Douglas MacArthur

U.S. Army general of the army, field marshal of the Army of the Philippines
Could I have but a line a century hence crediting a contribution to the advance of peace, I would gladly yield every honor which has been accorded me in war.

Douglas MacArthur (26 January 18805 April 1964) was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur, Jr., the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.

Contents

QuotesEdit

 
I have returned.
 
"Duty, Honor, Country" — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.
 
They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.
 
Americans never quit.
 
America has evolved a model for this new free world... America has demonstrated that peoples of the East and peoples of the West may walk side by side in mutual respect and with mutual benefit.
  • It was close; but that's the way it is in war. You win or lose, live or die — and the difference is just an eyelash.
    • To Gen. Richard Sutherland after their flight over Japanese held territory to reach Australia (17 March 1942) [specific citation needed]
  • I see that the flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down.
    • To Colonel George M. Jones and the 503rd Regimental Combat Team, who recaptured Corregidor (2 March 1945) [specific citation needed]
  • It seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in Asia is where the Communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest, and that we have joined the issue thus raised on the battlefield; that here we fight Europe’s war with arms while the diplomats there still fight it with words; that if we lose the war to communism in Asia the fall of Europe is inevitable, win it and Europe most probably would avoid war and yet preserve freedom. As you pointed out, we must win. There is no substitute for victory.
    • Letter to Representative Joseph W. Martin, Jr., (20 March 1951); read to the House by Martin on April 5.
  • It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear. While such an economy may produce a sense of seeming prosperity for the moment, it rests on an illusionary foundation of complete unreliability and renders among our political leaders almost a greater fear of peace than is their fear of war.
    • Speech to the Michigan legislature, in Lansing, Michigan (15 May 1952), published in General MacArthur Speeches and Reports 1908-1964 (2000) by Edward T. Imparato, p. 206, much of this was used in speeches of 1951, as quoted in The Twenty-year Revolution from Roosevelt to Eisenhower (1954) by Chesly Manly, p. 3, and Total Insecurity : The Myth Of American Omnipotence (2004) by Carol Brightman, p. 182
  • Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense. Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.
    • Speech to the Michigan legislature, in Lansing, Michigan (15 May 1952), published in General MacArthur Speeches and Reports 1908-1964 (2000) by Edward T. Imparato, p. 206; part of this was also used in a speech in Boston, as quoted in TIME magazine (6 August 1951)
  • Only those are fit to live who are not afraid of dying.
    • Richards Topical Encyclopedia (1951)
  • "Duty, Honor, Country" — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn... In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country. Today marks my final roll call with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps. I bid you farewell.
  • Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind.
    • Reported in William A. Ganoe, MacArthur Close-Up (1962), p. 137
  • Could I have but a line a century hence crediting a contribution to the advance of peace, I would gladly yield every honor which has been accorded me in war.
    • Macarthur and the American Century: A Reader (2001) edited by William M Leary
  • The Puerto Ricans forming the ranks of the gallant 65th Infantry on the battlefields of Korea … are writing a brilliant record of achievement in battle and I am proud indeed to have them in this command. I wish that we might have many more like them.
  • Our swollen budgets constantly have been misrepresented to the public. Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.
    • Address to the Annual Stockholders Sperry Rand Corporation (30 July 1957), as published in General MacArthur Speeches and Reports 1908-1964 (2000) by Edward T. Imparato, p. 206

1920sEdit

  • Americans never quit.
    • Comment as president of the American Olympic committee when the manager of the American boxing team in the 1928 Olympic games wanted to withdraw the team because of what he thought was an unfair decision against an American boxer; reported in The New York Times (August 9, 1928), p. 13.

1940sEdit

Victory broadcast (1945)Edit

Radio broadcast after the surrender of the Japan on the battleship USS Missouri officially ending World War II (2 September 1945)
 
We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war.
  • Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain with death — the seas bear only commerce — men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world lies quietly at peace. The holy mission has been completed. And in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way.
  • We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war.
    A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concepts of war.
  • Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found in so far as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, Leagues of Nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door.
  • We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, Commodore Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress, by lifting the veil of isolation to the friendship, trade, and commerce of the world. But alas the knowledge thereby gained of western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought were denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of principles to see that the Japanese people are liberated from this condition of slavery. … To the Pacific basin has come the vista of a new emancipated world. Today, freedom is on the offensive, democracy is on the march. Today, in Asia as well as in Europe, unshackled peoples are tasting the full sweetness of liberty, the relief from fear.

1950sEdit

Farewell address to Congress (1951)Edit

 
I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes … But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.
 
War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war there is no substitute for victory.
Farewell address to a Joint Session of Congress (19 April 1951) (with MPEG audio)
  • I stand on this rostrum with a sense of deep humility and great pride — humility in the weight of those great American architects of our history who have stood here before me; pride in the reflection that this home of legislative debate represents human liberty in the purest form yet devised.
  • Here are centered the hopes and aspirations and faith of the entire human race. I do not stand here as advocate for any partisan cause, for the issues are fundamental and reach quite beyond the realm of partisan consideration. They must be resolved on the highest plane of national interest if our course is to prove sound and our future protected. I trust, therefore, that you will do me the justice of receiving that which I have to say as solely expressing the considered viewpoint of a fellow American.
  • I address you with neither rancor nor bitterness in the fading twilight of life, with but one purpose in mind: to serve my country. The issues are global and so interlocked that to consider the problems of one sector, oblivious to those of another, is but to court disaster for the whole. While Asia is commonly referred to as the Gateway to Europe, it is no less true that Europe is the Gateway to Asia, and the broad influence of the one cannot fail to have its impact upon the other.
  • In this situation, it becomes vital that our own country orient its policies in consonance with this basic evolutionary condition rather than pursue a course blind to the reality that the colonial era is now past and the Asian peoples covet the right to shape their own free destiny. What they seek now is friendly guidance, understanding, and support — not imperious direction — the dignity of equality and not the shame of subjugation.
  • The Pacific no longer represents menacing avenues of approach for a prospective invader. It assumes, instead, the friendly aspect of a peaceful lake. Our line of defense is a natural one and can be maintained with a minimum of military effort and expense.
  • China, up to 50 years ago, was completely non-homogenous, being compartmented into groups divided against each other. The war-making tendency was almost non-existent, as they still followed the tenets of the Confucian ideal of pacifist culture. At the turn of the century, under the regime of Chang Tso Lin, efforts toward greater homogeneity produced the start of a nationalist urge. This was further and more successfully developed under the leadership of Chiang Kai-Shek, but has been brought to its greatest fruition under the present regime to the point that it has now taken on the character of a united nationalism of increasingly dominant, aggressive tendencies.
  • The Japanese people, since the war, have undergone the greatest reformation recorded in modern history. With a commendable will, eagerness to learn, and marked capacity to understand, they have, from the ashes left in war's wake, erected in Japan an edifice dedicated to the supremacy of individual liberty and personal dignity; and in the ensuing process there has been created a truly representative government committed to the advance of political morality, freedom of economic enterprise, and social justice. Politically, economically, and socially Japan is now abreast of many free nations of the earth and will not again fail the universal trust... I sent all four of our occupation divisions to the Korean battlefront without the slightest qualms as to the effect of the resulting power vacuum upon Japan. The results fully justified my faith. I know of no nation more serene, orderly, and industrious, nor in which higher hopes can be entertained for future constructive service in the advance of the human race.
  • While I was not consulted prior to the President's decision to intervene in support of the Republic of Korea, that decision from a military standpoint, proved a sound one, as we hurled back the invader and decimated his forces. Our victory was complete, and our objectives within reach, when Red China intervened with numerically superior ground forces.
  • While no man in his right mind would advocate sending our ground forces into continental China, and such was never given a thought, the new situation did urgently demand a drastic revision of strategic planning if our political aim was to defeat this new enemy as we had defeated the old.
  • We could hold in Korea by constant maneuver and in an approximate area where our supply line advantages were in balance with the supply line disadvantages of the enemy, but we could hope at best for only an indecisive campaign with its terrible and constant attrition upon our forces if the enemy utilized its full military potential. I have constantly called for the new political decisions essential to a solution.
    Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes. … But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.
  • War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war there is no substitute for victory.
  • There are some who, for varying reasons, would appease Red China. They are blind to history's clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.
  • The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action is confined to its territorial limits. It condemns that nation, which it is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy's sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation. Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description.
    They have chosen to risk death rather than slavery. Their last words to me were: "Don't scuttle the Pacific!"
  • I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that "old soldiers never die; they just fade away."
    And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty.

Quotes about MacArthurEdit

  • During the Korean War, MacArthur was a law unto himself, in matters both big and small. He quarreled defiantly in public with President Truman, agitating for nuclear war. In their eventual confrontation on Wake Island, MacArthur went so far as to arrive first and then order the president's approaching plane into a holding pattern. MacArthur's commander in chief would thus arrive on the landing strip appearing to be MacArthur's supplicant. In explaining why he subsequently relieved MacArthur of his command, Truman said, "I fired him because he wouldn't respect the authority of the president. I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals." Truman was arguably pulling his punches. He could have easily called MacArthur an asshole.
    • Aaron James, in his book Assholes: A Theory (2012), p. 1-2.
  • Back and forth the fantastic tableaux would spin, past his cruel plebe hazing, the self-discovery at the West Texas Military Academy, the patriarchal Judge MacArthur, all beard and cigar smoke, presiding over dynastic feats at Washington's 1201 N Street; the chimes of the drawing-room clock there telling off the quarters; the ceremonial changing of the guard at Leavenworth; his father's tales of Sherman's dauntless Boys in Blue; his mother's imperious commands to fight and fight and never lower his blade short of victory; the clean crack of Krag rifles and the warm prickling of desert sand as he played with his brother outside the fort stockade; the rumbling of the sunset gun and Pinky's face tilting downward, her lambent smile gilding the child's upturned features while he clutched at her cascading skirts; the yellow notes of the bugles as he stirred in his cradle; the chant of sergeants hawking cadence on the parade ground outside; and, snapping proudly in the overarching sky above him, the flag, and the flag, and the flag.
    • William Manchester, in his book American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 (1978), p. 709
  • I was still in Europe at the time. Truman said he had the authority to relieve him and he did it. I have never made up my mind whether he was right or not, but I happened to be with a British unit the night we learned of MacArthur's dismissal. The British had a brigade in Korea at the time and the British officers in the Mess were very anti-MacArthur and celebrating his demise. I think MacArthur was a magnificent general, but he became more and more insulated from the world by his staff, many of whom had been with him since the Bataan days. I think that was part of the problem. He was not a young man at the time of Korea. I think, perhaps, he got too dependent on his staff officers and certain things happened which were not in MacArthur's best interest... Even after MacArthur was relieved by the President of the United States he had a tickertape parade in New York City and he made two great speeches, one to Congress and one about Duty, Honor, Country. The Duty, Honor, Country speech is one of the greatest ever made by a military man, and he made it without a note at the age of seventy-five. I believe Douglas MacArthur in 1945 could have come home and run for president and won going away. He was worshipped at the end of the war.
  • He carried a different level of prestige. I don't think anybody would fool with him. MacArthur was MacArthur and everybody was subordinate to MacArthur. For his part and with regard to leadership, MacArthur commanded a theater, and of course his responsibilities far transcended those of my dads. He was a superb leader and was probably the greatest general this country has ever produced.
 
He was a superb leader and was probably the greatest general this country has ever produced.
  • With his flamboyant headgear, his sunglasses and corn cob pipe, he looked like an actor playing the role of a great general. He also had the sort of press an actor likes; he arranged that, in part, by keeping his subordinates as anonymous as possible. But the truth was that Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific, was a great general. He had one of the most distinguished military careers on record (top of his class at West Point, a hero in the first war, Army Chief of Staff), and it is doubtful that anyone in any of the services knew more about the Pacific theater. Nonetheless, the war that would be waged to return him to the Philippines, as he had promised, would be a Navy war, and [three admirals]- Nimitz, King, and Halsey- would have every bit as much to do with the strategy and tactics of winning that war as he had.
    • C.L. Sulzberger, in his book The American Heritage Picture History of World War II (1966), p. 335
  • I graduated on June 13, number 4 in a class of 102. General MacArthur gave me my diploma and his "Congratulations, Mr. Taylor" was the last time I heard his voice until, as the new Chief of Staff of the Army, I called on him in the Waldorf Towers in 1956. Although he had done much for the Corps of Cadets during his superintendency, oddly enough he had never made an effort to impress his personality on the cadets through direct communication with them. I do not ever recall his having made a speech to us and only a few cadets were ever asked to his house. Certainly no graduate has left greater evidence of deep affection for West Point and the Corps than MacArthur, but the cadets saw little of this during his superintendency.
    • Maxwell D. Taylor, United States Military Academy Class of 1922, in his book Swords and Plowshares (1972), p. 28
  • I fired him because he wouldn't respect the authority of the president. That's the answer to that. I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail.
    • Harry S. Truman, quoted in Plain Speaking : An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman (1974) by Merle Mille
  • Nothing but a damn bunch of bullshit!

Award CitationsEdit

  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Brigadier General (Corps of Engineers) Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as Chief of Staff, 42d Division, A.E.F., in the Salient-du-Feys, France, 9 March 1918. When Company D, 168th Infantry, was under severe attack in the salient du Feys, France, General MacArthur voluntarily joined it, upon finding that he could do so without interfering with his normal duties, and by his coolness and conspicuous courage aided materially in its success.
    • Citation for MacArthur's first Distinguished Service Cross. War Department, General Orders No. 27 (1919)
 
On a field where courage was the rule, his courage was the dominant feature.
  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Brigadier General (Corps of Engineers) Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving as Chief of Staff, 42d Division, A.E.F., near Cote-de-Chatillon, France, October 14 - 16, 1918: As brigade commander General MacArthur personally led his men and by the skillful maneuvering of his brigade made possible the capture of Hills 288, 242, and the Cote-de-Chatillon, France, 14 - 16 October 1918. He displayed indomitable resolution and great courage in rallying broken lines and in reforming attacks, thereby making victory possible. On a field where courage was the rule, his courage was the dominant feature.
    • Citation for MacArthur's second Distinguished Service Cross. War Department, General Orders No. 27 (1919).
  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I. General MacArthur served with credit as Chief of Staff of the 42d Division in the operations at Chalons and at the Chateau-Thierry salient. In command of the 84th Infantry Brigade, he showed himself to be a brilliant commander of skill and judgment. Later he served with distinction as Commanding General of the 42d Division.
    • Citation for MacArthur's first Distinguished Service Medal. War Department, General Orders No. 59 (1919).
  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to General Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility. As Chief of Staff of the Army of the United States from 21 November 1930 to 1 October 1935, General MacArthur performed his many important and exacting duties with signal success. He devised and developed the Four-Army organization of our land forces; he conceived and established the GHQ Air Force, thus immeasurably increasing the effectiveness of our air defenses; he initiated a comprehensive program of modernization in the Army's tactics, equipment, training, and organization. In addition, the professional counsel and assistance he continuously rendered to the President, to the Secretary of War, and to the Congress were distinguished by such logic, vision, and accuracy as to contribute markedly to the formulation of sound defense policies and the enactment of progressive laws for promoting the Nation's security.
    • Citation for MacArthur's second Distinguished Service Medal. War Department, General Orders No. 7 (1935).
  • The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, 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. General MacArthur 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.
    • Citation for MacArthur's Medal of Honor. It was the third time he had been nominated for the award, but the first time he had received it. Citation for the War Department, General Orders No. 16 (April 1, 1942)
  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to General Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific since March 1942. Under extremely difficult conditions of terrain, climate and limited forces and material he expelled the enemy from eastern New Guinea, secured lodgments on the Island of New Britain and gave strategic direction to coordinated operations resulting in the conquest of the New Georgia Group and the establishment of the United States Army and Navy forces on Bougainville Island. He has inflicted heavy losses on the enemy and established his forces in positions highly favorable for the construction of offensive operations.
    • Citation for MacArthur's third Distinguished Service Medal. War Department, General Orders No. 10 (1944).
  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to General of the Army Douglas Macarthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy, in action against enemy forces on 26 January 1945, while visiting the 25th Division in combat at San Manuel, Luzon, Philippine Islands. On that date, General MacArthur advanced within 75 yards of the enemy lines to a point where two men had just been killed and several wounded by Japanese fire and which was still under heavy attack by enemy small arms, mortar, and cannon. Hidden enemy machine gunners and riflemen were opposing the advance with deliberately aimed cross-fire which intermittently covered the area. General MacArthur's example in the face of enemy fire, was a source of inspiration to the men of the 25th Division and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States.
    • Citation for MacArthur's third Distinguished Service Cross. War Department, General Orders No. 46 (May 23, 1946).
  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, during the period 20 October 1944 to 4 July 1945. As Supreme Commander of Allied Air, Ground and Sea Forces in the Southwest Pacific, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur planned and personally directed the campaigns which resulted in the liberation of the Philippine Islands. Strongly entrenched and superior enemy forces were overwhelmed and completely destroyed in a series of decisive operations and exploiting U.S. Air and Sea superiority, coupled with the resolute and courageous fighting of the Ground Forces. The immediate result of the campaign was control of the China sea, the isolation of Japanese Forces in Burma, Malaysia and Indo-China and the termination of coastwise traffic supporting the Japanese Armies in Central and South China. The liberation of the Philippines began with the landings on Leyte on 20 October in which complete strategic surprise was achieved. After bitter fighting under most difficult conditions of weather and terrain, General MacArthur destroyed the Japanese forces which included the noted 1st Division of the Kvantung Army. Again surprising the enemy, General MacArthur moved his forces boldly up the Western Coast of the main Philippine Island and effected a landing on the shores of Lingayen Gulf on 9 January 1945. The flawless execution of this hazardous amphibious approach and landing so disorganized the enemy that in a series of deep thrusts Manila was liberated on 25 February. The fortress of Corregidor fell soon afterward in a brilliantly conceived and directed combined land, sea and air operation. By the end of June only isolated groups of enemy remained in Luzon. While the United States SIXTH Army was so engaged, EIGHTH Army units cleared the enemy from the Southern Islands in a series of amphibious operations. By 4 July organized resistance had terminated, completing the liberation of the Philippine Islands and the 17,000,000 inhabitants from Japanese domination. More than 300,000 dead and 7,000 prisoners were lost by the enemy, our casualties in killed, wounded and missing totaling 60, 628. Seventeen of our divisions had opposed and defeated twenty-three enemy divisions. The air, ground, and naval forces worked in complete unison to inflict this crushing disaster on the Japanese Army.
    • Citation for MacArthur's fourth Distinguished Service Medal. Department of the Army, General Orders No. 27 (April 19, 1948).
  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Fourth Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fifth Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for distinguished service to the peoples of the United States and the Republic of Korea, and to the peoples of all free nations. Having been designated as the first field commander of United Nations armed forces, and directed, in the common interest, to repel an armed attack upon the Republic of Korea and to restore international peace and security in the area, he has given these forces conspicuously brilliant and courageous leadership and discerning judgment of the highest order. Having been compelled to commit his troops to combat under extremely adverse conditions and against heavy odds in order to gain the time so imperatively needed for the build-up of his forces for the counter-offensive, he has so inspired his command by his vision, his judgment, his indomitable will and his unshakeable faith, that is has set a shining example of gallantry and tenacity in defense and of audacity in attack matched by but few operations in military history. His conduct has been in accord with the highest traditions of the military service of the United States, and is deserving of the enduring gratitude of the freedom-loving peoples of the world.
    • Citation for MacArthur's fifth Distinguished Service Medal. Department of the Army, General Orders No. 39 (1950).
 
He has so inspired his command by his vision, his judgment, his indomitable will and his unshakeable faith, that is has set a shining example of gallantry and tenacity in defense and of audacity in attack matched by but few operations in military history. His conduct has been in accord with the highest traditions of the military service of the United States, and is deserving of the enduring gratitude of the freedom-loving peoples of the world.
  • The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Air Force Award) to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (ASN: 0-57), United States Army, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as Commander-in-Chief, Far East, and Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, during the period 29 June to 20 October 1950. On 29 June General MacArthur made a flight to Suwon, Korea, during which his aircraft was subjected to effective interception by hostile air action. Another friendly aircraft in the area was attacked and destroyed by enemy air immediately prior to General MacArthur's landing, and the Suwon airstrip itself was bombed and strafed during the course of his visit. On 27 July he made a flight to Taegu, Korea, during which his aircraft was again subject to hostile air interception and at which time the ground situation in the immediate area was most precarious. On 29 September, General MacArthur made a flight to Kimpo, Korea, again under conditions presenting the threat of hostile air interception and while the Kimpo airfield itself was subject to hostile ground fire. On 20 October he made a flight to the Sukchon-Sunchon area of Korea in order to observe and supervise the para-drop of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. During this entire operation his aircraft was subject to attack by enemy aircraft known to be based at Sinuiju. These aerial flights in an unarmed aircraft were made by General MacArthur in furtherance of his mission as Commander of the United Nations forces in Korea. Each flight involved the risk of death or capture by the enemy. In General MacArthur's case this risk was multiplied a hundred-fold in view of his personal stature and his position as Commander-in-Chief. That General MacArthur unhesitatingly took part in these extraordinarily important and dangerous missions is a further demonstration of the unfaltering devotion to duty which characterizes his every action as a leader. His conduct in these instances has been an outstanding source of inspiration to the men he commands. Throughout the Korean campaign the strategic concepts underlying General MacArthur's command decisions have reflected a superb understanding of the most advantageous employment of air power and made possible the victory which is being achieved with minimum losses and unprecedented speed. By his heroism and extraordinary achievement, General Douglas MacArthur reflects the highest honor upon himself, the United Nations, and the Armed Forces of the United States.
    • Citation for MacArthur's Distinguished Flying Cross. Headquarters, Far East Air Forces, General Orders No. 93 (October 20, 1950)

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