Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 20: Gen'l Douglas MacArthur

On this date in History ..... 1944:

Gen’l Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines, fulfilling his 1942 promise to the Philippine people. A few hours after his troops landed, MacArthur waded ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte. That day, he made a radio broadcast in which he declared, "People of the Philippines, I have returned!"  (See video link below.)

MacArthur was the son of a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient and had grown up in a military environment.  When Roosevelt ordered MacArthur out of the Philippines, MacArthur and his family traveled 560 miles by boat over rough seas, avoiding mines and the Japanese Navy for 35 hours.  He spent the next two and a half years publicly repeating his promise “I shall return.”

For his valiant defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, making his father and him one of only 2 sets of father/son MOH recipients, and celebrated as "America's First Soldier."   Only one-third of the men MacArthur left behind in March 1942 survived to see his return. "I'm a little late," he told them, "but we finally came."

Click here to see video:  MacArthur arrives on the beach


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