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The Most Dangerous Man in America

September 2, 1945, on the USS Missouri

all the world was on alert …

 

Serendipity is key in my exploring.  Those that know me, know that I nearly always have something to read in my hands, be it a book, a newsletter, a pamphlet, phone or …  I am a voracious reader.  It was something instilled in me by my family.   Many years ago, my parents signed me up for a “Book of the Month” club for young readers.  The books — there were two that arrived each month — were devoured immediately after arrival and finished off in a few days.  Sometime later, I received a letter in the mail from the club President — sending his regrets — I had exhausted their entire collection and they would not be sending me any more books.   So I discovered libraries and now it’s rare that I will leave these cathedrals of knowledge without at least a few books.

Back to Serendipity

General Douglas MacArthur

General Douglas MacArthur

I have just finished reading “The Most Dangerous Man In America” by Mark Perry. It is one book that literally jumped into my arms from the extensive search I did about one of my favorite topics “Fort Myer”   –  It had a whole chapter about the US Army post – very rare indeed, even these days.  No argument with this one, it came home with me. (my first book was “Images of America – Fort Myer”)

It was a page-turner and provided me not only an insight on World War II in the Pacific theater but also insight about General Douglas MacArthur. The chapter on Fort Myer didn’t provide me any new information about the post, except I found one passage quite telling:

Defending Fort Myer

“… he was outspokenly critical of air and naval officers who assured him that any future war in Europe could be won by deploying bombers and ships. For Marshall, these were short-sighted, even dangerous views. The sixteen divisions the army had when Marshall was named the chief of staff would not have been adequate to defend Fort Myer (bold and italics mine) – let alone take on the Germans and Japanese.”

With the 3d Infantry Regiment – “The Old Guard” currently garrisoned at Fort Myer, I wonder if Marshall would have the same conclusion about defending the post.

On the Deck of the USS Missouri

The book culminates with MacArthur on the USS Missouri where surrounded by throngs, he says the following:

“We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored.  The issues, involving divergent ideals and ideologies, have been determined on the battlefields of the world and hence are not for our discussion or debate.”

General MacArthur Continues…

On deck with him were Admiral Chester Nimitz, Admiral William Halsey, General Jonathan Wainwright and British General Arthur Percival.  They stood behind MacArthur as he spoke.

The Japanese delegation of eleven led by Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu stood in front of a table across from General MacArthur, who continued:

“It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past — a world founded upon faith and understanding — a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish — for freedom, tolerance, and justice.”

 

Signing the Surrender Documents

With that, the signing of the surrender by Japan commenced. First by Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and then by General Yoshijiro Umezu.

Japanese delegation

Japanese delegation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the Japanese (Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu),  signed the terms of surrender, General MacArthur then signed the documents while seated at the table.  Douglas MacArthur signing the documents

 

Final Words…

“Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed!”

 

With those words, World War II was over.

 

Buy the Book

Get your own copy of “The Most Dangerous Man in America – The Making of Douglas MacArthur” to enjoy and learn.

Visit The MacArthur Memorial & Museum

The MacArthur Memorial is a museum and research center dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the life of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. The Memorial also pays tribute to the millions of men and women who served with General MacArthur in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.

Situated in downtown Norfolk, VA the Memorial consists of a museum, archive and research center, education center, theater, welcome center, and a gift shop. A visit to the Memorial will allow you to explore the life of one of America’s greatest and most complex leaders. Admission is FREE.

Not close to Norfolk Virginia?  Take a virtual tour of the Memorial.

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Posted in events and History and military 2 months, 3 weeks ago at 6:02 am.

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