DEAD: Douglas MacArthur

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Douglas MacArthur (aged 84)
U.S. Army general of the army, field marshal of the Army of the Philippines

Douglas MacArthur (January 26, 1880 – April 5, 1964) was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur Jr. the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, and the only one conferred the rank of field marshal in the Philippine Army.

DEATH: Douglas MacArthur died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on 5 April 1964, of biliary cirrhosis. Kennedy had authorized a state funeral before his own death in 1963, and Johnson confirmed the directive, ordering that MacArthur be buried “with all the honor a grateful nation can bestow on a departed hero”. On 7 April his body was taken to New York City, where it lay in an open casket at the Seventh Regiment Armory for about 12 hours. That night it was taken on a funeral train to Union Station and transported by a funeral procession to the Capitol, where it lay in state at the United States Capitol rotunda. An estimated 150,000 people filed by the bier.

MacArthur had requested to be buried in Norfolk, Virginia, where his mother had been born and where his parents had married. Accordingly, on 11 April, his funeral service was held in St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Norfolk and his body was finally laid to rest in the rotunda of the Douglas MacArthur Memorial (the former Norfolk City Hall and later courthouse).

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