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General of the Army / Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur

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General of the Army / Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:12 am

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur ascended to the 5-star grade of General of the Army in 1944. Under consideration by the War Department was that he should be promoted to even higher grade, the proposed 6-star grade of General of the Armies, if World War II continued and he led the invasion of the Japanese home islands as was planned. Neither action, of course, ever happened. However, during World War II, fate delivered something unique to General of the Army MacArthur. The govenment of the Phillippines honored him by naming him Field Marshal of the Phillippine Army. No other American has ever held the title or grade of Field Marshal, and he remains, therefore, the only American to have ever been presented a Field Marshal baton! Although he was a Field Marshal, he always wore his American uniform and insignia, since, as he rightly believed he was first and foremost an American military officer, who was honored by another government with its highest military grade. His baton is on display at the MacArthur memorial.

Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:21 pm

Actually MacArthur's appointment as field marshal in the Philippine Army happened before the war in the late 1930s, when, having retired from the US Army, he was serving as special military adviser to the president of the Philippines.

In American Caesar William Manchester writes of a special dress uniform MacArthur wore in this period, consisting of a white tunic and black trousers, but I don't recall ever seeing a picture of it. His famous cap, a khaki version of a US general's dress blue cap with scrambled egg and oak leaves around the band, also dates from the field marshal period.

best regards,
J.T. Broderick
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:33 pm
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Mac Hat

Unread postby Mark Costa » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:15 pm

The visor cap worn by MacArthur believe it or not was not unique to him. Several other general officers in the Asian theater during the 1930's also wore a cap similiar to his. This was nothing more than a "tropical" dress visor for general officers. He and other generals in this area also wore the hat in white.

Mark Costa
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:47 pm
Location: Ohio

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:28 am

A brief comment that General of the Army/Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur's Field Marshal baton is unique as has been stated. Its design is quite simple. It is a smooth, thin engraved golden shaft. It is quite different from the elaborate and detailed European Field Marshal batons, and might not be easily recognized as the exalted insignia it is.


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