General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
“I shall return” – U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur
On December 8, 1941, Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Far East Air Force in the Philippines was destroyed in a surprise attack by the Japanese.
The Japanese drove the retreating Allied Forces on to the Bataan Peninsula. MacArthur established his headquarters on the island fortress of Corregidor.
In March 1942, MacArthur and his family were ordered to leave the area and escape by PT boat to Australia by President Franklin Roosevelt.
MacArthur and FDR had first met prior to World War I. As Governor of New York, FDR told an adviser that he thought MacArthur was one of the two “most dangerous men in America.”
As President, FDR told MacArthur, “Douglas, I think you are our best general, but I believe you would be our worst politician.”
MacArthur would spend the next two years and a half year commanding an island-hopping operation in the Pacific.
On October 20, 1944, MacArthur would wade ashore at Leyte Island as the battle still raged.
As the World watched, MacArthur announced, “I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil.”
On December 18, 1944 General Douglas MacArthur would receive his fifth star.
On September 2, 1945, MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri.