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MacArthur, Douglas

(1880-1964). Commander of the US Army forces in the Far East and supreme commander for the Allied powers (SCAP) during the Allied occupation of Japan until 1951. MacArthur was born near Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of a prominent army general. He graduated first in his class from West Point in 1903 and served extensively in the Philippines and East Asia. During World War II, after being driven from the Philippines by Japanese forces in 1942, he dramatically proclaimed, "I shall return." Directing a counter-offensive of "island hopping" campaigns, he fulfilled the promise and returned in 1944. On September 2, 1945 he accepted the surrender of Japan on the USS Missouri. Appointed supreme commander of the Allied forces, MacArthur headed the Allied Occupation of Japan, commanding some 500,000 troops and supervising over 5,500 military and civilian bureaucrats engaged in remodeling Japanese society. Because of disagreements with President Truman over military strategy in Korea, MacArthur was relieved of his command in 1951. In Japan, where he was generally respected, MacArthur's dismissal was received with shock. He ended his life in retirement, keeping his rank as a five-star general. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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