Saturday, March 08, 2014

May 1943 - JFK explains why the Marines and Navy dislike "Dugout Doug" MacArthur

May 14, 1943
[Somewhere in Solomon Islands]

Dear Dad & Mother,

I was very interested in what you said about MacArthur’s popularity. Here he has none – is, in fact, very, very, unpopular. His nick-name is “Dugout Doug”; which seems to date back to the first invasion of Guadalcanal. The Army was supposed to come in and relieve the Marines after the beach-head had been secured. In 93 days, no Army. Rightly or wrongly (probably wrongly) MacArthur is blamed. He is said to have refused to the send the Army in – “He sat in his Dug-out in Australia”, ( I am quoting Marine and Navy personnel) and let the Marines take it. [Note: JFK was right to believe MacArthur was wrongly blamed. MacArthur had nothing to do with Guadalcanal - it was Admiral King and Nimitz's show, and he had no troops to send. He sent as much air support as he could, but was tied up helping the Australians in New Guinea - Rcocean].

…In regard to MacArthur, there is no doubt that as men start to come back, that “Dugout Doug” will spread – and I think will kill him off. No one here has the slightest interest in Politics – they just want to get home – morning, noon, and night. They wouldn't give a damn whether they could vote or not and would probably vote for Roosevelt just because they know his name.

Feeling OK. The back has really acted amazingly well and gives me scarcely any trouble and in general feels pretty good. Good bunch out here, so all in all it isn't too bad, but when I was speaking about people who would just as soon be home I didn't mean to use “they”- I meant “WE”.  I figure should be back within a year though, but brother from then on its going to take an act of Congress to move me, but I guess that act has already been passed – if it hasn't, it will be.

                                                        My Love to everyone 
                                                       /s/ Jack.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

MacArthur and FDR meet and Inspect the 7th US Army Division

FDR and MacArthur meet in Person - Pearl Harbor July 26 1944

At 14:25 FDR’s ship The USS Baltimore stopped momentarily while off the entrance to Pearl Harbor and took on board an official party consisting of Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, Vice Adm. R. L. Ghormley, Lt. Gen. W. R. and Richardson.

At 15:00 The USS Baltimore moored at Pier 22-B.  A space had been cleared on the dock, and behind it stood a tremendous crowd anticipating FDR’s not-so-secret appearance.  Lesser Admirals and Generals were cheered as they went aboard to greet the President. Only MacArthur was missing, having just landed, so Roosevelt sent word for the General to join him.
At 15:45, since MacArthur had still not shown, it was decided that the President would go ashore.  However, while preparations were made to leave, a terrific automobile siren was heard, and there raced onto the Dock and screeched to a halt, a motorcycle escort and one the longest open car in Honolulu.  In the front, there was a chauffeur in Khaki; in back there was one lone figure – MacArthur.  When the applause died down from the crowd and sailors on deck, the General strode up the Gangplank, stopped halfway up to acknowledge another ovation, and was soon on the deck talking to FDR.
“Hello Doug” said Roosevelt, “What are you doing with that leather jacket on - it’s damn hot today.”  MacArthur was later ribbed mercilessly by Admiral Leahy for wearing a ‘non-regulation’ jacket.
‘Well, I just landed from Australia,” he replied “It’s pretty cold up there.”
Nimitz, Richardson, MacArthur, and FDR then went to the Presidents cabin for more discussion. At 16:15, a group picture was taken and at 16:30 FDR went ashore to his quarters in Honolulu.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

MacArthur Meets FDR - Air Flight Timeline- July 1944

July 26 1944 08:15 - MacArthur leaves Brisbane on C-54 for Honolulu.

Flight 1: Brisbane to New Caledonia.  Distance: 1,000 miles  Total flight time - 4/12 hours
Flight 2: New Caledonia  to Canton Island - Distance 2,000 miles. Total flight Time  -10 hours.
Flight 3:  Canton Island to Honolulu - Distance 2,000 miles,  Total flight Time - 10 hours.

MacArthur arrives Honolulu July 26, 1944 at 14:45 Hawaiian Time.  Time of trip - 26 hours with stops for refueling.

At Canton, MacArthur receives a message from Nimitz requesting he delay his arrival till 17:00.  Reason: FDR is scheduled to arrive the same time as MacArthur. Nimitz cannot meet both at the same time.  MacArthur replies no delay is required since it is unnecessary for Nimitz to greet him personally on arrival.  Note: FDR's ship  arrived late at Pearl Harbor, allowing Nimitz to greet MacArthur when he landed.

Nimitz meets MacArthur when he arrives.  MacArthur is dropped off at Fort Shafter,  so he can bath and shave before meeting the President.