of the lost war".
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) in Japan, MacArthur and his staff helped Japan rebuild itself, eradicate militarism and ultra-nationalism, promote political civil liberties, institute democratic government, and chart a new course that ultimately 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 stripped the Emperor of his military authority. The constitution—which became effective on 3 May 1947—instituted a parliamentary system of government, under which the Emperor acted only on the advice of his ministers. It included the famous Article 9, which outlawed belligerency as an instrument of state policy and the maintenance of a standing army. The constitution also enfranchised women, guaranteed fundamental human rights, outlawed racial discrimination, strengthened the powers of Parliament and the Cabinet, and decentralized the police and local government.
Within weeks of the Chinese attack, MacArthur was forced to retreat from North Korea. Seoul fell in January 1951, and both Truman and MacArthur were forced to contemplate the prospect of abandoning Korea entirely. European countries did not share MacArthur's world view, distrusted his judgment, and were afraid that he might use his stature and influence with the American public to re-focus American policy away from Europe and towards Asia. They were concerned that this might lead to a major war with China, possibly involving nuclear weapons. Since in February 1950 the Soviet Union and China had signed a defensive alliance committing each to go to war if the other party was attacked, the possibility that an American attack on China would cause World War III was considered to be very real at the time. In a visit to the United States in December 1950, the British prime minister, Clement Attlee, had raised the fears of the British and other European governments that "General MacArthur was running the show." In March 1951 secret United States intercepts of diplomatic dispatches disclosed clandestine conversations in which General MacArthur expressed confidence to the Tokyo embassies of Spain and Portugal that he would succeed in expanding the Korean War into a full-scale conflict with the Chinese Communists. When the intercepts came to the attention of President Truman, he was enraged to learn that MacArthur was not only trying to increase public support for his position on conducting the war, but had secretly informed foreign governments that he planned to initiate actions that were counter to United States policy. The President was unable to act immediately since he could not afford to reveal the existence of the intercepts and because of MacArthur's popularity with the public and political support in Congress. However, following the release on April 5 by Representative Martin of MacArthur's letter, Truman concluded he could relieve MacArthur of his commands without incurring unacceptable political damage.
The relief of the famous general by the unpopular politician for communicating with Congress led to a constitutional crisis, and a storm of public controversy. Polls showed that the majority of the public disapproved of the decision to relieve MacArthur. By February 1952, almost nine months later, Truman's approval rating had fallen to 22 percent. As of 2014, that remains the lowest Gallup Poll approval rating recorded by any serving president. As the increasingly unpopular war in Korea dragged on, Truman's administration was beset with a series of corruption scandals, and he eventually decided not to run for re-election.
After his recovery, MacArthur methodically began to carry out the closing acts of his life. He visited the White House for a final reunion with Eisenhower. In 1961, he made a "sentimental journey" to the Philippines, where he was decorated by President Carlos P. Garcia with the Philippine Legion of Honor. MacArthur also accepted a $900,000 (equivalent to $7.25 million in 2016) advance from Henry Luce for the rights to his memoirs, and wrote the volume that would eventually be published as Reminiscences.
President John F. Kennedy solicited MacArthur's counsel in 1961. The first of two meetings was held shortly after the Bay of Pigs Invasion. MacArthur was extremely critical of the military advice given to Kennedy, and cautioned the young President to avoid a U.S. military build-up in Vietnam, pointing out that domestic problems should be given a much greater priority. Shortly before his death, MacArthur gave similar advice to President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Death Douglas MacArthur died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on 5 April 1964, of biliary cirrhosis.
1. MacArthur was born into a military family in 1880
Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880, the third of three sons. Two of his uncles on his mother&rsquos side of the family fought for the Confederacy in the American Civil War his father fought on the Union side, and received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the war. Like his father before him, Douglas attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating first in his class of 93 cadets in 1903. It was a long tradition at the academy for the top ranked cadets to enter the prestigious Corps of Engineers upon graduation and commissioning. Douglas followed suit. During his time at the academy his mother, known as Pinky, lived in a nearby hotel.
MacArthur was, as were most cadets in their first two years at the academy, subjected to hazing. His mother living close by was one reason, another was his father&rsquos service in the Union Army. In 1901 a Congressional investigation into hazing at the academy was conducted, and MacArthur was called to testify. His testimony described acts of hazing he had witnessed, but he put little emphasis on that to which he was subjected. Despite Congressional action banning most forms of hazing in 1902, MacArthur found it still practiced when he returned to the academy as its Superintendent in 1919, and in fact learned it was far more vicious than it had been when he was a cadet.
When it appeared that the United States would soon be involved in World War II, MacArthur was recalled to serve in the U.S. Army. In 1941, President Roosevelt appointed him a major general, and one day later promoted him to lieutenant general in charge of the U.S. forces in the Pacific.
For some reason, MacArthur felt that the Philippines were not threatened by the war. He told John Hersey of Time magazine in May 1941 that "if Japan entered the war, the Americans, the British and the Dutch could handle her with about half the forces they now have deployed in the Far East." He held to this idea even after, on December 7, 1941, Japanese airplanes struck Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Ten hours later, the Japanese struck Clark Field in the Philippines, destroying most of MacArthur's planes.
A Japanese invasion and takeover of the Philippines followed, with forces far beyond the numbers the U.S. leaders thought possible. Once the fighting on the island began, MacArthur spread his poorly equipped forces far too thin and greatly exaggerated Japanese strength. MacArthur and his troops were penned up in the jungles with little possibility of escape or reinforcement. Still, MacArthur took personal command of his army's defenses, and to his credit he saved the city of Luzon from immediate destruction. He concentrated his forces on the Bataan peninsula and established his headquarters on the island of Corregidor. By moving food supplies away from the troops at Bataan and over to Corregidor, he created hardships for the soldiers. At this time, too, he accepted a personal gift of $500,000 from Philippines president Quezon, which violated army rules. Although MacArthur was known throughout his career for exposing himself, sometimes recklessly, to enemy fire, he did not visit the exhausted troops at Bataan even once.
It became clear that the U.S. forces in Bataan faced defeat, but MacArthur refused to leave the desperate situation until he was commanded to do so by President Roosevelt. In March 1942, he left the Philippines for Australia, taking with him a few of his men who could not become Japanese prisoners because they knew key military secrets. Typically, MacArthur revised his last message to the Japanese and Filipinos. In the message, he used the words "I shall return" instead of the army's recommendation, "We shall return."
In early April, the Filipino and American troops on Bataan surrendered a month later Corregidor fell to the Japanese. Meanwhile, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor, and to most of the public in the United States he emerged as the first American hero of the war.
On July 26, 1941 Roosevelt federalized the Philippine Army, recalled MacArthur to active duty in the U.S. Army as a two star/major general, and named him commander of U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). MacArthur was promoted to lieutenant general the following day,  and then to general on December 20. At the same time, Sutherland was promoted to major general, while Marshall, Spencer B. Akin, and Hugh John Casey were all promoted to brigadier general.  On July 31, 1941 the Philippine Department had 22,000 troops assigned, 12,000 of whom were Philippine Scouts. The main component was the Philippine Division, under the command of Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright.  Between July and December 1941 the garrison received 8,500 reinforcements.  After years of parsimony, much equipment was shipped. By November, a backlog of 1,100,000 shipping tons of equipment intended for the Philippines had accumulated in U.S. ports and depots awaiting vessels. 
At 0330 local time on December 8, 1941, Sutherland learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor and informed MacArthur. At 0530, Chief of Staff of the United States Army General George Marshall ordered MacArthur to execute the existing war plan, Rainbow Five. MacArthur did nothing. When, on three occasions, Gen. Breteron requested permission to attack Japanese bases in Formosa (now called Taiwan), in accordance with prewar intentions, he was refused. At 12:30, the Japanese pilots of the 11th Air Fleet achieved complete tactical surprise when they attacked Clark Field and the nearby fighter base at Iba Field. They destroyed or disabled 18 of Far East Air Force's 35 B-17s, 53 of its 107 P-40s, three P-35s, and more than 25 other aircraft. Substantial damage was done to the bases, and casualties totaled 80 killed and 150 wounded.  What was left of the Far East Air Force was all but destroyed over the next few days. 
Prewar defense plans assumed the Japanese could not be prevented from landing on Luzon and called for U.S. and Filipino forces to abandon Manila and retreat with their supplies to the Bataan peninsula. MacArthur attempted to slow the Japanese advance with an initial defense against the Japanese landings. However, he reconsidered his confidence in the ability of his Filipino troops when the Japanese landing force made a rapid advance after landing at Lingayen Gulf on December 21.  He subsequently ordered a retreat to Bataan.  Manila was declared an open city and on December 25 MacArthur moved his headquarters to the island fortress of Corregidor in Manila Bay.  A series of air raids by the Japanese destroyed all the exposed structures on the island and USAFFE headquarters was moved into the Malinta Tunnel. In the first ever air raid on Corregidor on December 29 Japanese airplanes bombed all the buildings on Topside including MacArthur's house and the barracks. MacArthur's family ran into the air raid shelter while MacArthur went outside to the garden of the house with some soldiers to observe and count the number of bombers involved in the raid when bombs destroyed the home. One bomb struck only ten feet from MacArthur and the soldiers shielded him with their bodies and helmets. Filipino sergeant Domingo Adversario was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for getting his hand wounded by the bomb and covering MacArthur's head with his own helmet, which was also hit by shrapnel. MacArthur was not wounded.    Later most of the headquarters moved to Bataan, leaving only the nucleus with MacArthur.  The troops on Bataan knew that they had been written off but continued to fight. Some blamed Roosevelt and MacArthur for their predicament. A ballad sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" called him "Dugout Doug."  However, most clung to the belief that somehow MacArthur "would reach down and pull something out of his hat." 
On January 1, 1942 MacArthur was offered and accepted a payment of $500,000 ($8.8 million in current value) from President Quezon of the Philippines as payment for his pre-war service. MacArthur's staff members also received payments: $75,000 for Sutherland, $45,000 for Richard Marshall, and $20,000 for Huff.   Eisenhower, after being appointed Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force, was also offered money by Quezon, but declined.  These payments were known only to a few in Manila and Washington, including President Roosevelt and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, until they were made public by historian Carol Petillo in 1979.   While the payments had been fully legal,  the revelation tarnished MacArthur's reputation.  
Escape to Australia and Medal of Honor citation Edit
In February 1942, as Japanese forces tightened their grip on the Philippines, MacArthur was ordered by President Roosevelt to relocate to Australia. MacArthur discussed the idea with his staff that he resign his commission and fight on as a private soldier in the Philippine resistance but Sutherland talked him out of it.  On the night of March 12, 1942, MacArthur and a select group (that included his wife Jean and son Arthur, as well as Sutherland, Akin, Casey, Marshall, Willoughby, Diller, and George) left Corregidor in four PT boats. MacArthur, his family and Sutherland traveled in PT 41, commanded by Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley. The others followed in PT 34, PT 35 and PT 32. MacArthur and his party reached Del Monte Airfield in Bukidnon province on the island of Mindanao two days later. General George Marshall sent three U.S. Navy B-17s to pick them up. Two of them arrived, and brought the entire group to Australia.  
MacArthur arrived on March 17 at Batchelor Airfield, about 60 miles (97 km) south of Darwin, before flying to Alice Springs, where he took the Ghan 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 promise to, "We shall return". He ignored the request.  Bataan eventually surrendered on April 9,  and Wainwright surrendered on Corregidor on May 6. 
For his leadership in the defense of the Philippines, General Marshall decided to award MacArthur the Medal of Honor, the decoration for which he had twice previously been nominated. It was admitted that MacArthur had not actually performed acts of valor in battle on Bataan but the 1927 award to Charles Lindbergh set a precedent. MacArthur chose to accept the medal on the basis that "this award was intended not so much for me personally as it is a recognition of the indomitable courage of the gallant army which it was my honor to command."  Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Douglas MacArthur thus became the first father and son to be awarded the Medal of Honor. They remained the only pair until 2001 when Theodore Roosevelt was awarded posthumously for his service during the Spanish–American War, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. having received one posthumously for his service during World War II. 
General Headquarters Edit
On April 18, 1942, MacArthur was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA). Lieutenant General George Brett became Commander, Allied Air Forces, and Vice Admiral Herbert F. Leary became Commander, Allied Naval Forces (though neither of these men were of MacArthur's choosing).  Since the bulk of land forces in the theater were Australian, General Marshall insisted an Australian be appointed as Commander, Allied Land Forces, and the job went to General Sir Thomas Blamey. Although predominantly Australian and American, MacArthur's command also included small numbers of personnel from the Netherlands East Indies, the United Kingdom, and other countries.  MacArthur established a close relationship with the Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin,  although many Australians resented MacArthur as a foreign general who had been imposed upon them. 
The staff of MacArthur's General Headquarters (GHQ) was built around the nucleus that had escaped from the Philippines with him, who became known as the "Bataan Gang".  Though Roosevelt and General Marshall pressed for Dutch and Australian officers to be assigned to GHQ, the heads of all the staff divisions were American and such officers of other nationalities as were assigned served under them.  Initially located in Melbourne,  the GHQ was moved to Brisbane in July because Brisbane was the northernmost city in Australia with the necessary communications facilities.  GHQ occupied the Australian Mutual Provident Society building (renamed after the war as MacArthur Chambers). MacArthur's office and Willoughby's G-2 section were located on the 8th floor (now the MacArthur Museum), while other staff sections occupied the four floors below. 
MacArthur formed his own signals intelligence organization, known as the Central Bureau, from Australian intelligence units and American cryptanalysts who had escaped from the Philippines  this unit forwarded Ultra information to Willoughby for analysis.  After a press dispatch revealed details of the Japanese naval concentration at Rabaul during the Battle of the Coral Sea,  President Roosevelt ordered that censorship be imposed in Australia. The Advisory War Council subsequently granted censorship authority to the GHQ over the Australian press. Australian newspapers were henceforth restricted to what was reported in the daily GHQ communiqué.   Veteran correspondents considered them "a total farce" and characterized them as "Alice-in-Wonderland information handed out at high level." 
Papuan Campaign Edit
Anticipating that the Japanese would strike at Port Moresby again, the garrison was strengthened and MacArthur ordered the establishment of new bases at Merauke and Milne Bay to cover its flanks.  The Battle of Midway in June 1942 led to plans to exploit this victory with a limited offensive in the Pacific. MacArthur's proposal for an attack on the main Japanese base at Rabaul met with objections from the U.S. Navy, which favored a less ambitious approach and objected to an Army general being in command of what would be an amphibious operation. The resulting compromise called for a three-stage advance, with the first, the seizure of the Tulagi area, being conducted by the Pacific Ocean Areas command, under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. The later stages would be conducted under MacArthur's command as Supreme Allied Commander, South West Pacific Area. 
The Japanese struck first, landing at Buna in July,  and at Milne Bay in August. The Australians soon defeated the Japanese at Milne Bay,  but a series of defeats in the Kokoda Track campaign had a depressing effect back in Australia. On August 30, MacArthur radioed Washington that unless action was taken, the New Guinea Force would be overwhelmed.  Having committed all the available Australian troops, MacArthur decided to send American troops. The 32nd Infantry Division, a poorly trained United States National Guard division, was selected to carry out a flanking maneuver.  A series of embarrassing American reverses in the Battle of Buna-Gona led to outspoken criticism of the American troops by Blamey and other Australians. MacArthur sent Lieutenant General Robert L. Eichelberger to "take Buna, or not come back alive."   MacArthur moved the advanced echelon of GHQ to Port Moresby on November 6, 1942.  Buna finally fell on January 3, 1943.  MacArthur awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to twelve officers for "precise execution of operations." This use of the country's second highest award aroused some resentment, because while some, like Eichelberger and Major General George Alan Vasey, had fought in the field, others, like Sutherland and Willoughby, had not.  For his part, MacArthur was awarded his third Distinguished Service Medal,  and the Australian government made him an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. 
MacArthur had little confidence in Brett's abilities as commander of Allied Air Forces SWPA,    and in August 1942 selected Major General George C. Kenney to replace him.   Kenney's application of air power in support of Blamey's ground forces would soon prove critical to Blamey's victory in the Battle of Wau.  In September 1942, Vice Admiral Leary was replaced by Vice Admiral Arthur S. Carpender as commander of Allied Naval Forces SWPA.  At that time, MacArthur's naval assets (commonly referred to as MacArthur's Navy) consisted of only 5 cruisers, 8 destroyers, 20 submarines and 7 small craft.  This fleet became the Seventh Fleet on 15 March 1943, in advance of Operation Cartwheel. 
Operation Cartwheel Edit
At the Pacific Military Conference in March 1943, the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved General MacArthur's plan for Operation Cartwheel, an advance on Rabaul. Owing to a shortage of resources, particularly heavy bomber aircraft, the final stage of the plan, the capture of Rabaul itself, was postponed until 1944.  MacArthur explained his strategy:
My strategic conception for the Pacific Theater, which I outlined after the Papuan Campaign and have since consistently advocated, contemplates massive strokes against only main strategic objectives, utilizing surprise and air-ground striking power supported and assisted by the fleet. This is the very opposite of what is termed "island hopping" which is the gradual pushing back of the enemy by direct frontal pressure with the consequent heavy casualties which will certainly be involved. Key points must of course be taken but a wise choice of such will obviate the need for storming the mass of islands now in enemy possession. "Island hopping" with extravagant losses and slow progress. is not my idea of how to end the war as soon and as cheaply as possible. New conditions require for solution and new weapons require for maximum application new and imaginative methods. Wars are never won in the past. 
Lieutenant General Walter Krueger's Sixth Army headquarters arrived in SWPA in early 1943 but MacArthur had only three American divisions, and they were tired and depleted from the fighting at Buna and Guadalcanal. As a result, "it became obvious that any military offensive in the South-West Pacific in 1943 would have to be carried out mainly by the Australian Army." 
In New Guinea, a country without roads, large-scale transportation of men and material would have to be accomplished by aircraft or ships. A multi-pronged approach was employed to solve this problem. Disassembled landing craft were shipped to Australia, where they were assembled in Cairns.  The range of these small landing craft was to be greatly extended by the landing ships of Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey's VII Amphibious Force, which began arriving in late 1942.  Barbey's force formed part of Carpender's newly formed Seventh Fleet.   Carpender reported to MacArthur as Supreme Allied Commander, SWPA, but to Admiral Ernest King as Commander Seventh Fleet, which was part of King's United States Fleet.  Since the Seventh Fleet had no aircraft carriers, the range of naval operations SWPA was limited by that of the fighter aircraft of the Fifth Air Force. Although a few long-range P-38 Lightning fighters had arrived in SWPA in late 1942, further deliveries were suspended owing to the demands of Operation Torch. 
The main offensive began with the landing at Lae by Major General George Wootten's Australian 9th Division and the 2nd Engineer Special Brigade on September 4, 1943. The next day MacArthur watched the landing at Nadzab by paratroops of the 503rd Parachute Infantry from a B-17 circling overhead. The B-17 made the trip on three engines because one failed soon after leaving Port Moresby, but MacArthur insisted that it fly on to Nadzab.  For this, MacArthur was awarded the Air Medal. 
Vasey's Australian 7th Division and Wooten's 9th Division converged on Lae, which fell on September 16. MacArthur advanced his timetable, and ordered the 7th Division to capture Kaiapit and Dumpu, while the 9th Division mounted an amphibious assault on Finschhafen. Here, the offensive bogged down. Part of the problem was that MacArthur had based his decision to assault Finschhafen on Willoughby's assessment that there were only 350 Japanese defenders at Finschhafen when there were actually nearly 5,000. A furious battle ensued. 
In early November, MacArthur's plan for a westward advance along the coast of New Guinea to the Philippines was incorporated into plans for the war against Japan approved at the Cairo Conference.   Three months later, airmen reported no signs of enemy activity in the Admiralty Islands. Although his intelligence staff did not agree that the islands had been evacuated, MacArthur ordered an amphibious landing on Los Negros Island, marking the beginning of the Admiralty Islands campaign. MacArthur accompanied the assault force aboard USS Phoenix, the flagship of Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, who had recently replaced Carpender as commander of the Seventh Fleet. MacArthur, who came ashore with Kinkaid only seven hours after the first wave of landing craft, was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in this campaign.  After six weeks of fierce fighting, the 1st Cavalry Division captured the islands the campaign officially ended on 18 May 1944. 
MacArthur now bypassed the Japanese forces at Hansa Bay and Wewak, and assaulted Hollandia and Aitape, which Willoughby reported to be lightly defended. Although they were out of range of the Fifth Air Force's fighters based in the Ramu Valley, the timing of the operation allowed the aircraft carriers of the Pacific Fleet to provide air support.  Though risky, the operation turned out to be a brilliant success. MacArthur caught the Japanese off balance and cut off Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi's Japanese XVIII Army in the Wewak area. Because the Japanese were not expecting an attack, the garrison was weak, and Allied casualties were correspondingly light. However, the terrain turned out to be less suitable for airbase development than first thought, forcing MacArthur to seek better locations further west. Moreover, while bypassing Japanese forces had great tactical merit, it had the serious strategic drawback of tying up large numbers of Allied troops in order to contain them, and Adachi was far from beaten. In the Battle of Driniumor River, he would bring on "the New Guinea campaign's bloodiest and most strategically useless battle." 
In July 1944, President Roosevelt summoned MacArthur to meet with him in Hawaii "to determine the phase of action against Japan." Nimitz and MacArthur agreed that the next step should be to advance on the southern and central Philippines. MacArthur emphasized the moral and political issues involved in a decision to liberate or bypass Luzon. He also spoke briefly of his plan to use the Australian Army to liberate Indonesia. Although the issue was not settled, both Roosevelt and Leahy were convinced of the soundness of MacArthur's plan.  In September, Halsey's carriers made a series of air strikes on the Philippines. Opposition was feeble and Halsey concluded that Leyte was "wide open" and possibly undefended, and recommended that projected operations be skipped in favor of an assault on Leyte. 
On October 20, 1944, troops of Krueger's Sixth Army landed on Leyte, while MacArthur watched from USS Nashville. That afternoon he arrived off the beach. The advance had not progressed far snipers were still active and the area was under sporadic mortar fire. When his whaleboat grounded in knee-deep water, MacArthur requested a landing craft, but the beachmaster was too busy to grant his request. MacArthur was compelled to wade ashore.   In his prepared speech he said:
People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil — soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring upon a foundation of indestructible strength, the liberties of your people. 
Since Leyte was out of range of Kenney's land-based aircraft, MacArthur was entirely dependent on carrier aircraft for cover.  Japanese air activity soon increased, with raids on Tacloban, where MacArthur decided to establish his headquarters, and on the fleet offshore. MacArthur enjoyed staying on Nashville ' s bridge during air raids, although several bombs landed close by, and two nearby cruisers were hit.  Over the next few days, the Imperial Japanese Navy staged a major counterattack in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. MacArthur attributed the near-disaster to command being divided between himself and Nimitz.  Nor did the campaign ashore proceed smoothly. The timing of the assault so late in the year forced the combat troops, pilots, and the supporting logistical units to contend with heavy monsoonal rains that disrupted the airbase construction program. Adverse weather and valiant Japanese resistance slowed the American advance ashore. MacArthur was forced to ask Nimitz to recall the carriers to support the Sixth Army but they proved to be no substitute for land-based aircraft, and the lack of air cover permitted the Japanese Army to pour troops into Leyte.   By the end of December, Krueger's headquarters estimated that 5,000 Japanese remained on Leyte, and on December 26 MacArthur issued a communiqué announcing that "the campaign can now be regarded as closed except for minor mopping up." Yet Eichelberger's Eighth Army would kill more than 27,000 Japanese on Leyte between then and the end of the campaign in May 1945.  On December 18, 1944, MacArthur was promoted to the new five-star rank of General of the Army — one day before Nimitz was promoted to Fleet Admiral, also a five-star rank.  MacArthur had a Filipino silversmith make the rank badges from American, Australian, Dutch and Filipino coins. 
MacArthur's next move was the invasion of Mindoro, where there were good potential airfield sites around the San Jose area. Willoughby estimated, correctly as it turned out, that the island had only about 1,000 Japanese defenders. The problem this time was getting there. A parachute drop was considered, but the airfields on Leyte lacked the space to hold the required transport aircraft. Kinkaid balked at sending escort carriers into the restricted waters of the Sulu Sea, and Kenney could not guarantee land based air cover. The operation was clearly hazardous, and MacArthur's staff talked him out of accompanying the invasion on the Nashville. As the invasion force entered the Sulu Sea, a kamikaze struck Nashville, killing 133 people and wounding 190 more, including the task force commander, Brigadier General William C. Dunkel. The landings were made unopposed on December 15, 1944, and within two weeks Australian and American engineers had three airstrips in operation, but "not since Anzio had the navy experienced so much difficulty supporting an amphibious operation after the initial landing." The resupply convoys were repeatedly attacked by kamikaze aircraft and on December 26–27 a Japanese naval force attacked the area, sinking a destroyer and damaging other ships. 
The way was now clear for the invasion of Luzon. This time, based on different interpretations of the same intelligence data, Willoughby's G-2 Section at GHQ estimated the strength of General Tomoyuki Yamashita's forces on Luzon at 137,000, while that of Sixth Army estimated it at 234,000. The Sixth Army Brigadier General Clyde D. Eddleman attempted to lay out the reasons for the Sixth Army's assessment, but MacArthur's response was "Bunk!". He felt that even Willoughby's estimate was too high. "Audacity, calculated risk, and a clear strategic aim were MacArthur's attributes," and he was prepared to disregard the intelligence estimates. However, all the estimates were too low: Yamashita had more than 287,000 troops on Luzon.  This time MacArthur traveled on the USS Boise, watching as the ship was near-missed by a bomb and torpedoes fired by midget submarines.  The GHQ communiqué read: "The decisive battle for the liberation of the Philippines and the control of the Southwest pacific is at hand. General MacArthur is in personal command at the front and landed with his assault troops." 
MacArthur's primary concern was the capture of the port of Manila and the airbase at Clark Field, which were required to support future operations. He urged his front line commanders on.  On January 25, 1945 he moved his advanced headquarters forward to Hacienda Luisita, closer to the front than Krueger's at Calasiao.  On January 30, MacArthur ordered the 1st Cavalry Division's commander, Major General Verne D. Mudge, to conduct a rapid advance on Manila. On February 3, it reached the northern outskirts of Manila and the campus of the University of Santo Tomas where 3,700 internees were liberated.  Unknown to the Americans, Rear Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi had decided to defend Manila to the death. The Battle of Manila raged for the next three weeks.  In order to spare the civilian population, MacArthur prohibited the use of air strikes, but thousands of civilians died in the crossfire or Japanese massacres.  He also refused to restrict the traffic of civilians who clogged the roads in and out of Manila, placing humanitarian concerns above military ones except for emergencies.  Most of MacArthur's 8,000-volume military library, which included books inherited from his father, was lost.  Nonetheless, he continued his habit of reading military history and biography until his death.  For his part in the capture of Manila, MacArthur was awarded his third Distinguished Service Cross. 
Southern Philippines Edit
Although MacArthur had no specific directive from the Joint Chiefs to do so, and the fighting on Luzon was far from over, he committed the Eighth Army, Seventh Fleet and Thirteenth Air Force to a series of operations to liberate the remainder of the Philippines from the Japanese. A series of 52 amphibious landings were made in the central and southern Philippines between February and July 1945.  In the GHQ communiqué on July 5, MacArthur announced that the Philippines had now been liberated and all operations ended, although Yamashita still held out in northern Luzon.  Starting in May 1945, MacArthur used his Australian troops in the invasion of Borneo. MacArthur accompanied the assault on Labuan on USS Boise, and visited the troops ashore, along with Lieutenant General Sir Leslie Morshead and Air Vice Marshal William Bostock. En route back to his headquarters in Manila, he visited Davao, where he told Eichelberger that no more than 4,000 Japanese remained alive on Mindanao. A few months later, six times that number would surrender. In July 1945, he set out on Boise once more to be with the Australian 7th Division for the landing at Balikpapan.  MacArthur was awarded his fourth Distinguished Service Medal.