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General Douglas MacArthur’s Accoutrements

MacArthur Museum Brisbane - Joy of Museums - General Douglas MacArthur's Accoutrements

General Douglas MacArthur’s accoutrements made him a memorable figure visually. His accoutrements included a corncob pipe, sunglasses and a general’s braided hat. General Douglas MacArthur was perhaps the most famous smokers of the corncob pipe.

Douglas MacArthur (1880 – 1964) was an American five-star general. Raised in a military family he was First Captain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated top of the class of 1903. During the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. In the fighting on the Western Front during World War I, he rose to the rank of brigadier general and was again nominated for a Medal of Honor and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice and the Silver Star seven times.


General Douglas MacArthur surveys the beachhead on Leyte Island

From 1919 to 1922, MacArthur served as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His next assignment was in the Philippines and in 1925, he became the Army’s youngest major general. In 1930, he became Chief of Staff of the United States Army. He retired from the US Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines.

MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of United States Army Forces in the Far East. The invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese compelled MacArthur to withdraw to Bataan, where they held out until early in 1942. Eventually, MacArthur, his family and his staff escaped to Australia, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. Upon his arrival in Australia, MacArthur gave a speech in which he famously promised “I shall return” to the Philippines. After more than two years of fighting in the Pacific, he fulfilled that promise. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor.

MacArthur officially accepted Japan’s surrender in 1945, aboard USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay and oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. As the effective ruler of Japan, he oversaw sweeping economic, political and social changes in Japan. He led the United Nations Command in the Korean War until he was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman in 1951.

Essential Facts:

  • Title:                 General Douglas MacArthur’s Accoutrements
  • Dates:               1940’s
  • Museum:         MacArthur Museum Brisbane


“Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.” General Douglas Macarthur



Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 2) See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons