10 Interesting Facts About Douglas MacArthur That You Might Not Know

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Douglas MacArthur, born on 26 January 1880 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. He died on 5 April 1964.

Here are some interesting facts about this American hero.

19th century photograph of Arthur MacArthur, Jr..
19th century photograph of Arthur MacArthur, Jr.

MacArthur’s father, Arthur, fought for the North against the secessionist South during the American Civil War, while his mother’s family had her roots in the Confederate South.

Colonel Douglas MacArthur is decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross for Bravery by General John J. Pershing
Colonel Douglas MacArthur is decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross for Bravery by General John J. Pershing

Both Douglas MacArthur and Arthur MacArthur were recipients of the Medal of Honor. Douglas MacArthur was awarded this prestigious medal for his defense of the Philippines against the Japanese in the Second World War, while Arthur MacArthur received his award for outstanding display of courage during the Battle of Missionary Ridge in 1863.

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Douglas MacArthur as a student at West Texas Military Academy in the late 1890s (Wikipedia)

MacArthur attended the same West Point military academy as the famous Confederate General Robert. E. Lee and graduated with a score of 98.14 % – a feat which equaled the achievement of Lee himself.

MacArthur and Roosevelt
MacArthur and Roosevelt

After a furious confrontation with President Roosevelt over proposed budget cuts to the United States military, MacArthur was so sickened by Roosevelt’s intended budget reforms that he vomited on the steps of the White House.

Dwight D Eisenhower
Dwight D Eisenhower

In 1952, MacArthur made a bid for the presidency of America but was knocked out of the running for the Republican nomination by another Second World War hero – Dwight Eisenhower!

Gen. Douglas MacArthur Jan. 20, 1945
Gen. Douglas MacArthur Jan. 20, 1945

Like his contemporary, ‘Blood and Guts’ Patton, MacArthur had a number of fashion eccentricities such as his trademark aviator sunglasses and corncob pipe.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur addressing an audience of 50,000 at Soldier's Field, Chicago, on his first visit to the United States in 14 years, April 1951. Acme.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur addressing an audience of 50,000 at Soldier’s Field, Chicago, on his first visit to the United States in 14 years, April 1951

Never one to avoid a confrontation, MacArthur did not scruple to speak out openly against what he saw as President Truman’s disastrous handling of the Korean War – his efforts to steer American involvement in the right direction resulted in several presidential warnings and ultimately his dismissal.

 

Macarthur’s triumphant New York City ticker-tape parade held in his honor was the largest such event to-date.

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In 1952 MacArthur met with the newly elected president Dwight Eisenhower and the two discussed potential military strategies to ensure an American victory. Macarthur’s suggestion for winning the war – use nuclear bombs!

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MacArthur’s sarcophagus at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk (Wikipedia)

Having honorably served his country on military fronts in Europe and Asia, Douglas Macrthur passed away on the 5th April 1964, at the age of 84, and was buried at the MacArthur Memorial.

General Douglas MacArthur Farewell Speech