Monday, March 11, 2013


March 11, 2013


Melbourne, Australia (JFK+50) 71 years ago today, March 11, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur*, along with his wife Jean & son Arthur, left Corregidor in the Philippine Islands by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.**

             General Douglas MacArthur
   & Major General Richard Sutherland
              Corregidor, March 1, 1942
           US Army Signal Corps Photo

The MacArthurs grudgingly left behind 90,000 American & Filipino soldiers who would soon succumb to the might of the armed forces of the Imperial Japanese Empire.

The General & his family were spirited away by PT boat & eventually reached the safety of Melbourne, Australia by plane & train.

In Melbourne, General MacArthur made the famous radio broadcast in which he said...

"I came through and I shall return!"

*Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.  His grandfather had been a Union hero at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, near Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He graduated from West Point in 1903, served in WWI & became superintendent of the USMA afterwards.  In 1941, he was appointed to command US Army Forces in the Far East.

**The Presidential order had arrived in the Philippines on February 20 but MacArthur resisted for more than 2 weeks.  FDR, knowing the islands were about to fall, could not afford to lose MacArthur's services at the same time.


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Coincidentally, we saw the new motion picture "The Emperor" at a local theater today.

The movie is about the US decision in the aftermath of WWII not to charge Japanese emperor Hirohito with war crimes.

It is directed by Peter Webber & stars Tommy Lee Jones as MacArthur & Matthew Fox as General Fellers.

It is Fellers' task to collect evidence on the role played by the emperor in the planning of the attack on Pearl Harbor as well as the conduct of the war.

Eriko Hatsune plays Fellers' Japanese girlfriend.

In my opinion, the movie is excellent.  I still prefer Gregory Peck as MacArthur but Jones does his usual masterful job of acting.  

The only criticism I have is I believe the movie producers could have come up with a better version of the General's classic cap.  They tried, but it just doesn't measure up to the real thing.*

      Replica of MacArthur's Officer's Cap

General MacArthur's original cap is on display in Norfolk, Virginia at the MacArthur Memorial.  The cap was his own modification of the standard US Army officer's cap with gold leaf added to the band & visor.

The Memorial also displays the General's famous sunglasses & corncob pipe.

You Tube Video