Family Tree Tuesday – General Douglas MacArthur
General Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army who was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930′s and played a prominent role in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.
He was raised in a military family, when he entered West Point in 1899, his mother had also moved there to a suite at Craney’s Hotel, overlooking the grounds of the Academy. Hazing was widespread at West Point at the time, and MacArthur and his classmate Ulysses S. Grant III were singled out for special attention by southern cadets as sons of generals with mothers living at Craney’s Hotel. MacArthur was First Captain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated top of the class of 1903. In 1917, he was promoted from major to colonel and became chief of staff of the 42nd (Rainbow) Division. In the fighting on the Western Front during World War I, he rose to the rank of brigadier general, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice and the Silver Star seven times. MacArthur received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign (or the Battle of the Philippines), which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur, Jr., the first father and son to be awarded the medal.
In 1924, he was instrumental in quelling the Philippine Scout Mutiny. He became the Army’s youngest major general in 1925. He served on the court martial of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell and was president of the American Olympic Committee during the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1930, he became Chief of Staff of the United States Army. While in Washington, he would ride home each day to have lunch with his mother. At his desk, he would wear a Japanese ceremonial kimono, cool himself with an oriental fan, and smoke cigarettes in a jeweled cigarette holder. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines.
He officially accepted Japan’s surrender on September 2, 1945, and oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945-1951. As the effective ruler of Japan, he oversaw sweeping economic, political and social changes. He led the United Nations Command in the Korean War until he was removed from command from President Harry S. Truman on April 11, 1951. He later became Chairman of the Board of Remington Rand.
Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880, at the Arsenal Barracks in Little Rock, Arkansas to Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Mary Pinkney Hardy. Hardy came from a prominent Norfolk, Virginia family, two of her brothers had fought for the South in the Civil War, and refused to attend her wedding. MacArthur’s elder brother, Arthur MacArthur III was a United States Navy officer, whose active-duty career extended from the Spanish-American War through World War I. MacArthur III had married Mary H. McCalla, the daughter of Rear Admiral Bowman H. McCalla. Their son Douglas MacArthur II (named after his uncle) was an American diplomat. He worked with the French Resistance during World War II and was held as a prisoner of war for two years. He later served as U.S. ambassador to Japan (1957-1961), Belgium (1961-1965), Austria (1967-1969) and Iran (1969-1972).
Arthur MacArthur, Jr. was a United States Army General. He became the military Governor-General of the American-occupied Philippines in 1900, but his term ended a year later due to clashes with the civilian governor, future President William Howard Taft. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions with the Union Army in the Battle of Missionary Ridge during the American Civil War, and be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. He became nationally recognized as “The Boy Colonel”.
Arthur MacArthur, Sr. was Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s grandfather. He was a Scottish-born lawyer, judge, and politician. He served as the fourth Governor of Wisconsin for four days, in the midst of an election scandal. On July 15, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed MacArthur, Sr. as an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the descendant of Highlander nobility through his father, who had died just seven days before his birth in 1815. He married Aurelia Belcher, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. With the help of his father-in-law, MacArthur established a very successful legal practice in Springfield.
Did you know General Douglas MacArthur and his West Point roommate Ulysses S. Grant III were related? They were 12th cousin twice removed!
Check out his family tree and see how you may be related!