View Full Version : Dugout Doug Flees on 16 Mar 1942

03-16-2006, 07:45 AM
It was on this day in 1942 that General MacArthur and his "Gypsy Caravan" left Mindanao for Australia on three B-17's.

In fairness to the General, I have included his citation for the Medal Of Honor along with the "Dougout Doug" ditty.

When my dad, Marine (Makin, Saipan, Iwo Jima) and my father-in-law, Bombardier (B-17, over 70 combat sorties) got together + too many beers they would sing the "Dugout Doug" song ad naseum. Then they would discuss various forms of body dismemberment they would perform on the General if they "got their hands on him".

Sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic":

Dugout Doug MacArthur lies ashakin' on the Rock
Safe from all the bombers and from any sudden shock
Dugout Doug is eating of the best food on Bataan
And his troops go starving on.

Dugout Doug's not timid, he's just cautious, not afraid
He's protecting carefully the stars that Franklin made
Four-star generals are rare as good food on Bataan
And his troops go starving on.

Dugout Doug is ready in his Kris Craft for the flee
Over bounding billows and the wildly raging sea
For the J**s(Japanese) are pounding on the gates of Old Bataan
And his troops go starving on.

Dugout Doug, come out from hiding
Dugout Doug, come out from hiding
Send to Franklin the glad tidings
That his troops go starving on!

General MacArthur's Medal Of Honor Citation:

G.O. No.: 16, 1 April 1942. Citation: For conspicuous leadership in preparing the Philippine Islands to resist conquest, for gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against invading Japanese forces, and for the heroic conduct of defensive and offensive operations on the Bataan Peninsula. He mobilized, trained, and led an army which has received world acclaim for its gallant defense against a tremendous superiority of enemy forces in men and arms. His utter disregard of personal danger under heavy fire and aerial bombardment, his calm judgment in each crisis, inspired his troops, galvanized the spirit of resistance of the Filipino people, and confirmed the faith of the American people in their Armed Forces.

The General's son, Arthur:
Reported to have changed his name and living in Greenwich Village as a "Pianist".

03-16-2006, 08:13 AM
Adm. Kimmel and Gen. Short were relieved of their commands for being caught without warning at Pearl Harbour. MacArthur, with full 8 hours warning that the U.S. was at war with Japan, saw his air arm almost completely wiped out yet was not relieved. He refused to let the B-17s take off from Luzon to attack Japanese bases on Formosa despite instructions from Gen. Marshall to open hostilities immediately and despite several requests from the commander of the USAAC to be allowed to attack. There are strong indications that MacArthur was bribed by Manuel Quezon, President of the Philippines, to do nothing in the hope that the Japanese would allow the Philippines to remain neutral. In marked contrast to Kimmel and Short, MacArthur not only retained his command in the Philippines but continued on active service despite this gross dereliction of duty.

03-16-2006, 08:29 AM
The depth of his idiocy is unfathomable. All that can be said is that he is certainly a contender for the "Supreme W@nker Of All Time".


03-16-2006, 08:29 AM
MacArthur was bribed

Interesting, if true. What are those strong indications? Do you know what he was supposedly bribed with?

03-16-2006, 08:32 AM
MacArthur was paid $500,000 by President Manuel Quezon of the Philippines. He also conducted a $35,000 stock transaction while on Corregidor which made him a millionaire after the war, all this while his men were starving on Bataan...

03-16-2006, 09:52 AM
MacArthur had to be ordered out of the Phillipines by Presidential Order. He had intended to stay, win or lose

What does having personal money have to do with starvation on Corrigedor or Bataan? The problem wasn't that food was expensive. The fact that he made transactions has nothing to do with his men needing food. You can't eat stock options or dollar bills. You make it seem as if MacArthur needed to go down to the corner store and give up his money so the boys could eat, but he refused

Sorry, I can't agree with that standpoint

03-16-2006, 10:10 AM
I think the point is that Macarthur was busy making money while his men were dying on Bataan.

03-16-2006, 10:16 AM
That point implies that his primary goal was personal gain while being indifferent to his men. That is opinion, and I don't have to subscribe to it

03-16-2006, 11:28 AM
For the record, MacArthur had the lowest casualty/fatality rate among his men and did it with far less equipment/supplies than any other allied or axis commander in any theatre, anywhere. While his demeanor seemed imperious, his concern for his troops was genuine and to suggest otherwise is just sheer ignorance of the facts.

03-16-2006, 12:33 PM

Concerning MacArthur's evacuation:

Lat 8? 20' 60N Long 124? 50' 60E Located in central Mindanao

Del Monte Construction:
When it was constructed, it was a secret American airfield.

Construction began on November 9, 1941 in a meadow of the Del Monte Pineapple Corporation Plantation. The field, although sparse in equipment and facilities based the 19th BG and 7th BG as they evacuated from Clark Field, and later as a staging point for their move down to Batchelor Field, Australia. There were three airfields within the Del Monte complex, plus additional auxilliary airstrips at Malaybalay, Dalirig and Valencia. Discovered by the Japanese on December 18, 1941 and attacked the following day by Zeros, and the next day by bombers.

Evacuation of General MacArthur:

By President F.D. Roosevelt's orders, General MacArthur was evacuated by PT-Boat from Corregidor island, and taken to Mindanao's Batchelor Field where he, his family and senior staff were evacuated to Australia on March 16, 1942 aboard four B-17s that flew up to Del Monte from Australia: B-17 41-2408, B-17E 41-2429, B-17E 41-2434 and B-17E 41-2447.

According to my father-in-law, six B-17's were sent to Del Monte. Two were lost before arriving with only two survivors.

Before takeoff at Mindanao, one plane was loaded with the General's personal possessions. These included two black leather chairs, two mattresses and numerious heavy bags. Wounded Americans and some female nurses who were awaiting a flight out were left sitting by the runway.

The "official" U.S. Army version states that only two B-17's were used to evacuate the General and his entourage:

When they arrived at Del Monte on Mindanao on 13 March 1942, MacArthur found only one crippled B-17 at the airfield. A few weeks earlier, several mechanics had arrived at Del Monte to repair the war weary B-18's and B-17's that scattered the "graveyard" at Del Monte airfield. Once repaired they were flown back to Australia with as many of the spare parts that were possible.

MacArthur and his party waited on a muddy airfield at Del Monte for three B-17C Flying Fortresses. These aircraft were the remnants of those that managed to escape from Clarke Field when the Japanese made a surprise attack. Eventually only two B-17's arrived. One of them developed hydraulic problems and as a result lost his brakes. The aircraft had to be ground looped to stop it in time. This did not impress MacArthur, and he was even less impressed when he saw the young pilot of the B-17, 1st Lt. Harl Pease, slide out of the forward hatch of the aircraft. MacArthur was reported to have muttered "He's only a boy". (The citation for Pease's medal gives the date as the 11 March 1942 for a flight from Batchelor to the Philippines, where he landed without brakes. Perhaps this was an earlier flight).

MacArthur was furious, and he would not allow anyone to board the "dangerously decrepit" aircraft. He then demanded the "three best planes in the US or Hawaii," manned by "completely adequate, experienced" airmen.

The senior pilot, 1st Lt. Frank P. Bostrom drunk eight cups of coffee to ready himself for the return flight to Australia. **** Graf from Lewis's crew had a midnight lunch of pineapple and coffee. In the mean time, mechanics worked feverishly to repair Bostrom's defective supercharger. Bostrom told MacArthur that his party must leave their luggage behind. **** Graf told me that MacArthur's party had arrived with an amazing amount of luggage. Captain Lewis also told his passengers that they could only bring one bag each. Jean MacArthur boarded Bostrom's B-17 carrying only a silk scarf and a coat with a fur collar. MacArthur gave his wife's mattress to Lt. Bostrom.

So there it is, two versions of what happened.

An interesting insight is why would MacArthur carry two mattresses (or an "amazing amount of luggage") aboard a PT boat when the hospital on Corregidor was full of seriously wounded men? Couldn't he have taken one or two wounded Americans instead of luggage? Hmmm....

03-16-2006, 12:55 PM
You are serious...you think he should have chosen a pair of wounded...which pair? Chosen by who? How would they get to the evacuation? Would they survive being moved? Who would care for them on the trip?

This is less a subjective disucssion as it is your desire to cast doubts on somebody and find fault. Have at it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

03-16-2006, 02:38 PM
MacArthur was a remarkably controversial figure; by all accounts, you either loved him or hated him, and it was easy to hate him.

Like Patton, he was one of those guys who was absolutely convinced of his own destiny, and just assumed that everyone else knew he was special. He was vain, pompous, a confirmed momma's boy, and that most contradictry of beings, an American aristocrat in the 20th century. He was not a very good politician, he lacked the 'common touch,' and his affectations were easily mocked.

Also like Patton, he was very, very good at war, just not as openly bloodthirsty. He fought in the trenches in WWI armed with only a swagger stick, according to a grandfather who served in France, and many contemporaries (and he) were convinced that 'office politics' are what kept him from receiving his Medal of Honor at that point in his career.

I won't comment on his conduct of the defense of the Phillipines, except to point out that he had retired from the US Army and had taken command of the Phillippines' Army, preparing it for the planned independance in the early 1940s, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor (at some point he was recalled to active US service, either just before or just after the attack, but his status was kind of hazy).

In any case, it is my understanding that the decision to hold the bombers back from attacking the Japanese bases in Formosa (Taiwan today) was made at the recommendation of his air commander. It was thought that the Japanese would make an air strike at first light, so the fighters were orbiting the fields all morning, most of them running low on fuel and setting down just before the japanese did show up and bombed the hell out of them.

Nobody had any idea that the Japanese air units taking off to attack US and Phillippine targets that day were fogged in, unable to take off most of that morning, and were sitting ducks for most of that time, least of all MacArthur.



03-16-2006, 02:45 PM
Twelve Hundred Days
A biography of my survival of the Bataan Death
March and three years as a Japanese Prisoner
of War. -- Russell A. Grokett, Sr.
April, 1942 - August, 1945

March 10, 1942

General MacArthur had now gone to Corregidor and sent this message to the troops on Bataan:

"Help is on the way from the U.S. Thousands of troops and hundreds of planes are being dispatched. No further retreat is possible. We have more troops in Bataan than the Japanese have thrown against us. Our supplies are ample; a determined defense will defeat the enemy's attack.

I call upon every soldier in Bataan to fight in his assigned position, resisting enemy attack. This is the only road to salvation. If we fight we will win, if we retreat we will be destroyed."

Some of the men openly jeered. Ample supplies? They were already on half rations. Their grenades were no good, only one in four or five exploding. Six out of seven mortar rounds failed to detonate on landing and too often ill-fitting shells burst the barrels of the cannons.

But to the great majority, the words were a hope. Bataan had been saved

Six days later MacArthur was on his way to Austrailia.

03-16-2006, 03:02 PM
I still haven't heard anything that I would say was a 'strong indication' of bribery.

If he was an employes of the Phillipine Govt' surely he deserved payment? Was the amount absurdly high for the time was that the strong indication? About making money on the stock market (or whatever) I am sure the man was not alone.

To be honest I am not a Mac fan, but neither am I a detractor of his.

Also one final comment if I may. It was a different world back then in so many ways. People of the time given the news media of the day may (I would say likley even) never have heard about his finances. Certainly not after Pearl Harbor. EDIT: Also if he tried any of this today I would hope that he be fired or censured... but maybe not. People in governments around the world sure get away with more that the guy who sticks up a 7-11 with a knife.

03-16-2006, 03:09 PM
MacArthur has been torn apart by his political enemies for over 60 years, probably because of his political aspirations after the war. He was a more hard-line conservative than was Eisenhower, and thus more people of the elite writing/talking class in the post-war era of big-government socialism despised him. With the luxury of hindsight, Eisenhower (whom I've always liked) IMO be accused of more mistakes during the war than MacArthur. But Eisenhower was always a much smoother politician than MacArthur.

Look at any great figure from history and it's easy to dredge up a lot of terrible stories about them. Very easy. MacArthur was the type who regularly visited his troops on the front line while they were under fire, and his withdrawal from Corregidor galled him personally the rest of his life. He might have been an odd, cold kind of guy who was better suited to a more heroic, aristocratic age. But he was a great general. Just look at the campaigns he waged, his casualty levels compared with other commanders, and the results he got. I've always thought that those who unhesitatingly trash him have to be trying pretty hard to see around his brilliance.

03-16-2006, 05:02 PM
Read John Costello's "Days of Infamy" for the background of MacArthur being probably bribed by Quezon. But regardless of bribe or not, he should have been sacked on the spot as Kimmel and Short were (most unfairly, I might add). MacArthur disobeyed a direct order froM Marshall to actively commence hostilities against the Japanese Empire, and furthermore thanks to his gross negilgence his air force was almost completely wiped out despite having ample warning that a state of war existed. If that isn't dereliction of duty, then what is??????

03-16-2006, 05:06 PM
Regarding MacArthur's air commander, he requested permission to strike at Formosa not once, but several times on the morning of Dec. 8th. Each time the permission was denied. Again, refer to "Days of Infamy" among other publications.

03-16-2006, 08:55 PM
Several weeks ago I attended a talk by a survivor of the Bataan Death March. I hate to put words in his mouth, but I think there were only 3 people he had no respect for:

Secretary of War Stinson (sp?)
"Dugout Doug" MacArthur
sadistic Japanese guards

He hated Stinson for writing off all the Allied soldiers on the Philipines as soon as the war started.

He hated MacArthur for running away as he would have called it.

The sadistic guards is self-explanatory. An interesting thing he told us about the march was that the Japanese started to beat this guy who had moved off the trail to relieve himself. He had dysentery and they just started to beat him to a pulp. A friend went to his aid and they bayoneted the friend and then beat the first guy to death. After that, no one stopped marching, they relieved themselves as they walked.

He said he had no ill feelings toward most of the "Japs" or "nips" as he often reffered to them during his talk, and I believed him. MacArthur was another story. You could hear the bitterness in his voice even after 60 years.

I feel MacArthur followed orders in evacuating and that we can't really hold that against him. No doubt I would feel differently if I was one of the guys left behind.

03-17-2006, 01:58 AM
But what was the point in telling the men there were troops coming, when there weren't? That's just plain wrong http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

I am a strong hater of MacArthur, for how he treated the Australian Armed Forces throughout the war. Curtin had intended the US and Australia to repel the Japanese back to Japan together, but instead Mac sent the Australians on costly, pointless campaigns like Balikpapan. Just a waste of men and recources, it had no impact on the war whatsoever. And during the Kokoda campaign, he gave the Australian troops no food, no ammo, no equipment, not even blankets, then got angry when they were forced to retreat against a foe outnumbering them 13 to 1! What the hell! Incompetence if I ever saw it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif Then blamed the Australians lack of fighting skill and spirit because he cocked up. What a bastard.

03-17-2006, 07:27 AM
For info about MacArthur's "Secret Payment" see:
Excerpt from above:
One of the most controversial moments in the controversial life of Douglas MacArthur came in early 1942, when he received $500,000 from the Philippine government during the siege of Corregidor and Bataan. This fact remained a secret until historian Carol Petillo broke the story in a 1979 article, and while some of the details may never be known, the incident has received well-deserved attention.

I wonder if General Paulus felt cheated at Stalingrad because he wasn't paid off and "ordered out" like Big Mac?

03-17-2006, 09:20 AM
Here's the problem I have with this whole thing-

You read that somebody did something that was not well known. It meshes with your personal dislike for that person. You talk about that heretofore unknown thing, and your opinion of that person

Then, even though you state that the details will probably never be known, you still say that the unknown thing was bad or sneaky, and you use that to prove your opinion of that somebody is correct

This is all guesses and opinion. "Big Mac" knew Quezon since 1903, when his Pop was in the Phillipines. They were long time friends...has that been mentioned? Nope.

A Commander does not break the morale of his men by saying that the situation is hopeless and they are beaten. A negative attitude is not what a Commander is supposed to portray. David "Tex" Hill once yelled "Come on Boys, today we outnumber them!" when his pilots were outnumbered 3 to 1...was Hill a liar? Or was he showing his confidence? When MacArthur said that troops were coming, was he lying? Or was he relating what he was told? Or was he keeping his men's spirit's up? Anyone care to tell me the truth about that one?

I also see a lot of talk about sacking the Commanders at Peral Harbor, as proof of what should have happened to Mac Arthur. Neither one of those men should have been made scapegoats...but those who mention their names keep right on about it, when they don't even know much about the stories of those two men

A lot of guesses, assumptions, poison, and opinion is here, but still I read how this isn't guesswork, assumptions, bad blood, or opinion...I'm reading that all this is proven fact. No, sorry, it's not fact. It could even be true, but this is opinion

03-17-2006, 10:22 AM
My Dad's an ol'WW2 vet, fought on Destroyers throughout the Pacific campain and retired a Master Chief Petty Officer. He was there, he should know. I never heard him say anything disrespectful of ranking officers (ok, ya, there was the story or two of very 'stern' officers that would "shake like a dog sh@tt@ng peach pits" during battle only to be awarded medals for 'bravery' afterward). But, for as long as I can remember, he has always referred to MacArthur as an "f'n bumb".

03-17-2006, 03:02 PM
Chuck, the way Kimmel and Short were treated is a matter of historical record. Their "gross negligence" was that they were attacked without notice, no formal declaration of war, no clear prior warnings from Washington etc. Washington did not even inform them of progress or otherwise regarding the ongoing negotiations with Japan from which they MIGHT have drawn certain conclusions as to Japanese intentions.
Now compare that to MacArthur. Warned by Marshall well before dawn that the U.S. and Japan were at war, ordered to take immediate action against Japan. He did nothing. His air commander repeatedly requested permission to attack Formosa with his B-17s, and each time permission was denied. As a result, the B-17s were mostly destroyed on the ground. MacArthur WAS warned about the Japanese attack. He WAS ordered to take action against Japan. His best bet for attacking Japan was the B-17 fleet. But instead of allowing his air arm to attack, he repeatedly denied permission- despite direct orders from Gen. Marshall to take action. If that is not "gross dereliction of duty" then what is?????? All the above is PROVEN FACT, and NOT assumption.
MacArthur's later performance MAY have justified his being retained- but surely Kimmel and Short were much more deserving of a second chance than MacArthur ever was.

03-17-2006, 03:52 PM
Excuse me, but I never said the way Kimmel and Short were treated was an opinion. What I said was that they were treated unfairly. You have mis-read what I posted

03-17-2006, 05:49 PM
But instead of allowing his air arm to attack, he repeatedly denied permission- despite direct orders from Gen. Marshall to take action. If that is not "gross dereliction of duty" then what is??????

I find this condemnation kind of persuasive.

However, as I am sure we all know, orders are not always to be obeyed. Sometimes an order is immoral and can legally be disobeyed.

Also, the very best of Commanders will decide to disobey an order on the basis of knowledge that they possess that their superior may not.

Perhaps this is such a case? Clearly I am speculating as I don't know. I would be interested to learn of the discussions that Mac and his superiors had after he had disobeyed/neglected to carryout his orders.

More speculation here, but perhaps they decided he was justified.

03-17-2006, 05:56 PM
"The Two-Ocean War" by Samuel Eliot Morison:
"if the susuprise at Pearl Harbor is hard to understand, suprise at Manila is completly incomprehensible."