VA -- Norfolk -- General Douglas MacArthur Memorial -- Visitor Center -- Exhibit: Keeping the Promise:
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Description of Pictures: Keeping the Promise: Liberation of the Philippines
In early 1942 it was clear that the Philippines was doomed. With no relief in sight and with his forces trapped on Corregidor and the Bataan Peninsula, General Douglas MacArthur was ordered to leave the Philippines. Arriving in Australia, he made a public promise to return and liberate the Philippines. Two years later, with the support of President Franklin Roosevelt, this pledge was fulfilled in what would be the largest campaign of the Pacific War.
2015 marks the 70th Anniversary of this campaign to liberate the Philippines. The MacArthur Memorial is commemorating this important anniversary with a 5,000 square foot temporary exhibit entitled: KEEPING THE PROMISE. This special exhibit explores the liberation of the Philippines through unique artifacts and documents from U.S, Filipino, and Japanese sources.
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Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
MACVCK_150531_004.JPG: The Fall of the Philippines
MACVCK_150531_010.JPG: The garrison on Corregidor surrenders, May 6, 1942
MACVCK_150531_013.JPG: Ruled by Japan
MACVCK_150531_022.JPG: Premier Tojo (left) meets with President Laurel at the Manila Hotel after the independence ceremony, October 14, 1943.
MACVCK_150531_024.JPG: A Japanese guard in Manila. All citizens were required to bow to all Japanese military personnel. Those who didn't received brutal punishment. The Japanese secret police (Kempei-tail) converted old Spanish dungeons at Fort Santiago into their headquarters.
MACVCK_150531_027.JPG: Fernando Amorsolo
The Rape of Manila , 1942
MACVCK_150531_035.JPG: The Resistance
MACVCK_150531_043.JPG: The Philippine resistance. By October 1944, guerrilla units had been recognized and organized on the major islands under the old prewar military district system.
MACVCK_150531_049.JPG: Guerrilla Battle Flag
MACVCK_150531_058.JPG: A Meeting at Pearl Harbor
MACVCK_150531_065.JPG: General MacArthur on Morotai, observing the last invasion before the Philippines. His aide, Colonel Lloyd Lehrbas (left), saw MacArthur on the landing craft looking westward saying, "They are waiting for me there."
MACVCK_150531_073.JPG: Collar insignia and card of Admiral Nimitz
MACVCK_150531_079.JPG: General MacArthur explains his plan to retake the Philippines to Roosevelt during the Pearl Harbor conference. He believed America would lose face in Asia for eternity if it did not keep the promises of 1942.
MACVCK_150531_083.JPG: I Have Returned!
MACVCK_150531_110.JPG: To Luzon
MACVCK_150531_119.JPG: On December 13, 1944, a kamikaze hit MacArthur's flagship USS Nashville en route to Mindoro. The attack killed 133 sailors and wounded 190. The image shows the dead lining the deck of the ship.
MACVCK_150531_123.JPG: Yamashita's forces as they stood on January 9, 1945. He grouped his forces in the hills, to use terrain as an advantage. Two groups, Kembu Group and Shimbu Group, held central and southern Luzon. The largest, Shubo Group, held northern Luzon.
MACVCK_150531_127.JPG: Go To Manila!
MACVCK_150531_134.JPG: On December 14, 1944, the Japanese commander of the prison camp at Puerta Princessa, Palawan Island massacred 850 American prisoners of war. Six men escaped and found safety with guerrillas. Word of the massacre reached MacArthur, and motivated him to save the Allied prisoners and civilians on Luzon.
MACVCK_150531_138.JPG: Manila: At the Gates
MACVCK_150531_149.JPG: Tile from the Manila Hotel penthouse, recovered in the rubble 1945
MACVCK_150531_153.JPG: Manila: Bitter Battle
MACVCK_150531_157.JPG: The battle for the city was street by street, house by house
MACVCK_150531_160.JPG: The final act of the battle for Manila took place in the mammoth concrete government buildings. The Legislative building shows the effects of the heavy fighting.
MACVCK_150531_171.JPG: Fernando Amorsolo
Defense of a Filipina Woman's Honor, 1945
MACVCK_150531_190.JPG: Everywhere were scenes of death. Of all Allied cities, only Warsaw, Poland, suffered more destruction than Manila.
MACVCK_150531_192.JPG: A Douglas C-47 Skytrain flies over the city and sprays DDT to kill the mosquitos and flies. The threat of epidemic was very real in the weeks following the battle.
MACVCK_150531_197.JPG: Photograph of the parachute drop on Corregidor, framed by Colonel A.M. Neilson, who commanded the engineer unit that supported the operation.
MACVCK_150531_202.JPG: Back to Bataan & Corregidor
MACVCK_150531_225.JPG: Yamashita Cornered
MACVCK_150531_241.JPG: Operation VICTOR: The Southern Philippines
MACVCK_150531_248.JPG: Captain Raymond O. Zimmerling
The 41st Division in the Philippines, 1946
MACVCK_150531_265.JPG: Keeping the Promise
MACVCK_150531_271.JPG: The Manila American Cemetery holds the graves of over 17,000 US personnel killed in the Pacific.
MACVCK_150531_294.JPG: Keeping the Promise:
The Liberation of the Philippines, 1944-1945
MACVCK_150531_297.JPG: Fernando Amorsolo
Return to Leyte, 1961
MACVCK_150531_306.JPG: Examples of I Shall Return propaganda smuggled into Philippines from Australia.
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Description of Subject Matter: Douglas MacArthur, a controversial American military figure, attended West Point, following a military tradition established by his father, Arthur MacArthur, who fought with distinction in the Civil War. Douglas fought alongside the Philippines in the Spanish-American War. He served in World War I, twice being injured by German gas during attacks from the trenches. After the war, he became Chief of Staff, in which capacity he put down the peaceful Bonus Army marchers in Washington DC in a largely unwarranted action. Afterward, as the war with Japan loomed, he was sent back to the Philippines to firm up their army. Pearl Harbor happened sooner than expected and the Japanese invaded the Philippines. MacArthur was ordered to go to Australia, leaving Corregidor to surrender under General Wainwright. Douglas commanded the actions which eventually led to the retaking of the Philippines and then, after the atomic bomb ended the war, he became the military governor of Japan, bringing it into the western sphere.
It's during the Korean War that he became more controversial. He was appointed as the head of the United Nations forces there after the North Koreans attacked in 1950. He planned the brilliant landing at Inchon Harbor that sent the North Koreans reeling. He kept pushing them northward toward the Chinese border despite some rumblings from the Chinese about them seeing this as an act of aggression against them. Finally, the Chinese invaded, pushing the UN forces back through Seoul before the war resolved into a stalemate. MacArthur kept pushing for an invasion of China, Truman didn't want the war widened. Finally, Truman fired MacArthur.
MacArthur came back to a hero's welcome and addressed a joint session of Congress. He worked to get himself put on the Republican ticket in 1952 as a darkhorse candidate but that didn't work and Eisenhower was elected instead.
Still a man of ego, he advised Presidents (including apparently telling Kennedy and Johnson that Vietnam was probably unwinable) while he planned his own memorial. When he died in 1964, he was buried in the old City Hall building in Norfolk, which was converted to a museum to his efforts and those of the armed forces. It's a reasonably well-balanced presentation of his life which surprised me. Very nicely done!
The memorial also spends a fair amount of time discussing Douglas' father, Arthur MacArthur, who was also a West Point graduate and served as a brigadier general in the Spanish-American War in 1898, later becoming U.S. military governor of the Philippines. The displays clearly label this as imperialism, pointing out that the United States promised independence to the Filipinos are then reneged, losing more troops suppressing the Filipinos than we had lost in the entire war against Spain.
Arthur lost his post in 1901 in a conflict with the civilian Governor William H. Taft. In 1906, Arthur was promoted to Lieutenant General (the highest rank in the Army) in 1906 but Taft was then Secretary of War and Arthur realized he would never become Chief of Staff. He retired shortly after Taft was elected President and then die in 1912. By this time, his son had already begun on his military career.
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