Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880, in the Little Rock Arsenal, Little Rock, Arkansas. He was the son of Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr., who was also a recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Civil War in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in November 1863.
MacArthur graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1903 as valedictorian of his ninety-three-man class. During his life, General MacArthur took part in three major wars (World War I, World War II, and the Korean War) and rose to the rank of General of the Army, one of only five people to hold that rank in U.S. history. He served his country for over sixty years.
General MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions early in World War II in the Philippines and on the Bataan Peninsula. The citation accompanying the award reads, “For conspicuous leadership in preparing the Philippine Islands to resist conquest, for gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against invading Japanese forces, and for the heroic conduct of defensive and offensive operations on the Bataan Peninsula. He mobilized, trained, and led an army which has received world acclaim for its gallant defense against a tremendous superiority of enemy forces in men and arms. His utter disregard of personal danger under heavy fire and aerial bombardment, his calm judgment in each crisis, inspired his troops, galvanized the spirit of resistance of the Filipino people, and confirmed the faith of the American people in their Armed Forces.”
Douglas MacArthur’s SAR National number is 65843 and his Empire State Society number is 7723. His SAR patriot ancestor is John Barney, of Taunton, Massachusetts, who served as a private in the Massachusetts Militia. MacArthur’s application notes that his military service was in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The general did not sign his SAR application, but it was attested to by Murray Hulbert, U.S. District Judge, from a letter from MacArthur “from his military headquarters in the Pacific theatre of war” received on July 16, 1945. General Douglas MacArthur died on April 6, 1964; he and his wife are buried in Norfolk, Virginia.