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American general and 34th president of the United States. He was the principal architect of the successful Allied invasion of Europe during WORLD WAR II and of the subsequent defeat of Nazi Germany. As president, Eisenhower ended the Korean War.

Born October 14, 1890, at Denison, Texas, third of seven sons of David Jacob and Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower. The family returned to Abilene, Kansas, in 1892. Graduated from Abilene High School, 1909. Worked at Belle Springs Creamery, 1909-1911.

Entered United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, June 14, 1911, and graduated June 12, 1915. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant, September 1915. Married Mamie Geneva Doud of Denver, Colorado, July 1, 1916. First son, Doud Dwight, born September 24, 1917, and died January 2, 1921. Second son, John Sheldon Doud, born August 3, 1922 was the son of David and Ida Stover Eisenhower.

Eisenhower graduated in 1915, 61st in a class of 164. He married Mamie Geneva Doud on July 1, 1916. They had two sons. One died as a child. The other, John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower who also graduated from the Military Academy on the day Dwight Eisenhower launched the invasion of Europe.

Mamie Eisenhower died in Washington on Nov. 1, 1979.

During the initial years of his retirement, Eisenhower was healthy, active, and the recipient of many honors. His recreational activities were concentrated on golf, hunting, fishing, and painting.

A serious heart attack in August 1965 ended Eisenhower's active participation in public affairs. He was hospitalized frequently with a variety of complaints during the next three years and was an invalid after still another heart attack in the summer of 1968. Eisenhower died in Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., on March 28, 1969, and was buried at Abilene, Kans.



(1885 -1945)

American General and tank commander, whose bold armored advance across France and Germany in 1944 and 1945 made a significant contribution to Allied victory in WORLD WAR II . He was born in San Gabriel, Calif., on Nov. 11, 1885, into a family with a long tradition of military service. He attended the Virginia Military Institute and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1909, when he was commissioned a 2d Lieutenant in the 15th Cavalry. He graduated from the Mounted Service School, Fort Riley, Kans., in 1913

A year later from the Advanced Course at the Cavalry School, Fort Riley. In 1916 he went as acting aide to Gen. John J. Pershing in the Mexican expedition, and in 1917 Pershing took him to France as commander of his headquarters troops.

In November 1917, Patton was one of the first men detailed to the newly established Tank Corps of the United States Army and was assigned the task of organizing and training the 1st Tank Brigade near Langres, France. He led this unit in the St. Mihiel drive in mid-September 1918 and was wounded later in the month at the opening of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal and promoted temporarily to the rank of Colonel.

Between the two world wars Patton graduated from the Command and General Staff School in 1924 and from the Army War College in 1932. His assignments during this period included two tours in Hawaii, a tour in the office of the Chief of Cavalry, War Department, and three tours with the 3d Cavalry at Fort Myer, Va.

In July 1940, Patton was appointed to the command of a brigade of the 2d Armored Division at Fort Benning, Ga. Less than a year later he was given command of the division and promoted temporarily to the rank of Major General. Early in 1942 he became commander of the 1st Armored Corps, which he trained at the Desert Training Center, near Indio, Calif.

Patton played a leading role in the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942, commanding the ground elements of the western task forces that entered Casablanca and soon occupied French Morocco. When in March 1943 the United States 2d Corps in Tunisia was reorganized following an earlier rebuff at Kasserine Pass by Gen. Erwin Rommel's forces, Patton became its commander. Within a month he was promoted temporarily to the rank of Lieutenant General and put in charge of American preparations for the invasion of Sicily. On July 10 he commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in its assault on that island. In conjunction with the British Eighth Army, he cleared Sicily of the enemy in 38 days. His victory was marred by an incident in which he struck an Army hospital patient being treated for shell shock, an action for which he later made a public apology.

In March 1944, Patton assumed command of the Third Army in Britain and began to plan future operations in northwest Europe. Shortly before the invasion he was reprimanded by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for indiscreet political statements. On August 1 his army became operational in France, and he began the exploitation of the breakthrough near Avranches made by the First Army a few days before. He thrust one corps westward into Brittany toward Brest, while his other three corps pushed southward toward the Loire and then swung eastward in a series of broad sweeps toward the Seine. In one of the most spectacular actions of the campaign in northern France, he drove toward Paris, bypassed it, and reached the area near Metz and Nancy before being stopped by dwindling supplies and stiffening enemy resistance.

While Patton was preparing an attack eastward into the Saar area, in conjunction with the Seventh Army, the Germans launched their Ardennes counteroffensive of December 16. In an action characterized by Gen. Omar N. Bradley as "one of the most astonishing feats of generalship of our campaign in the west", Patton turned his forces quickly northward against the southern flank of the bulge and helped contain the enemy.

By the end of January 1945, the Third Army was ready to drive against the Siegfried Line between Saarlautern (now Saarlouis) north to St. Vith. Patton's four corps had pierced these defenses by the end of February, and by mid-March had pushed forward through the Eifel to gain control of the Moselle from the Saar River to Coblenz and of the Rhine from Andernach to Coblenz. In the following week his forces raced through the Palatinate region to the Rhine south of Coblenz. On the evening of March 22/23, units crossed the river near Oppenheim. Frankfurt am Main fell three days later. By the third week in April his forces had driven across southern Germany to the Czechoslovak border, and some of his units were in Austria before the month's end. During the first week in May, Third Army columns pushed into Czechoslovakia, and (Pilsen) was freed just before the armistice.

Patton was promoted to temporary four-star rank in mid-April. Shortly after the end of the war he entered on his duties as military governor of Bavaria. His outspoken criticisms of denazification policies led to an outcry in the United States, followed in October 1945 by his relief as Third Army commander and assignment to the Fifteenth Army, then a small headquarters engaged in studying miliary operations in northwestern Europe.

Near the end of the year Patton was seriously injured in an automobile accident near Mannheim. He died in a nearby hospital in Heidelberg on Dec. 21, 1945.

Profane, impetuous, and flamboyant, Patton was easily the most colorful of the United States Army's commanders in the west, and its leading genius in tank warfare. Behind his showmanship and audacity lay the one of the great combat commanders of World War II.

Gen. George S. Patton Jr.'s

Decorations, Citations, and Medals
American Defense Service Ribbon
Bronze Star
Distunguished Service Cross with One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Distinguished Service Medal with Two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Distinguished Service Medal (U.S. Navy)
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon
with One Silver Star and Two Bronze Stars
Legion of Merit
Mexican Service Badge
Purple Heart
Silver Life Saving Medal
Silver Star with One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Victory medal (WWII)
Victory Medal with Four Bronze Stars (WWI)
*Sons of the Revolution Medal


[ Picture above was taken when Marshall was a 4 star general later he got his 5th star ]


George C. Marshall, American general of the army, chief of staff, secretary of state, and secretary of defense. His career roughly paralleled the first 50 years of the 20th century. He saw his country grow from an isolated position to one of world leadership. As a global soldier-statesman, he was a leader in the victory over the Axis powers in WORLD WAR II . Marshall was the only professional soldier ever awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

He was born in Uniontown, Pa., on Dec. 31, 1880, and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1902, where he was first captain. Commissioned a lieutenant of infantry, Marshall served in the Philippines from 1902 to 1903. In 1907 he was first in his class at the School of the Line, Fort Leavenworth, Kans. After completing a more advanced course, he served as an instructor there from 1908 to 1910. From 1913 to 1916 he served a second tour in Philippines, and then had brief tours in San Francisco and Governors Island, N.Y. In World War I he went with 1st Division units to France in 1917. As chief of operations, he helped plan the first U.S. campaigns in France. Later, at general headquarters, he helped plan the attack in the St. Mihiel salient and the Meuse-Argonne offensive, serving as chief of operations, First Army, in the final weeks of the war.

From 1919 to 1924, Marshall was senior aide to Gen. John J. Pershing. From 1924 to 1927 he was executive officer of the 15th Infantry Regiment in Tientsin, China. As chief of instruction at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga., from 1927 to 1932, he trained many who later became key officers in World War II.

As a battalion commander in Georgia and regimental commander in South Carolina, in 1932-1933, Marshall helped build and develop camps for the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was senior instructor with the Illinois National Guard from 1933 to 1936, and, as a brigade commander, served in Vancouver Barracks, Wash., from 1936 to 1938.

In Washington, D.C., in 1938, Marshall served briefly as chief of war plans and then as deputy chief of staff. Nominated by President Franklin D. ROOSEVELT in the spring to succeed Gen. Malin Craig as head of the Army, Marshall was acting chief for two months and then took full control on Sept. 1, 1939, the day war began in Europe. He held the position for more than six years, retiring in late November 1945.

As chief of staff, Marshall increased the Army (which then included the Army Air Corps) from a strength of some 200,000 to almost 8.5 million. He was present at all the great conferences of the war, from Argentia, Newfoundland, in the late summer of 1941 to Potsdam in the summer of 1945. He was the chief protagonist of the cross-channel invasion of Europe strategy. For his efforts in training, planning, and supplying the Allies, Britain's Prime Minister Winston CHURCHILL called him the "true organizer of victory.

Shortly after retiring as Army chief, Marshall went to China in 1946 with the mission of ending the fighting between the Chinese Nationalists and Communists. After initial success, he saw his efforts end in failure. In late 1946 he accepted the appointment of secretary of state.

The years 1947 to 1950 saw increasing tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Marshall concluded after lengthy negotiations in Moscow that the Soviet Union believed its plans for controlling Europe were helped by continuing economic chaos. Marshall, therefore, in a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, outlined a plan for economic recovery--a plan that bears his name. In addition, Marshall worked diligently at the United Nations and in meetings in London and Paris for treaties with the defeated powers and for action that would strengthen western Europe against Soviet expansion. At Rio de Janeiro and Bogota, he sought to develop greater cooperation between Latin America and the United States. Ill health led to his resignation early in 1949.

After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, General Marshall was asked to take up the task of heading the U.S. Department of Defense. In the year he served, he enlarged the Army, pushed a plan for universal military training, and helped develop the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In Asia he helped to contain the expansion of the Korean War. While favoring a strong United States, he nevertheless sought peaceful solutions to the conflicts that threatened world order. In December 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Marshall died on Oct. 16, 1959, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1964 he was honored by the dedication of the George C. Marshall Research Library, in Lexington, Va., in ceremonies that included speeches by President Lyndon B. Johnson and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


(1883 -1953)

General Wainwright was born August 23, 1883, at Fort Walla Walla, Washington, the son of a U.S. Army officer and a descendant in a line of distinguished U. S. Naval officers.

He graduated from the United States Military Academy At West Point in 1906, and was commissioned in the cavalry. Over the next several years he served with the 1st Cavalry in Texas, 1906-08; in the Philippines, where he saw action against Moro rebels, 1908-10; and at various posts in the West.

He graduated from the Mounted Service School, Fort Riley, Kansas, 1916. Promoted to Captain, and in 1917 was on staff of the first officers training camp at Plattsburg, New York. In February 1918 he was ordered to France. In June he became Assistant Chief-of-Staff of the 82nd Infantry Division, with which he took part in Saint Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. Promoted to temporary Lieutenant Colonel in October he was assigned to occupation duty in Germany with the 3rd Army until 1920, in which year, having reverted to Captain, he was promoted to Major.

After a year as an instructor at the renamed Cavalry School at Fort Riley, he was attached to the General Staff during 1921-23 and assigned to the 3rd Cavalry, Fort Myer, Virginia, 1923-25. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1929 and graduated from the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1931, and the Army War College in 1934. He was promoted to Colonel in 1935, and commanded the 3rd Cavalry until 1938, when he was advanced to Brigadier General in command of the 1st Cavalry Brigade at Fort Clark, Texas.

In September 1940, he was promoted to temporary Major General and returned to the Philippines to take command of the Philippine Division. As the senior field commander of US and Filipino forces under Douglas MacArthur, he had tactical responsibility for resisting the Japanese invasion that began in late December 1941. Pushed back from beachheads in Lingayen Gulf, his Philippine forces withdrew onto the Bataan Peninsula early in January 1942, where they occupied well prepared defensive positions and commanded the entrance to Manila Bay. In throwing back a major Japanese assault in January the defenders earned name of "battling bastards of Bataan." When MacArthur was ordered off Bataan in March 1942, Wainwright, promoted to temporary Lieutenant General, succeeded to command of US Army Forces in the Far East, a command immediately afterward redesignated US Forces in the Philippines. The Japanese attacks resumed in earnest in April.

A Small core of the now starving, ill and unsupplied garrison pulled farther back onto island fortress of Corregidor, leaving 70,000 defenders on Bataan to surrender on April 9. The Japanese gained a foothold on Corregidor on May 5 against a furious defense, and the next day he was forced to surrender the 3500 men on the island. Under orders that he was forced to broadcast, local commanders elsewhere in the Philippines surrendered one by one, and on June 9 the US command in the Philippines ceased to exist.

He was then held in prison camps in northern Luzon, Formosa, and Manchuria until he was liberated by Russian troops in August 1945. After witnessing the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, he returned to the Philippines to receive the surrender of the local Japanese commander. A hero's welcome in the US was accompanied by promotion to General and the awarding of the Medal of Honor. "Memoir, General Wainwright's Story," was published in 1945.

In January 1946 he took command of the 4th Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He retired from active duty in August 1947 and died at San Antonio, Texas, September 2, 1953.

He was the son of Robert Powell Page Wainwright, a career Cavalry officer who died in service in the Philippines. He is buried next to his father in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery. He is one of only a few people in history whose funeral was held in lower level of the Memorial Amphitheater. Others were Sir Moses Ezekiel, creator of Confederate Memorial, March 30, 1921; Colonel Charles Young, an early black graduate of West Point, June 1, 1923; Ignace Jan Paderewski, exiled President of Poland, July 5, 1941; General of the Armies John J. Pershing, July 19, 1948; Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal, May 25, 1949; and General Henry "Hap" Arnold, January 18, 1950.

His wife, Adele Holley Wainwright (1887-1979) is buried with him.


[ Picture above was taken when Bradley was a 4 star general later he got his 5th star ]

(1893 -1981)

Omar Nelson Bradley, 1893-1981), American general, who during WORLD WAR II commanded the U. S. 12th Army Group in Europe. By the spring of 1945 this group contained 4 field armies, 12 corps, 48 divisions, and more than 1,300,000 men, the largest exclusively American field command in U.S. history. A mildmannered man with a high-pitched voice, General Bradley created the impression less of a soldier than of a teacher, which he actually was during much of his early career in the Army (at the U. S. Military Academy and the Infantry School). Yet he earned a reputation as an eminent tactician and as a "soldier's soldier, a general with whom lower ranks could readily identify. Bradley was born in Clark, Mo., on Feb 12, 1893. He moved with his family 15 years later to Moberly, Mo., where he met the girl he eventually married, Mary Quayle. He graduated from the U. S. Military Academy in 1915. During World War I, Bradley rose to the temporary rank of major while serving with the 14th Infantry Regiment. Early in World War II he served as commandant of the Infantry School, commanded an infantry division in training, and in the spring of 1943 commanded the 2d Corps in North Africa and later in Sicily.

The Supreme Allied Commander, Gen. Dwight D. EISENHOWER, chose him to command the 1st U. S. Army, the American contingent in the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. As the size of U. S. forces increased, Bradley was appointed to command the 12th Army Group. His troops broke out of the Normandy beachhead, liberated Paris, defeated a German counteroffensive during the winter of 1944-1945, seized the first bridgehead over the Rhine River, and drove through central Germany to establish the first Allied contact with troops of the Soviet Union.

Bradley missed full encirclement of a German army in Normandy, but this was generally attributed to the delayed advance of troops under British command. He failed to detect German preparations for the winter counteroffensive, but this was a general failure throughout the Allied command. Bradley was proudest of Operation Lumberjack, the campaign he launched to reach the Rhine after the German counteroffensive.

For two years following World War II, Bradley served as administrator of veterans' affairs before becoming chief of staff of the U. S. Army early in 1948. The next year he became the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the newly created Department of Defense, the highest military position open to a U. S. officer. In September 1950, while chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he became the fourth officer to reach the 5-star rank of general of the army. He also served as the first chairman of the Military Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), consisting of the military chiefs of staff of the nations united in that organization for common defense. After relinquishing the NATO Military Committee chairmanship in 1950, he continued until mid-1953 as U. S. representative on the committee and on its Standing Group. Late in 1953 he became chairman of the board of the Bulova Watch Company.

He died in New York City on April 8, 1981.



Douglas MacArthur lived his entire life, from cradle to grave, in the United States Army. He spent his early years in remote sections of New Mexico, where his father, Arthur MacArthur Jr., commanded an infantry company charged with protecting settlers and railroad workers from the Indian "menace." As a teenager, Arthur had served with distinction in the Union Army, eventually earning the Congressional Medal of Honor for leading a courageous assault up Missionary Ridge in Tennessee. But he soon discovered that life in the post-Civil War U.S. Army held little of the glamour he knew during the war. These years were even harder for Douglas' mother, Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur, whose upbringing as a proper Southern lady had done little to prepare her for raising a family on dusty western outposts. But seen through a boy's eyes, life at a place like Ft. Selden, New Mexico, was heady stuff. "My first memory was the sound of bugles," Douglas MacArthur recalled in his "Reminiscences." "It was here I learned to ride and shoot even before I could read or write -- indeed, almost before I could walk or talk." Even more importantly, by watching his father and listening to his mother, he learned that a MacArthur is always in charge.

When Douglas was six, Captain MacArthur was assigned to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, where "Pinky," as his mother was known, could finally introduce him and his older brother Arthur to life back in "civilization." Three years later the family took another step in that direction when they moved to Washington, D.C., where Arthur took a post in the War Department. During these formative years, Douglas was able to spend time with his grandfather, Judge Arthur MacArthur, a man of considerable accomplishment and charm. As his grandfather entertained Washington's elite, Douglas learned another valuable lesson: a MacArthur is a scholar and a gentleman.

Douglas, who had always been an unremarkable student, first started to reveal his own intellectual gifts when his father was posted to San Antonio, Texas, in 1893. There he attended the West Texas Military Academy, thriving in an atmosphere which combined academics, religion, military discipline and Victorian social graces. By virtue of his excellent record there, his family's political connections and top scores on the qualifying exam, Douglas received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1898. Over the next four years, he would achieve one of the finest records in Academy history. General Arthur MacArthur -- back from the Philippines, where he had helped defeat the Spanish and served as military governor -- looked on proudly as his son graduated first in the class of 1903.

What became a lasting connection with the Philippines began with Douglas' first assignment out of West Point, when the young Lieutenant sailed to the islands to work with a corps of engineers. While on a surveying mission there, he recalled being "waylaid on a narrow jungle trail by two desperados, one on each side." MacArthur responded without hesitation. "Like all frontiersmen, I was expert with a pistol. I dropped them both dead in their tracks, but not before one had blazed at me with an antiquated rifle." Soon after this first brush with physical danger, MacArthur enjoyed excitement of a different kind, when he was assigned to accompany his father on an extended tour through Asia, where the General would review the military forces of eleven countries. The MacArthurs, Pinky included, were treated like royalty, and Douglas came away from the trip firmly convinced that America's future -- and his own -- lay in Asia.

One of Douglas's next assignments included service as an aide in Theodore Roosevelt's White House. But when he found himself in a tedious engineering assignment in Milwaukee in 1907, his performance dropped and he received a poor evaluation. To add to his confusion, he had fallen in love with a New York debutante named Fanniebelle, and his brilliant career prospects seemed to wane. But Douglas made amends in his next assignment, at the staff college at Leavenworth, and when his father died in 1912 he was transferred to the War Department in Washington, so that he could care for his mother. While there he was taken under the wing of Chief of Staff Leonard Wood, a protege of his father, and his career was again firmly on track. In 1915 MacArthur was promoted to major and the following year became the Army's first public relations officer, performing so well that he is largely credited with selling the American people on the Selective Service Act of 1917, as the country moved ever closer to joining the war in Europe.

Even though his record to that point had been excellent, the First World War gave Douglas MacArthur his first real measure of fame. Quickly promoted to brigadier general, he helped lead the Rainbow Division -- which he had helped create out of National Guard units before the war -- through the thick of the fighting in France. With a flamboyant, romantic style matched only by real feats of courage on the battlefield, MacArthur became the most decorated American soldier of the war.

While his peers were demoted to their pre-war ranks, MacArthur kept his through a plum new assignment as Superintendent of West Point. Although he antagonized many of the old guard, MacArthur made good on his mandate to drag the moribund Academy into the 20th century, enabling it to produce officers fit to lead the country in the type of modern war he had just experienced first hand. He also managed to get married -- to Louise Cromwell Brooks, a vivacious flapper and heiress very different from her spit-and-polish second husband. A minor scandal erupted when Chief of Staff John J. Pershing -- with whom Louise had had an affair during the war -- shipped MacArthur from West Point to a makeshift assignment in the Philippines. Although disappointed, MacArthur was glad to be back in his beloved islands; Louise, used to the glamorous society of cities like New York and Paris, was not pleased. Even after their return to the States in 1925, the marriage continued to deteriorate. Louise filed for divorce in 1928. Once again, MacArthur found solace in the Philippines, where he took command of the Army's Philippine Department and renewed a friendship with the island's leading politician, Manuel Quezon, whom he had known since 1903.

Although he and Quezon failed in their bid to have MacArthur named governor of the Philippines, President Hoover helped take the sting out of it by naming MacArthur to the Army's top job, Chief of Staff, in 1930. But the early '30s were a trying time to be Chief, when the Great Depression made Americans deaf to MacArthur's warnings about the rising tide of world fascism. Despite his able leadership, the Army fell to all-time lows in strength under his watch. This, along with the damage to his reputation from the Bonus March of 1932, when he very visibly led army troops in routing impoverished World War I vets from the capital, made MacArthur receptive to other opportunities. Once again, he was drawn to the Philippines. In 1935, his old friend Quezon, President of the newly created Philippine Commonwealth, invited him to return to Manila as head of a U.S. military mission charged with preparing the islands for full independence in 1946.

The next few years were among the happiest in MacArthur's life. On his way to Manila, he met and fell in love with 37-year-old Jean Marie Faircloth from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When Pinky died shortly after their arrival in Manila, Jean helped fill the void, and her devotion would remain a source of strength for the rest of his life. After the birth of their son, Arthur MacArthur IV, the 58-year-old general proved a doting father. But their blissful life in Manila was slowly overshadowed by the growing threat posed by an expansionist Japan. MacArthur, despite the able assistance of top aide Dwight Eisenhower, would not have enough time or money to build a force capable of resisting the Japanese. When war finally came with the blow at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Philippines was doomed: MacArthur's air force was quickly destroyed, his army shredded, and by January his forces had retreated to the Bataan peninsula, where they struggled to survive. From his command post on the island of Corregidor at the mouth of Manila Bay, MacArthur watched his world fall apart.

But despite MacArthur's poor showing in the Philippines, President Roosevelt knew he couldn't let America's most famous general fall to the enemy, and ordered him to withdraw to Australia. Although it ran counter to his notion of a soldier's duty, MacArthur left his men facing sure destruction, comforted only by the belief that he might lead an army back to rescue them. For the next three years, the world watched as his personal quest -- "I shall return" -- became almost synonymous with the war in the Pacific. Although MacArthur's path through the dense jungles of New Guinea was hardly imagined in the initial war plans, his singleminded drive and resourcefulness made it one of the two prongs in the Allied drive to roll back the Japanese. Simultaneously fighting a two front war -- one with the Japanese, the other with the U.S. Navy, who understandably saw the Pacific as theirs -- MacArthur slowly gained momentum. In October of 1944 the world watched as he dramatically waded ashore at Leyte, and in the following months liberated the rest of the Philippines. On September 2, 1945, he presided over the Japanese surrender on board the "U.S.S. Missouri," bringing an end to World War II.

His place as a leading figure of the 20th century already secure, MacArthur may have made his greatest contribution to history in the next five and a half years, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan. While initiating some policies and merely implementing others, by force of personality MacArthur became synonymous with the highly successful occupation. His GHQ staff helped a devastated Japan rebuild itself, institute a democratic government, and chart a course that has made it one of the world's leading industrial powers. Yet by the late 1940s, MacArthur was increasingly bypassed by Washington, and it seemed his remarkable career might be over.

But in June of 1950, the sudden outbreak of the Korean War -- "Mars' last gift to an old warrior" -- thrust MacArthur back into the limelight. Placed in command of an American-led coalition of United Nations forces, MacArthur reversed the dire military situation in the early months of the war with a brillian amphibious assault behind North Korean lines at the Port of Inchon. But within weeks of this great triumph he and Washington miscalculated badly. MacArthur's approach to the Chinese border triggered the entry of Mao's Communist Chinese, and as 1951 dawned, they faced what he called "an entirely new war." Although the able leadership of General Matthew B. Ridgway stabilized the military situation near the prewar boundary at the 38th parallel, MacArthur's months of public and private bickering with the Truman administration soon came to a head. On April 11, 1951, the President relieved General MacArthur, triggering a firestorm of protest over our strategy not only in Korea, but in the Cold War as a whole. As the last great general of World War II to come home, MacArthur received a hero's welcome. Despite his dramatic televised address to a joint session of Congress, however, the issue died quickly, and with it any hopes MacArthur had of reaching the White House in 1952.

True to his word, the old soldier "faded away" from the public eye, living quietly in New York until his death in 1964. While it's questionable whether his storied life ever brought him complete satisfaction, one thing is clear: Douglas MacArthur had more than fulfilled his self-imposed destiny of becoming one of history's great men.


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