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Douglas MacArthur born in 1880 had a dazzling military career Before he became involved in World War Two he served in many positions After graduating from West Point Military academy with academic honors he served in the Philippines and in Japan He was then hired as an aide to President Franklin Roosevelt a friend of his fathers and held a position on the Army General Staff When the United States entered World War One he fought in France first as Chief of Staff of the 42nd Rainbow Division and then having been promoted to Brigadier General as Commander of the 84th infantry brigade In the tense and threatening days of Japanese expansion President Roosevelt appointed MacArthur head of the American Military Mission to the new Philippine Common wealth at that time he retired from the United States Army Recalled to active duty in July 1941 MacArthur conducted a valiant delaying action against the Japanese in the Philippines after war erupted in December When the order came for him to leave the Philippines he contemplated disobeying the order He had promised his troops and the people of the Philippines that reinforcements were on the way He did this because he had been told that a large American buildup was being conducted in Australia to be used to oust the Japanese from the Philippines The buildup was in fact to be used to defend Australia from Japanese invasion After consulting with his staff and listening to their views on his idea to disobey his superiors MacArthur followed orders and departed for Australia in March of 1942 MacArthur vowed to the Filipinos I shall return From Australia he commanded the Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific Theater He soon launched an offensive in New Guinea that drove the Japanese out of Papua by January 1943 In a series of operations in 1943-44 MacArthurs troops seized strategic points in New Guinea from Lae to Sansapor while capturing the Admiralties
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