General Douglas MacArthur
U. S. Army General of the Army & Field Marshal of the Philippine Army
Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880 in Little Rock, AR. He joined the U. S. Army in Ashland, WI.
Between 1935-1941 MacArthur lived at the Manila Hotel in the penthouse dubbed the "MacArthur Suite".
On March 16, 1942 four B-17 Flying Fortress bombers flew to Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao and were used to evacuate General Douglas MacArthur, his family and senior staff. At Del Monte Airfield, MacArthur and his family boarded B-17E "San Antonio Rose II" 41-2447 for the evacuation flight southward to Darwin. Afterwards, he was flown by Major Richard H. Carmichael from Darwin southward then by train.
On March 20, 1942 at Terowie railroad station in South Australia, MacArthur first made his famous speech that included the statement, "I came through and I shall return". The line "I shall return" became his rally and promise to the people of the Philippines to liberate them from Japanese occupation.
Afterwards, General George Marshall decided "to offset any propaganda by the enemy directed at his leaving his command" that MacArthur would earn the Medal of Honor, America's highest decoration for military valor that he had twice previously been nominated. General Eisenhower injected that that MacArthur had not performed any acts of valor as required by law, but Marshall cited the precedent of the Medal of Honor being bestowed on Charles Lindbergh. Special legislation had been passed to authorize Lindbergh's medal, but while similar legislation was introduced authorizing the medal for MacArthur by Congressmen J. Parnell Thomas and James E. Van Zandt, Marshall felt the recognition "would mean more" if the gallantry criteria were not waived and it should be received from the President and War Department. Marshall ordered General Sutherland to recommend the award, and wrote the citation himself that was made official on April 1, 1942.
Medal of Honor citation
""For conspicuous leadership in preparing the Philippine Islands to resist conquest, for gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against invading Japanese forces, and for the heroic conduct of defensive and offensive operations on the Bataan Peninsula. He mobilized, trained, and led an army which has received world acclaim for its gallant defense against a tremendous superiority of enemy forces in men and arms. His utter disregard of personal danger under heavy fire and aerial bombardment, his calm judgment in each crisis, inspired his troops, galvanized the spirit of resistance of the Filipino people, and confirmed the faith of the American people in their Armed Forces." G.O. No.: 16, 1 April 1942
The Medal of Honor bestowed on MacArthur was controversial because it was earned for leadership not gallantry. At the time, General Marshal admitted to the Secretary of War, that "there is no specific act of General MacArthur's to justify the award of the Medal of Honor under a literal interpretation of the statutes." Later, in 1945 when the Army's Adjutant General reviewed the decoration they determined that "authority for [MacArthur's] award is questionable under strict interpretation of regulations." Previously, MacArthur was twice nominated for the award and understood that it was for leadership and not gallantry. He expressed the sentiment 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". MacArthur became the first father and son to earn the Medal of Honor.
During late 1942, Captain Edward V. "Eddie" Rickenbacker delivered a secret message to General MacArthur after surviving the ditching of B-17D 40-3089 and twenty-two days lost at seas.
On October 3, 1942
MacArthur, Australian Army General Blamey, General Herring and General Kenney plus Minister for the Army Mr. F. M. Forde visit the Australian Army at Owers' Corner at the start of the Kokoda Trail. MacArthur told 16th Brigade C.O. Brigadier J. E. Lloyd, "Lloyd, by some act of God, your Brigade has been chosen for this job. The eyes of the Western world are upon you. I have every confidence in you and your men, good luck, don't stop." This was MacArthur's first visit to New Guinea and inspection of the forward lines.
On November 30, 1942 on the front veranda of his new headquarters at the Governor General's Residence in Port Moresby, MacArthur gives orders to General Robert Eichelberger orders for the Buna operation including the candid remark: "Bob…I want you to take Buna, or not come back alive."
On September 5, 1943 MacArthur was a passenger aboard B-17F "Talisman" 41-24537 as one of three bombers on a flight to observe the U. S. Army 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment (503rd PIR) paratrooper drop over Nadzab. Aboard two other B-17s were General Kenney and General Richard Sutherland. The flight was dubbed by General Kenney the "Brass Hat's Flight".
On September 15, 1944 MacArthur and Rear Admiral Barbey observed the U. S. Army 31st Infantry Division
amphibious landing on Morotai and soon afterwards and made an inspection.
On October 20, 1944 the U. S. Army 6th Ranger Battalion, X Corps and XXIV Corps began landing on the eastern Leyte and began the American liberation of the Philippines. Observing the landings from aboard USS Nashville, MacArthur was eager to get ashore and departed at 1:00pm on an LCVP landing craft then waded ashore on "Red Beach" at Palo as photographer Major Gaetano Faillace took an iconic picture of him wading ashore and made good on his promise "I
shall return". He came ashore with Philippines President Sergio Osmena, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Carlos P. Romulo, and General Sutherland.
On December 12, 1944 MacArthur pinned the Medal of Honor onto Major Richard I. Bong, America's highest scoring ace at Tacloban Airfield on Leyte. During the presentation, MacArthur tossed away his written remarks and said, "Major Richard Ira Bong, who has ruled the air from New Guinea to the Philippines, I now induct you into the society of the bravest of the brave, the wearers of the Congressional Medal of Honor of the United States."
On December 18, 1944 MacArthur was promoted to the newly created five star rank of "General of the Army".
On March 2, 1945 MacArthur arrived on Corregidor to attend a U. S. flag raising ceremony at the flag pole while soldiers from "Rock Force" stood at attention with General MacArthur, General Hall (Commanding Officer "Rock Force) and Lt. Colonel Jones (Commanding Officer, 503rd PIR RCT). After the U. S. flag was raised, Lt. Col Jones stepped forward, saluted and reported to MacArthur: "Sir, I present to you Fortress Corregidor." At the ceremony, MacArthur awarded Jones the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) and stated: "I
see the old flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist
the colors to
haul them down."
On April 5, 1964 MacArthur passed away at age 84 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The year before, U. S. President John F. Kennedy authorized a state funeral that was confirmed by U. S. President Johnson who ordered MacArthur receive a burial "with all the honor a grateful nation can bestow on a departed hero". On April 7, 1964 a twelve hour open casket viewing was held at the Seventh Regiment Armory (Park Avenue Armory) in New York City. Afterwards, his body was transported aboard a train to Union Station then a funeral procession to the U. S. Capital where he lay in state and was viewed by roughly 150,000 visitors.
Before his death, MacArthur expressed his wishes to be buried in Norfolk, Virginia where his mother was born and parents married. On April 11, 1964 a funeral service was held at St Paul's Episcopal Church then he was laid to rest in the rotunda of The MacArthur Memorial the former Norfolk City Hall.
Around the world, many memorials, plaques and displays are devoted to MacArthur's achievements and legacy.
The The MacArthur Memorial has a museum devoted to MacArthur's life and military career including his father's Civil War service, his military career and postwar life and displays artifacts and possessions.
The MacArthur Museum Brisbane is located on the eighth floor of the heritage listed A&P Building in Brisbane that he used as a headquarters in Australia. The museum includes the actual office used by General Douglas MacArthur when he directed the Allied Forces from Australia between 1942–1944.
The MacArthur Memorial is located atop GHQ Hill inland from Hollandia (Jayapura).
Arthur MacArthur Jr. (father)
Arthur MacArthur IV (son)
U. S. Army Medal of Honor Recipients - World War II (M-S) - MacArthur, Douglas
Congressional Medal of Honor Society - Douglas MacArthur
FindAGrave - Douglas MacArthur (photo, grave photos)
December 8, 1941 MacArthur's Pearl Harbor (2003) by William Bartsch
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