The Source of General MacArthur’s Power

June 23, 2016

New Guinea, October 1942. Pictured, left to right: Australian Colonel Charles Spry points out locations of heavy fighting between Allied ground forces and the Japanese to Lieutenant General Edmund Herring, General Douglas MacArthur, and Major General Arthur Samuel Allen.

New Guinea, October 1942. Pictured, left to right: Australian Colonel Charles Spry points out locations of heavy fighting between Allied ground forces and the Japanese to Lieutenant General Edmund Herring, General Douglas MacArthur, and Major General Arthur Samuel Allen.

In this closing chapter, I wish to reveal the secret source of General MacArthur’s power, his genius and his statesmanship and the very essence of his wonderful qualities of leadership….

[W]hen MacArthur miraculously escaped from Corregidor and finally reached Australia, the General found the people there in a state of despair. The morale of the troops of Australia and New Zealand was at a dangerous, desperate low ebb and, seeing this demoralizing condition of the country and the troops MacArthur decided that he must at once bolster the spirits of the Allied armies and the people. He sent a message to his friend Howard Chandler Christy in New York asking him to please, as soon as possible, paint a series of pictures that could be used to help bolster and inspire the spirits of the Allied troops and the peoples of Australia and New Zealand.

Howard Chandler Christy in his Studio.

Howard Chandler Christy in his Studio.

When Christy received that message from MacArthur, he at once sent a reply back to General MacArthur asking him to put into words the thoughts and sentiments that he had in mind that he might wish to have reflected in the paintings. MacArthur then dispatched to Christy the following:

Our Lord

 

“September 24, 1942

Howard Chandler Christy

Layman’s National Committee

New York, New York

 

Two thousand years ago a man dared stand for truth, for freedom of the human spirit, was crucified and died, yet this death was not the end, but only the beginning, to be followed by the resurrection and the life. For twenty centuries the story of the man of Galilee has served for all Christians as lesson and symbol so that today when we stress the spiritual significance of our united efforts to reestablish the supremacy of our Christian principles we can humbly and without presumption declare our faith and confidence in God’s help in our final victory.

MacArthur”

 

Joseph Choate, Douglas MacArthur As I Knew Him: A Narrative Eulogy of the Magnificent Statesmanship of General Douglas MacArthur (Privately printed, 1986), 93-4.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 530

 

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