Douglas MacArthur (January 26, 1880 - April 5, 1964) was a United States General of the Army and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
MacArthur was the son of the Civil War veteran General Arthur MacArthur and grew up on Army bases. He was accepted to 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, he 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. He 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: after the defeat of his forces in the Philippines, he was made 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 were eventually successful, 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 then served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan until June 1950.
After the surprise attack of the Communist North Korean army in 1950 started the Korean War, the United Nations General Assembly authorized a United Nations force to re-unify the Korean peninsula in October. MacArthur led the U.N. coalition (whose backbone was the American military) counter-offensive, noted for a amphibious landing behind North Korean lines at Inchon. As his forces approached the Korea-China border, the Chinese warned they would become involved and on October 25, 1951, the People's Liberation Army attacked across the Yalu River, forcing the U.N forces on a long retreat. MacArthur sought an extension of the conflict into China and was relieved of duty by President Truman in April 1951. Recently declassified documents indicate that his advice was to drop 50 nuclear bombs on China. He was replaced by General Matthew B. Ridgeway, who stabilized the situation near the 38th parallel. MacArthur's last public appearance was a farewell address to Congress, interrupted by thirty ovations.
He returned from Korea to considerable public adulation, there was talk of him running for the presidency in 1952. When these hopes died away he spent the remainder of his life quietly in New York.
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