General MacArthur's Return to the Philippines

The Battle of Manila and Ceaser's Return to the Philippines

From the Battle of Manila to the life and career of General Douglas MacArthur, this video includes first hand footage of the bombing of Manila by the Japanese. General MacArthur is forced to flea to Australia as the American and Filipino soldiers are overwhelmed by superior numbers and firepower. MacArthur vows to return to the island and liberate the Allied forces. 

Gen. Douglas Macarthur

Gen. Douglas MacArthur of the Philippines

Another figure of World War II who utilized a reorganized version of the Philippine-American past was General Douglas MacArthur. He was conveyed as Roosevelt’s muscle in the Philippines and the force behind America’s promise to liberate the island. The increase in Japan’s attack on the Bataan Peninsula in the early months of 1942 forced MacArthur to flea to Australia. He vowed to return to avenge the island and the death of so many Filipino and American soldiers. MacArthur administers his first public statement about the fall of Bataan a year after his escape from the Philippines. In the article “MacArthur Marks Fall of Bataan by New Vow to Retake Philippines,” the United Press reports, “Implicit in General MacArthur’s statement was that the men on Bataan were starved into submission, never beaten, and that everything he does is pointed toward the day when the Stars and Stripes again will fly over the Philippines, where he went to organize a Filipino Army and remained to meet a Japanese attack.” Newspapers’ depicted MacArthur as always focusing his strategy toward re-taking the Philippines because of what was lost in the surrender of Bataan—“America’s Bataan.”

 Manila, the Philippine Islands

In one of the last pictures to leave the Philippines before Manila fell to the Japs, General Douglas MacArthur (left) is shown pinning a Distinguished Service Cross on Captain Jesus A. Villamor, of the Philippine Air Force, for heroism in the air. 

Reporter Frank Kluckhorn of The New York Times issued a review of MacArthur’s military decisions throughout the war in the Pacific. Kluckhorn credits MacArthur with the military’s success and demonstrates that it is through his characteristics and determination to avenge Pearl Harbor and the boys of Bataan that the Philippines enter once more into America’s grasp. Kluckhorn reports, “MacArthur had a score to settle. Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor. MacArthur is determined to see that the attack is avenged and that the Nipponese danger of expansionism is eliminated.” MacArthur is motivated by Pearl Harbor but regularly brings up the loss of Bataan as a way to show the American mission of liberation as well as the defeat of Japan. He is glorified in Kluckhorn’s article and maintained an advisory role with the President and Resident Commissioner of the Philippines in order to show the weight behind President Roosevelt’s and his promise to return to Bataan.

General MacArthur's Return to the Philippines