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Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army 

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The following was graciously provided from the MacArthur Foundation Archivist:

 Douglas MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on January
26, 1880, the son of Capt (later Lt Gen) Arthur MacArthur and Mary
Pinkney Hardy MacArthur of Norfolk, Virginia. Douglas was the
youngest of three children. The eldest, Arthur, went to the United
States Naval Academy and died in 1923, a Capt in the Navy.  His other
brother, Malcolm, died in childhood, in 1883, and is buried in Norfolk.

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.

After his return to the United States in 1919, Douglas MacArthur then
became Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
From 1922 to 1930, he served two tours of duty in the Phillipines as well
as in various cities in the United States. In 1928, he led the U.S.
Olympic Team to Amsterdam. During the twenties, MacArthur was
married to and divorced from Louise Cromwell Brooks.

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover appointed Douglas MacArthur
Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. President Franklin D. Roosevelt retained
him in this post until the fall of 1935, when MacArthur returned to the
Philippines as military advisor to the newly established Philippine
Commonwealth. MacArthur’s principal task was to organize and train
a Philippine Army. Although he retired from the U.S. Army at the end
of 1937, General MacArthur remained military advisor to the
Philippine Commonwealth, and was named Field Marshall of its 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 Japan’s
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 Korea’s 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 hero’s 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..

Appendix I

Douglas MacArthur’s Military Promotion History

First Lieutenant Apr 23, 1904
Captain Feb 27, 1911
Major Dec 11, 1915
Colonel (National Army) Aug 5, 1917
Brigadier General (National Army) Jun 26, 1918
Brigadier General (Regular Army) Jan 20, 1920
Major General (Regular army) Jan 17, 1925
General (Chief of Staff) Nov 21, 1930
Major General Oct 1, 1935
Lieutenant General (Temporary) Jul 27, 1941
General (Temporary) Dec 18, 1941
General of the Army Dec 18, 1944

Decorations of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
National Military Decorations and Governmental Awards 

United States Decorations

Congressional Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross (Army) w/ 1 oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Cross (Navy)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Silver Star with 1 silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star with "V" device
Air Medal
Purple Heart with 1 oak leaf cluster
Philippine Campaign Medal (1899-1903)
Mexican service Medal (1911-1917)
World War I Victory Medal w/ 5 battle clasps
Representing the following campaigns:
Champaigne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St.Mihiel,
Meuse-Argonne, Defensive Sector

Occupation Medal --World War I (Germany)
American Defense Medal with Foreign Service Clasp.
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 10 Bronze Stars
representing the following campaigns:
Philippine Islands, East Indies, Papua, New Guinea,
Northern Solomons, Bismarck Archipelago, Leyte,
Luzon, Southern Philippines, Borneo, and an
Arrowhead represnting amphibious assault landing
on Leyte.
Victory Medal-World War II
Occupation Medal-World War II (Japan)
National Defense Service Medal (1950-1953)
Korean Service Medal (1950-1953) with 3 Bronze Stars
and Arrowhead representing assault landing at Inchon
Presidential Citation Badge with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters:
(7 Citations-3 USAFFE, 3 Philippines Department,
The Thanks of the U.S. Senate
The Thanks of the U.S. House of Representatives
Chief of General Staff Badge
Foreign Service Chevrons; 14 Stripes
Expert Rifleman’s Badge
Expert Pistol Shot Badge
Combat Pilot’s Wings
Combat Infantry Badge

Foreign Decorations


Medal of Valor
Distinguished Service Cross
Grand Cross Legion of Honor
Defense Medal with Star
Liberation Medal with 4 Stars
Independence Ribbon
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.


Pacific Star
Thanks of Australian Parliament


Grand Cross Order of the Crown with Palm
Commander Order of the Cross
Croix de Guerre with palm


Grand Cordon of Pao Ting


Grand Cross of Military Merit


Grand Cross Order of the White Lion


Grand Cross Order of Abdon Calderon


Grand Cross Legion of Honor
Grand Officer Legion of Honor
Commander Legion of Honor
Croix de Guerre with 4 Palms
Honorary Corporal, Chasseurs
D’Alpine de Baccarat
Honorary Private, 8th Infantry Regiment of the Line
Legion of Honor Fourragere
Medal Militaire Fourragere

Great Britain

Grand Cross of Bath


Medal of Honor


Cross of Military Merit First Order


Grand Cross Order of Military Merit


Grand Cross of the Military Order
Grand Cordon Order of the Cross
War 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


Grand Cross Polonia Restituta
Virtuti Militaria


Grand Cross Order of Military Merit

United Nations

Korean Medal


Grand Cross Order of White Eagle

MacArthur’s Academic Degrees
(Mostly Honorary)

M.M.S. Norwich University
D.M.S. Pennsylvania Military College 1928
L.L.D. University of Maryland 1928
L.L.D. Western Maryland College 1929
L.L.D. University of Pittsburgh 1932
L.L.D. University of the Philippines 1938
L.L.D. University of Wisconsin 1942
L.L.D. University of Queensland, Australia 1945
L.L.D. Univ of Santo Tomas,Philippines 1945
L.L.D. Harvard University 1946
L.L.D. Seoul University Korea 1946
S.T.D. Midwestern College Australia
D.Int.L. Pennsylvania Military College 1946
L.L.D. Missouri Valley College 1947
D.C.L. University of Hawaii 1946
L.L.D. University of Columbia 1947

L.L.D. Marquette University 1951
L.L.B. University of the South 1947
D.H.L. University of Dallas 1960
L.L.D. Wilmington State 1961
L.L.D. University of Southern Philippines
L.L.D. Lycenia 1961 

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:
for the bit on trading MacArthur for atomic bomb cores. (Truman's ace to fire Doug)

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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