Raised to Master Mason - Phillipines - January 14, 1936
32 degree Mason - Gaumata Consistory, Philippines - March 28, 1936
33 degree Mason - American Embassy, Japan - 1947
Shriner - Niles Shrine, Mount Lake Terrace, Washington
December 7 and 8, 1991, marked the 50th anniversary of the Japanese invasion of the Philippine Islands and the attack on Pearl Harbor. To commemorate these events, the Douglas MacArthur
Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia, prepared a memorial weekend which included cultural activities, field encampments, a children's fair, and many other special exhibits and events.
Douglas MacArthur is, rightly so, a national hero, and his achievements are recognized by every American. In fact, many of us have served under "The General" at some point in our lives.
The Craft can also take pride in MacArthur's Masonic accomplishments. Together, these images create the picture of a man with outstanding intellect, great leadership ability, and a controversial personality that made many either revere or revile him.
MacArthur's father was a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient. At nineteen he became the youngest colonel in the Union Army. He progressed in the Army until eventually he was named Military Governor of the Philippines. Arthur MacArthur was indeed one of the finest military leaders of his era.
Douglas' mother, Mary Pinkney Hardy, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1852. She was from an aristocratic southern family, and many of her brothers and relatives fought for the Confederacy. She married Captain Arthur MacArthur on May 19, 1875, at Riveredge, the Hardy Plantation in Norfolk.
Douglas MacArthur graduated from West Point in 1903, first in his class three out of four years. In his senior year he became first captain of the Corps of Cadets, and he graduated with a
cumulative grade point average of 98.14. Clearly, he was on his way to a distinguished military career.
Douglas was sent to Manila with the 3rd Engineers and spent some time as an aide to his father. He was a colonel when World War I began, and he became a Brigadier General in 1918. As a
frontline officer, he was wounded three times, decorated thirteen times, and cited for bravery in action seven times.
After World War I, MacArthur became Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy in 1919. He was responsible for raising the academic standards and improving the school's curriculum. Then, after three years in the Philippines, he came back to the U.S. as a Major General, soon became a four-star General and was named Army Chief of Staff, the youngest in military history.
In July 1941, MacArthur became Commander of U.S. Army forces in the Far East. His troops defended the Bataan Peninsula for four months. In March 1942, President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to Australia, but before leaving the General made his famous "I shall return" promise.
As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.
With the invasion of Korea in 1950, MacArthur also became the United Nations Commander in Korea. His famous invasion at Inchon became a military masterpiece. However, by now his feud with President Truman had progressed too far, and he was relieved of his command in April 1951.
His last years as a civilian were also filled with accomplishments. An active participant during the 1952 Presidential campaign, MacArthur was a potential Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate. Eventually, however, Dwight Eisenhower won the Republican nomination and became President. MacArthur lived a quiet life after that and died on April 5, 1964, due to a series of serious health problems.
On April 11, 1964, he was laid to rest at the Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia, his mother's hometown. The Memorial building was once the nineteenth century Norfolk City
Certainly MacArthur's military career was one of the most notable in the United States history. He did, however, devote time to being an active Mason.
Field Marshall Douglas MacArthur was made a "Mason at Sight" on January 14, 1936, by Samuel R. Hawthorne, the Grand Master of Masons in the Philippines. The ceremony lasted several hours and each Degree was conferred by a Past Grand Master.
General MacArthur received that special ceremony because of his role as the Commander in charge of the training of the Philippines Armed Forces and because his father, who was also a
Master Mason, had been the Military Governor of the island from 1900 to 1901.
In March 1936, Brother Douglas MacArthur received the Fourth through the Thirty-second Degrees, culminating on March 28, 1936, with the Master of the Royal Secret in Gaumata Consistory, Philippines.
On December 8, 1947, at the American Embassy in Japan, the Thirty-third Degree was conferred on Brother MacArthur by Illþ Frederick H. Stevens, 33ø, Deputy of The Mother Supreme Council, 33ø, in the Philippines. Brother Stevens had conferred the First
Degree on Brother MacArthur in 1936.
A significant contribution to Masonry occurred in 1947 when Supreme Commander MacArthur requested permission from the Japanese government to allow Japanese nationals to join Masonic
Lodges. The Grand Lodge of the Philippines in 1947 instituted the first Lodge at the Yokosuka Naval Base and later three Lodges in Tokyo. The Ritual was translated into Japanese for Lodges of Japanese nationals.
The Grand Lodge of Japan was formed on June 1, 1957. Today, it supports over 21 Lodges and 4,000 members. The new Tokyo Masonic Center, valued at over $50 million, was featured in an article by Floren D. Quick, PþGþMþ of Japan, in the May issue of The Scottish Rite Journal.
Douglas MacArthur was an active Mason and played a significant role in the development of Masonry in Japan. In fact, the Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia, has on display much of his Masonic regalia, including his Third Degree apron, his Shrine fez, his Thirty-third Degree Scottish Rite cap and ring, and other Masonic awards.
December 7 and 8, 1941, are significant dates in American history, and Brother Douglas MacArthur became an American hero through his leadership and service to his country during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
All Masons should visit the MacArthur Memorial when they pass through Norfolk and, as a result, take increased pride in yet another Mason who has influenced the course of significant events in history and was influenced in many decisions by Masonic principles.
The MacArthur Memorial has eleven separate galleries, a theatre with continuous showings of a twenty-two-minute film, a library and archives, a gift shop, and the rotunda that contains the
General's final resting place. The Memorial is open daily and admission is free.
Clay, Blair, Jr. MacArthur. New York: MCA
Councell, William C., 33ø, PþGþMþ of
Philippines. "General Douglas MacArthur
the Mason." March 10, 1986.