This edition of Biography, the long running documentary series from A&E, explores the life of General Douglas MacArthur.
The son of a Union army hero during the Civil War (they are the only father and son to win the Congressional Medal of Honor) he graduated from West Point in 1903. In World War I he commanded a brigade in combat in France where he earned a reputation for bravery. In July 1941 he was named commander of U.S. forces in the Far East; overwhelmed by the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, he was ordered to leave his forces on Bataan peninsula and go to Australia. From 1942 to 1945, as commander of the Southwest Pacific area, MacArthur organized an island-hopping offensive that resulted in the return of U.S. forces to the Philippines in October 1944.
As supreme commander of the Allied powers, he presided over the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. As military governor of Japan. On the outbreak of the Korean War in July 1950, he became commander of United Nations forces in Korea. When Chinese forces began fighting alongside the North Koreans in November 1950, he forcefully advocated an extension of the war into China. This led to conflict with President Harry Truman, who relieved MacArthur from command on April 11, 1951.
~ John Patrick Sheehan, Rovi