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🚨General Douglas MacArthur Is Dead

Apr. 5, 1964 - General of the Army Douglas MacArthur died today after a determined fight for his life. He was 84 years old. The general, who led the Allied victory over Japan in World War II and commanded the U.N. forces in the Korean War, died at 2:39 p.m. at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he had been a patient since March 2. Death was attributed to acute kidney and liver failure.

The general’s wife, Jean; their only child, Arthur, 26; and his wartime aide and principal assistant, Maj. Gen. Courtney Whitney, were at the hospital at the end.

President Johnson, leading the nation in mourning, said: “One of America’s greatest heroes is dead. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur fought his last fight with all the valor that distinguished him in war and peace.”

Tributes to the general poured in from around the globe. President Johnson ordered that American flags be flown at half-staff around the world until after the burial next Saturday in the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Va.

The body of General MacArthur was taken to New York City, where it will lie in repose Tuesday. On Wednesday, it will be returned to Washington, to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda until Thursday noon. Nineteen-gun salutes will be fired at noon tomorrow and on Saturday at military installations in the U.S. and in the Pacific area.

General MacArthur, one of the most decorated as well as one of the most controversial American military leaders, was the senior five-star officer at the time of his death.

Born on an Army frontier post in Indian territory, near Little Rock, Ark., on Jan. 26, 1880, General MacArthur had an active military service that spanned nearly half a century before his forced retirement in 1951. He had won the Medal of Honor in World War I, served as Chief of Staff of the Army, commanded Allied forces in the Pacific in World War II and the Korean War, and headed occupation forces in Japan.

In the Korean War, however, President Harry S. Truman removed General MacArthur for publicly disputing the war strategy approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The general, who was at times considered an active candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, left active service April 12, 1951. In a farewell speech to a joint session of Congress, he observed that “old soldiers never die — they just fade away.” His final battle with death appeared to bear out this self-characterization.

Today, former President Truman said in a statement: “I am deeply sorry at the passing of General Douglas MacArthur, who has given of himself with exceptional strength and valor and will be remembered as one of the great military men in our history.”

Former President Eisenhower said in his statement: “The entire nation will stand in sad salute to one of the outstanding military leaders of American history. He earned the admiration and respect of his fellow citizens and the personal devotion of those he led in battle. As one of those privileged to serve for some years under his direct supervision, I share with all his friends a feeling of special loss and sorrow.”

Defense Secretary Robert McNamara addressed a message to all members of the U.S. armed forces today. It said in part: “The world has lost a distinguished citizen whose energies and vision were devoted without stint to a long lifetime of service to free men everywhere. The nation has lost a patriot and hero of historic magnitude. The armed forces have lost a great captain whose qualities of courage and leadership were legendary in his own time. General MacArthur’s devotion to duty, honor and country will stand forever as an inspiring example for his comrades in arms.”

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