On This Day

Douglas MacArthur

US WWII General Douglas MacArthur

Profession: US WWII General

United States of America

Biography: Born into a military family Douglas MacArthur graduated from Westpoint in 1903. During World War I he was a Colonel in the 42nd 'Rainbow Division' and eventually its commander. During this period he was awarded 7 silver stars and the Distinguished Service Medal.

After a period as Superintendent at Westpoint where he instituted new reforms, MacArthur left in 1922 to take up a command in Manilla. In 1930 he was named the army's Chief of Staff but his reputation took a hit when he lead troops against the 'bonus army' of vets in Washington in 1932.

MacArthur was back in the Philippines when WWII broke out and many of hi forces were destroyed in attacks on the Philippines the day after Pearl harbour. MacArthur was forced to retreat to the Bataan peninsula and then Australia, vowing to one day return. He became a major figure in the war in the Pacific fighting his way through New Guinea. By October 1944 he returned to the island of Leyte, before liberating the rest of the Philippines. In September 1945 he received the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri.

After the war as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan he oversaw the country's reconstruction. He successfully steered it towards democracy overseeing improvements in land ownership and human rights that were to have a lasting effect. His last command was as Commander of a United Nations force in the Korean War but he was relived of his command in 1951 after disagreements in strategy and returned to the US.

Born: January 26, 1880
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Star Sign: Aquarius

Died: April 5, 1964 (aged 84)

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1922-02-14 Soldier Douglas MacArthur (42) marries 1st wife heiress Louise Cromwell Brooks (32)
  • 1937-04-30 General Douglas MacArthur (57) marries 2nd wife Jean Faircloth

Historical Events

  • 1917-12-07 The USA's 42nd 'Rainbow' Division arrives in France (with Colonel Douglass MacArthur among its ranks)
  • 1942-02-22 World War II: President Franklin Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defenses collapse
  • 1942-03-11 General MacArthur leaves Corregidor (Bataan) for Australia
  • 1942-03-17 General Doug MacArthur arrives in Australia to become supreme commander
  • 1942-03-20 General Douglas MacArthur vows "I came through and I shall return" after escaping Japanese-occupied Philippines
  • 1943-06-30 General MacArthur begins Operation Cartwheel (island-hopping)
  • 1944-10-20 US forces under General Douglas MacArthur return to the Philippines with the landing of the US 6th army on Leyte
  • 1945-01-09 US soldiers led by Gen Douglas MacArthur invades Philippines
  • 1945-02-05 WWII: US troops under General Douglas MacArthur enter Manila, Philippines; month long battle ends 3 years of Japanese military occupation
  • 1945-02-07 General Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila
  • 1945-08-29 General MacArthur named Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in Japan
  • 1945-08-30 General Douglas MacArthur lands in Japan
  • 1945-09-27 US General and head of the Allied occupation of Japan, Douglas MacArthur, meets Emperor Hirohito in Tokyo for the first time
  • 1947-05-07 General MacArthur approves Japanese constitution
  • 1950-06-30 US General MacArthur visits front in South Korea, asks for US troops
  • 1950-07-08 General Douglas MacArthur named commander-in-chief of UN forces in Korea
  • 1951-04-11 US President Harry Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of command in Korea
  • 1951-04-19 General Douglas MacArthur ends his military career
  • 1951-04-22 Ticker-tape parade for General MacArthur in NYC
  • 1961-04-12 Douglas MacArthur declines offer to become baseball commissioner