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Thread: Australian Museum Retires Gen. MacArthur's Office

  1. #1
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    Default Australian Museum Retires Gen. MacArthur's Office

    December 3, 2016, 12:27 PM
    Legacy of General Douglas MacArthur lives on at his war office

    Wednesday marks 75 years since Japan’s devastating attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise attack immediately drew the U.S. into World War II, and within days, American troops landed in Australia to begin defending the Pacific.

    On the eighth floor of what was once the sturdiest building in downtown Brisbane, echoes of history reverberate off the wood-paneled walls.

    For more than half of World War II, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur ran the Allied fight in the Southwest Pacific from a suite in Australia’s third-largest city. It’s now part of the MacArthur Museum, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Albert.

    “We’re in the actual office of Gen. Douglas MacArthur,” said John Wright, the museum’s executive officer.

    General Douglas MacArthur (center)

    “This is where he worked?” Albert asked.

    “This is where he worked,” Wright said.

    “Do you feel when you walk in here that you’re following the footsteps of General MacArthur?” Albert asked.

    “There is an aura of history about it,” Wright said.

    Just 15 days after Pearl Harbor, stunned by the sudden arrival of war, U.S. troops began arriving in Brisbane – the first of an eventual one million who would pass through Australia.

    In time for the 75th anniversary, the museum has finished restoring the general’s office. The bronze door handles have returned and the timber work revived.

    “Why was it important to restore his office to the way that it was?” Albert asked.

    CBS News

    “This is a museum which is in a position to actually show the enormous impact the decisions made in that office had on Australia and on the conduct of the war,” Wright said.

    “Why was Australia vulnerable?” Albert asked.

    “Well, essentially what was happening was the Japanese were advancing down through the Philippines, simultaneously moving from French Indochina down through the Malay states, into what was then the Dutch East Indies... looking to isolate Australia,” Wright said.

    But when MacArthur arrived in Australia in the spring of 1942, he did not land as a conquering hero. He was forced to flee the Philippines with his family, issuing his famous promise: “I shall return.” And he did, but not for two and a half years.

    “Was he sort of licking his wounds?” Albert asked Walter Borneman, who wrote the just-released book “MacArthur at War.”

    “He was definitely licking his wounds,” Borneman said.

    “How does a general on a losing streak go to Australia and by the end of World War II become someone extremely popular throughout the country?” Albert asked.

    “MacArthur fills the need in the American psyche for a hero,” Borenman said. “To MacArthur’s credit, by the time 1944 comes along, he’s doing a lot of island hopping, he’s really bought into the whole concept of air power. He’s doing miraculous amphibious landings all over. So he does evolve as a military commander.”

    Three-quarters of a century later, 1,250 U.S. Marines are deployed in the northern Australia city of Darwin for training – a sign, Australian army Capt. Adele Catts told CBS News, of the enduring partnership.

    “I think that the collaboration that occurred with U.S. troops in World War II under General MacArthur certainly has laid the groundwork for the U.S. and Australian joint operations that exist now,” Catts said.

    Today, MacArthur’s legacy lives on there in other ways. His old headquarters building has been named after him, and there’s an Apple store on the ground floor, right next to the MacArthur Central mall.

    In Greater Brisbane, there are streets, roads, drives, circles and bus stops named after the general, who still touches 84-year-old resident Del Hicks. Hicks played with Arthur MacArthur, the general’s son, while the family lived in Brisbane.

    Jean MacArthur, the general’s wife, even sent Hicks a letter after the family left.

    “Dear Del, Arthur wants me to send you this little note to tell you how much he has missed you,” she wrote in a letter that Hicks has kept for 71 years.

    “I think what nice people they were. Mrs. MacArthur was a charming woman. And I always remember the general had lovely, soft hands because one day he just took Arthur’s hand and my hand and we just went down the hall singing this little song,” Hicks said.

    Ron Rees said MacArthur gave him a lieutenant’s pin when he was just 6 years old and a letter after a chance reunion in New York over tea 20 years later.

    Rees is now a volunteer at the MacArthur Museum.

    “It’s some small manner of replaying what the United States and our allies, the Australians, did for me,” Rees said.

    Despite that adoration and his status as one of the most famous generals in U.S. history, MacArthur apparently never let go of certain insecurities, as Wright told Albert in his office -- like how he placed a picture of President George Washington in his office.

    “Whereas you normally expect the U.S. president of the day, Franklin Roosevelt, to be up there, he made the comment that he wasn’t having any Democrat looking down on him,” Wright said.

    “He was a Republican,” Albert said.

    “And he was a Republican with probably ambitions to the 1944 presidential nomination,” Wright said.

    MacArthur didn’t end up campaigning for president. Instead on Sept. 2, 1945, he accepted Japan’s surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri. That day, he famously told the American people in a radio address: “We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war.”

    © 2016 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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    Default Re: Australian Museum Retires Gen. MacArthur's Office

    Just for those who would like to get a brief history on what really happened; Pearl Harbor is a U.S. naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii, that was the scene of a devastating surprise attack by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Just before 8 a.m. on that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the base, where they managed to destroy or damage nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes. I can remember the story very well as told by my dad who was running a shop. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan.
    Last edited by tankgeezer; 1 Week Ago at 12:08 AM. Reason: commercial link removed

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    Default Re: Australian Museum Retires Gen. MacArthur's Office

    Quote Originally Posted by alowah View Post
    Just for those who would like to get a brief history on what really happened; Pearl Harbor is a U.S. naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii, that was the scene of a devastating surprise attack by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Just before 8 a.m. on that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the base, where they managed to destroy or damage nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes . . .
    “ . . . hundreds of Japanese fighter planes . . . ”

    Really?

    Golly, I bet those A6M2’s had a tough time hauling the bombs, much less, torpedoes, necessary to inflict the damage to USN ships, aircraft, and facilities which actually occurred.

    So, no, not really.

    With a quick and dirty count, the two Japanese strikes were made of some 350 planes, including, in the first wave:

    40 B5N torpedo planes,
    49 B5N level bombers,
    51 D3A dive-bombers, and
    43 A6M fighters.

    The second wave attack included:

    54 B5N level bombers,
    78 D3A dive-bombers, and
    35 A6M fighters.

    I make that a total of 143 torpedo/level bombers, 129 dive bombers, and 78 fighters. None of the A6M2 fighters were armed with external ordnance.

    Out of a total of 103 USN or USCG commissioned vessels and one floating drydock present at Pearl Harbor, 33 were sunk, beached, or otherwise damaged. All but four continued in service with whatever necessary repairs or were otherwise eventually returned to service:
    BB-39 Arizona – total loss
    BB-37 Oklahoma – total loss
    AG-16 Utah – total loss
    CM-4 Oglala – heavy damage, concussion shock, capsized-sank, raised & return to service 2/44
    YT-9 Sotoyomo – heavy damage, debris & concussion shock, sank, raised & returned to service 8/42
    YFD-2 (floating dry dock) - moderate damage concussion shock, sank, raised & returned to service 1/42
    BB-48 West Virginia – heavy damage, 7 torpedoes 2 bombs, sank, raised & returned service 7/44
    BB-44 California – heavy damage, 2 torpedoes, 2 bombs, sank, raised & returned service 1/44
    BB-36 Nevada – heavy damage, 1 torpedo 6 bombs, beached, returned to service 10/42
    DD-372 Cassin - very heavy damage, I bomb, burned out, return to service 2/44
    DD-375 Downes – heavy damage, burned out from Cassin fires, returned to service 11/43
    CL-49 Helena – moderate damage, 1 torpedo, returned to service 1/42
    BB-43 Tennessee – moderate damage, 2 bombs, returned to service 2/42
    BB-46 Maryland – moderate damage, 2 bombs, returned to service 2/42
    CL-7 Raleigh – moderate damage, 1 torpedo, returned to service 2/42
    DD-373 Shaw – moderate damage, 3 bombs, returned to service 6/42
    AR-4 Vestal – moderate damage, 2 bombs & debris from Arizona, return to service 8/42
    BB-38 Pennsylvania – minor damage, 1 bomb & debris from Cassin
    CL-48 Honolulu – minor damage, fragments
    DD-388 Helm – minor damage, 2 near misses, damage repaired in 1/42
    CA-32 New Orleans – minor damage, fragments
    CL-49 St Louis – minor damage from strafing
    DD-391 Henley – minor damage from strafing
    AR-11 Rigel – minor damage from near misses
    AE-2 Pyro – minor damage from fragments
    AV-8 Tangier – minor damage from near misses
    DD-986 Bagley – minor damage from near misses
    DD-365 Cummings – minor damage, near miss
    DD-335 Aylwin – minor damage, concussion shock
    DD-350 Hull – minor damage, near miss
    AD-3 Dobbin – minor damage, bomb fragments
    AV-4 Curtiss – minor damage, 1 bomb & 1 crashed Japanese plane, returned to service 1/42
    AG-32 Sumner – very minor damage, friendly fire

    Aircraft . . . I cannot comment on USAAC status before or after the attack; I have little data on the USAAC into which I am willing to go diving, generally and even less interest in doing so, specifically. Present or operating in various USN, USMC, and USCG squadrons and activities stationed ashore or ship-board in and around Oahu at 0755 on Sunday 7 December 1941 were a total of 301 aircraft. Data on these:

    On hand on the morning of 7 December:
    VP types: 69
    VF/VMF types: 24
    VB/VS/VMSB types: 60
    VT types: 2
    VO/VCS types: 92
    VJ/VMJ types: 54

    After the attacks, aircraft on hand were 221:
    VP types: 45, or 24 destroyed
    VF/VMF types: 15, or 9 destroyed
    VB/VS/VMSB types: 29, or 31 destroyed
    VT types: 2, or 0 destroyed
    VO/VCS types: 82, or 10 destroyed
    VJ/VMJ types: 48, or 6 destroyed
    Total destroyed: 80

    And, more importantly, aircraft operational after the attack totaled 52:
    VP types: 11, or 34 either raid damaged or non-operational prior to the attack
    VF/VMF types: 0, or 15 either raid damaged or non-operational prior to the attack
    VB/VS/VMSB types: 14, or 15 either raid damaged non-operational prior to the attack
    VT types: 0, or 2 either raid damaged non-operational prior to the attack
    VO/VCS/ types: 11, or 71 either raid damaged non-operational prior to the attack
    VJ/VMJ types: 16, or 32 either raid damaged or already non-operational prior to the attack
    Total either raid damaged or non-operational prior to the attack: 169

    Quote Originally Posted by alowah View Post
    The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan.
    That part is correct.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Australian Museum Retires Gen. MacArthur's Office

    I know it's just a regurgitation post, but I was hoping alowah would add something...

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    Default Re: Australian Museum Retires Gen. MacArthur's Office

    Don't think he'll be back, he/she is posting from Kenya, and the post had contained a spam link to a present day towing service. I dumped the link, and left the rest so you might enjoy some fun just incase they were to actually return.

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