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Douglas MacArthur
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Douglas MacArthur

Douglas B. MacArthur (January 26, 1880 - April 5, 1964) was a five-star United States General of the Army who led a series of military victories in World War II, and was the occupying ruler of Japan from 1945 to 1951.

Table of contents
1 Biography
2 Military career
3 Interesting Facts
4 External links

Biography

MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was the son of the Civil War Medal of Honor winner Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr and of Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur of Norfolk, Virginia. Douglas MacArthur's older brother, Arthur, attended the United States Naval Academy and died in 1923, as a Captain. His other brother, Malcolm, died in 1883.

MacArthur grew up on Army bases. He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1898 and graduated first in his class in 1903, as a 2nd Lieutenant of engineers.

During World War I MacArthur served in France, first with the 42nd Division and, upon his promotion to Brigadier General (the youngest ever in the United States Army), as commander of the 84th Infantry Brigade. He spent most of the inter-war period on different assignments in the Philippines. In 1932, while in Washington, D.C he commanded the troops used to disperse the Bonus Army of First World War veterans who were in the capital protesting against the government's failure to give them benefits. He was accused of using excessive force against a peaceful protest.

MacArthur left the U.S. Army in 1937 to command the Philippines Army, but returned in July of 1941 as commander of US Army Forces - Far East.

During World War II, MacArthur fought in Southeast Asia against Japan. MacArthur lost the Battle for the Philippines, with much of his airforce destroyed on the ground. After the defeat of his forces in the Philippines, he became Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific and took command of Australian, American, Dutch and other Allied forces defending Australia, fighting mainly in and around New Guinea. MacArthur's forces eventually achieved success, overrunning Japanese resistance in 1943 and 1944; afterwards, American forces under MacArthur's command took back the Philippines in October 1944. In September 1945 MacArthur received the formal Japanese surrender which ended World War II. He was awarded and received the Medal of Honor for his leadership in the Pacific Theather.

After World War II, MacArthur served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP). His first responsibility was overseeing the reconstruction in Japan. Though it was officially an effort of the Allies, the U.S. was firmly in control, and MacArthur was effectively the dictator of Japan during this period. In 1946, MacArthur's staff created the constitution that is in use in Japan to this day. MacArthur handed over power to the newly formed Japanese government in 1949, and remained in Japan until June 1950.

After the surprise attack of the North Korean army in June 1950 started the Korean War, the United Nations General Assembly authorized a United Nations (UN) force to help South Korea. MacArthur led the U.N. coalition counter-offensive, noted for an amphibious landing behind North Korean lines at Inchon. As his forces approached the Korea-China border, the Chinese warned they would become involved. During his trip to Wake Island to meet with President Truman, he was specifically asked by President Truman about Chinese involvement in the war. MacArthur was dismissive. On October 25, 1950, the People's Liberation Army attacked across the Yalu River, forcing the U.N forces to embark on a lengthy retreat. MacArthur sought an extension of the conflict into China, but President Truman stubbornly refused his request. After heated arguments, Truman became fed up with MacArthur's call for a full-scale military attack on China and relieved him of his duty in April 1951. Recently declassified documents indicate that MacArthur wanted to drop many nuclear bombs on China (some sources put this number at 50). Truman did not agree, fearing a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union and needless Chinese deaths. General Matthew B. Ridgway replaced MacArthur and stabilized the situation near the 38th parallel.

MacArthur returned to Washington (his first time in the continental US in 11 years), where he made his last public appearance in a farewell address to the Congress, interrupted by thirty ovations. In his closing speech, he mused: "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."

On his return from Korea, after his relief by Truman, MacArthur encountered massive public adulation, which aroused expectations were that he would run for the US presidency as a Republican in 1952. However, a Senate Committee investigation of his removal, chaired by Richard Russell, contributed to a marked cooling of the public mood and, once his presidential hopes had died away, MacArthur spent the remainder of his life quietly in New York.

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MacArthur and his wife are buried together in downtown Norfolk, Virginia; their burial site is in a small museum dedicated to his memory, and a major shopping mall across the street from the burial site is named for him.

Military career

Interesting Facts

MacArthur Park located in western Los Angeles, California is named after General MacArthur. The park was also the basis of the song of the same name by Richard Harris.

External links