West Point in the Making of America






Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur

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Douglas MacArthur and his mother

Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964)

An outstanding cadet, MacArthur left the academy for a variety of engineering and staff positions. In 1917, he sailed to France as chief of staff of the 42nd Division. Later its commander, he was twice wounded and much decorated.

Appointed superintendent of West Point after the war, he instituted reforms in curriculum, teaching methods, and standards of performance that began to restore West Point to an academic respectability badly eroded by wartime policies.

After various command assignments and a five-year tour as army chief of staff, MacArthur returned to the Philippines in 1935 to organize and train the Filipino army. Recalled to active duty in World War II, he led American and allied forces in the Pacific to victory over Japan. He remained as military governor of the country and ended his career as commander of United Nations forces in the Korean War.


The Class the Stars Fell On

Key Figures

Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
Class of 1903

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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West Point in History Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Restoring the Academy The Class the Stars Fell On Making the Modern Academy Class of 1980