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 U.S 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 south-east 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 they took back the Philippines from October 1944. In September 1945 MacArthur received the formal japanese surrender which ended WWII; he then served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan until June 1950.
After the surprise attack of the communist North Korea army in 1950 started the Korean War, the United Nations General Assembly authorized a U.N. Force to re-unify the Korean peninsula in October. MacArthur led the U.N. coalition (whose back bone 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 PLA 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 Truman in April 1951. 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.
Early LifeMacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was the son of Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur and Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur of Norfolk, Virginia. Douglas' older brother, Arthur, attended the United States Naval Academy and died in 1923, as a Captain. His other brother, Malcolm, died in 1883.
- 1899 -- attends the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point, New York
- June 11, 1903 -- graduates first in his class, commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers
- -- assigned to the Philippines
- April 23, 1904 -- promoted to 1st Lieutenant
- 1905 - 1906 -- serves as an aide to his father in the Far East
- 1907 -- aide-de-camp to President Roosevelt
- February 27, 1911 -- promoted to Captain
- 1914 -- military expedition to Vera Cruz, Mexico
- --serves on the General Staff
- 1917 - 1919 -- joins the 42nd Infantry Division
- is credited with naming the Division, "The Rainbow Division"
- serves as divisional Chief of Staff, 84th Infantry Brigade Commander, and as the divisional commander
- June 26, 1918 -- promoted to Brigadier General (National Army)
- 1922 - 1930 -- serves in the Philippines, commander of the District of Manila and the 23rd Brigade
- January 17, 1925 -- promoted to Major General (Regular army)
- January 1925 -- returns to US as a corps area commander
- 1928 -- leads the US Olympic Team to Amsterdam
- returns to Manila as commander of the Philippine Department
- October 1930 -- commander of the Ninth Corps Area
- November 1, 1930 - 1935 -- Chief of Staff of the United States Army
- 1935 -- serves as the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines
- December 31, 1937 -- retires from the US Army and becomes Field Marshall of the Philippine Army
- April -- marries Jean Faircloth
- February 21, 1938 -- Arthur MacArthur IV is born
- July 26, 1941 -- returns to active duty as the Major General in command of USAFFE
- July 27 -- promoted to Lieutenant General
- December 18, 1941 -- promoted to General
- February 22, 1942 -- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered MacArthur out of the Philippines as the American defense of the nation collapsed. Upon leaving he promises to return.
- February 5, 1945 -- He fulfils a promise and returns to liberated Manila.
Douglas MacArthurís Military Promotion History
- First Lieutenant Apr 23, 1904
- Captain Feb 27, 1911
- Major Dec 11, 1915
- Colonel (National Army) Aug 5, 1917
- Brigadier General (National Army) Jun 26, 1918
- Brigadier General (Regular Army) Jan 20, 1920
- Major General (Regular army) Jan 17, 1925
- General (Chief of Staff) Nov 21, 1930
- Major General Oct 1, 1935
- Lieutenant General (Temporary) Jul 27, 1941
- General (Temporary) Dec 18, 1941
- General of the Army Dec 18, 1944