The Asia-Pacific region was not better off during the World War II. But during these trying times, the region saw the rise of a military leader—one with a corncob pipe. His name was Douglas MacArthur.
General MacArthur was born on 26 January 1880 in Arkansas. His father was an army officer, and he and his brothers were exposed to military activities while they were young. In 1893, he studied at the West Texas Military Academy. He finished the course with flying colors, being the top student in a 93-person class.
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MacArthur was the most-decorated soldier of the First World War. He returned to West Point after the war, and became the youngest superintendent of the institution. After his appointment in his alma mater, West Point doubled in size, and its curriculum improved. He returned to the Philippines to help his long-time friend, Manuel Quezon, who eventually became the country’s president years after.
MacArthur retired in 1937, a year after his appointment as Field Marshal in the Philippines. A few years after, he was recalled to serve the U.S. army as it prepared to enter the Second World War.
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Nations in the Pacific looked up to MacArthur, as his role was vital in the liberation of the region from Japanese forces—especially in the Philippines. Because of his contributions, he was promoted to five-star general in 1944. MacArthur also played a big role during the Korean War in the 1950’s, but was eventually sent back to the U.S. after having a rift with President Truman. General MacArthur spent the rest of his years in New York, and wrote a lot about his battles until his death in 14 April 1964.