Douglas MacArthur was born JANUARY 26, 1880. He commanded in World War I, was superintendent of West Point, and the youngest Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
A four-star general, he retired in 1939, but returned in 1941 to defend the Philippines. When Japan invaded, President Roosevelt ordered him to Australia, but not before he promised “I shall return.” In 1944, he returned with an American army and freed the Philippines.
Promoted to Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific, he received Japan’s surrender on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor.
Promoted to five-star general, he was Supreme U.N. Commander during the Korean War until he became at odds with President Truman over wanting to confront the Communists. Truman made the unpopular decision to remove him.
Douglas MacArthur told West Point cadets, May 1962:
“The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training-sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those Divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of Divine help which alone can sustain him.”
On April 19, 1951, following a tour of Korea, General Douglas MacArthur spoke to a Joint Session of Congress to announce his retirement:
“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And, like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who has tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-by.”