General of the Army
The following was graciously provided from the MacArthur Foundation Archivist:
Douglas MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on January
Douglas accompanied his family to various military posts from New
Mexico to Fort Leavenworth to Washington, DC. He was appointed to
The United States Military Academy from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in
1899. After an eventful and fruitful course at West Point, where he
graduated first in his class and held the highest rank in the Corps of
Cadets, Douglas MacArthur was commissioned Second Lieutenant,
Corps of Engineers, on June 11, 1903. Subsequent military promotion
dates are the subject of another web page.
Auspiciously, his first duty assignment was to the Phillipines, where
only recently his father had been military governor. Filipino
insurrectionists provided Douglas with his first experience in military
Until 1914, Douglas MacArthur served in Army engineering positions in
The United States and abroad. The single exception was year he spent
as aide to his father (1905 1906) on an extensive tour of the Far East,
including Japan and recent battle fields of the Russo-Japanese War. In
1914, Douglas played a notable role in the military expedition to Vera
Cruz, Mexico. Returning to Washington, MacArthur served on the
General Staff until he joined the then-forming 42nd Infantry Division in
Responsible for much of the organization and training of the 42nd
Division, MacArthur was credited with naming it the "Rainbow
Division", because it made up of National Guard units from all over
the United States. He served as divisional Chief of Staff, commander
of the 84th Infantry Brigade, and, briefly, division commander. His
activities with the division in France and Germany earned him two
Distinguished Service Crosses, a Distinguished Service Medal, and six
Silver Stars, not to mention two wound stripes (later honored by Purple
Heart medals) and promotion to Brigadier General, his first "star", of
the National Army.
Meanwhile, in April 1937, the General married Tennessee-born Jean
Faircloth. Arthur MacArthur IV the only child of Douglas and Jean
MacArthur, was born in Manila on February 21, 1938.
Due to the spread of the war in Europe and the accelerating Japanese
Expansion in the Far East, the U.S.Army Forces, Far East, were
created. President Roosevelt recalled General MacArthur to active
duty to command these forces. The President also directed that the
Philippine army be called upon to serve with United States forces.
Mobilization, planning, organization, training, re-equipping, and
supplying his command occupied the General until Dec 8, 1941.
Although built up considerably prior to the outbreak of war, especially
in their air strength, the U.S. Philippine units were no match for the
combined naval-air-ground assault by the Japanese. Having fallen back
on the Bataan peninsula and the fortress islands blocking Manila
Bay, most notably Corregidor Island, the Americans and Filipinos
under General MacArthur brought the Japanese to a standstill.
Since no significant reinforcement could reach Bataan and Corregidor
and the disease ravaged, ammunition-short Filipinos and Americans
could not be expected to hold out much longer, President Roosevelt
ordered General MacArthur to leave the Philippines and to proceed
to Australia. The General, his family, and a nucleus staff left
Corrigidor in a torpedo boat for Mindanao, whence they flew to
Australia. For his dogged, brave defense of the Philippines, General
MacArthur was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, almost
eighty years after his father had won the medal on Missionary Ridge,
From April 1942 to October 1944, General MacArthur trained,
organized, planned for, and led his Southwest Pacific Command
through New Guinea, New Britain, the Bismarcks, and Morotai to
an enormously successful landing in Leyte in the central Philippines.
In January 1945, the General landed with his forces at Lingayen Gulf
and marched on Manila and Bataan.
With the surrender of the Japanese on the U.S.S. Missouri on
September 2, 1945, General MacArthur assumed his powers as
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP). Unlike historical
occupation commanders, General MacArthur took a benevolent
approach to the Japanese. He personally oversaw the rebuilding and
democratization of Japan. An early, equitable peace treaty with Japan
was a major goal. A new constitution, a radical departure from Japans
pre-war constitution, was readied in months. New laws resulted in the
first universal suffrage election in early 1946. The reforms in land
holding have effect even today. Trade and manufacture were fostered.
Education and local government reforms were affected. Freedom of the
press and the right to form and belong to trade unions were established.
In June 1950, with the North Korean Invasion of the Republic of Korea,
General MacArthur was directed to assist the South Koreans with his
resources, including ground forces. Named Commander-In-Chief,
United Nations Command, in July, MacArthur directed the naval, air,
and ground forces of the United States, South Korea, and the United
Nations in stopping and turning back the Communist invaders.
On September 15, 1950, the General personally directed the United
States Forces in a daring amphibious attack an Inchon. This assault
on the North Korean rear so neutralized the Communist positions in
South Korea that the U.N. forces were able to quickly move into North
Korea and to the Manchurian border.
Although some Chinese Communists had been located in North Korea
as early as late October, it was not until late November that massed
Chinese "volunteers" openly intervened in the Korean War.
MacArthur retained control of sea and air, but the massive Chinese
ground forces could not be held back by the United Nations.
A withdrawal commenced that gave up all of North Korea and a portion
of the Republic of Korea. By late March 1951 the U.N. troops again
pushed across the 38th parallel , north of Seoul, South Koreas capital.
On April 11, 1951, President Truman because of significant policy
differences with the General, (after Mr Truman traded 9 atom bomb
core assemblies to SAC /Air Forces via JCS for the right to dismiss
him, per R. Rhodes) relieved Douglas MacArthur of his commands.
MacArthur returned to the United States to a heros welcome. He
addressed a joint session of Congress in a famous speech wherein he
outlined his views concerning world conditions. Although the General
never again held a military command, he remained in public view until
his death. He toured the United States after his Congressional address,
appeared before a Congressional investigative committee, and gave a
keynote address to the 1952 Republican National Convention. He
became Chairman of the Board of Remington Rand (later Sperry Rand)
Rand). He made a sentimental tour to the Philippines. In 1962, he made
his final comencement address to the cadets at West Point. In
1962-1964, he wrote and published his "Reminiscences".
On April 5, 1964, General Douglas MacArthur died at Walter Reed
Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. After lying in state in New York
And Washington, the General was interred in the MacArthur Memorial
in Norfolk, Virginia..
Decorations of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
United States Decorations
Congressional Medal of Honor
Medal of Valor
Distinguished Service Cross
Grand Cross Legion of Honor
Defense Medal with Star
Liberation Medal with 4 Stars
Presidential Citation Badge
Field Marshal Philippine Army (Stamp/Coinage Issue)
The Thanks of the Philippine Congress
Honorary Filipino CitizenshipPermanent Membership in every Filipino Military organization.
Thanks of Australian Parliament
Grand Cross Order of the Crown with Palm
Commander Order of the Cross
Croix de Guerre with palm
China:Grand Cordon of Pao Ting
Cuba:Grand Cross of Military Merit
CzechoslovakiaGrand Cross Order of the White Lion Ecuador Grand Cross Order of Abdon Calderon
FranceGrand Cross Legion of Honor
Great BritainGrand Cross of Bath
GreeceMedal of Honor
GuatemalaCross of Military Merit First Order
HungaryGrand Cross Order of Military Merit Italy
Grand Cross of the Military Order
Grand Cordon Order of the Cross
Order of the Rising Sun 1st Class w/ Paulownia Flowers
Thanks of Japanese Diet
Grand Cross of Military Merit
Presidential Citation Badge
Thanks of Korean Congress
Grand Cross Order of Military Merit
Grand Cross Order of Orange-Nassau
PolandGrand Cross Polonia Restituta
Grand Cross Order of Military Merit
Grand Cross Order of White Eagle
MacArthurs Academic Degrees
Bibliographical Credits for this material:
City of Norfolk, General Douglas MacArthur Foundation:
for above Biography, Decorations list, and degrees list.
"Dark Sun-The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb" by Richard Rhodes:
Sad News: Mrs Jean MacArthur passed this life aged 101, and
was a star too :)
Here is a little I got from the web on her life. <Obituary>
Visit A Korean War Retrospective site
See Images from "Reminiscences", his Autobiography finished weeks before he died.
See Famous Speeches that General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Made!
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