Sunday, September 30, 2007

Myth: MacArthur was disrespectful to President Truman

MacArthur and Truman met only once face to face at Wake Island in October 1950. MacArthur showed up at airfield one hour before Truman landed and the two men got along very well. After the meeting Truman had only complimentary things to say about MacArthur - until the Chinese attack after Thanksgiving 1950.

In his communications to President Truman from 1945 to 1951 MacArthur was always respectful.

The legends that Truman "dressed down" MacArthur at Wake Island, or that MacArthur and Truman's planes circled over Wake Island waiting for the other to land are untrue.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the whole Wake Island meeting lasted only 3 hours and MacArthur was NOT accompanied by his staff. The whole meeting was suggested by Truman's PR man, and was a political junket to help Truman and the Democrats in the November 1950 elections.

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