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20 March - General Douglas Macarthur, "I shall return", SA

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20 March - General Douglas Macarthur, "I shall return", SA

Unread postby Max ADU » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:34 am

Australian History
Friday, March 20, 1942.

US General Douglas Macarthur first makes his famous
"I shall return" speech at Terowie, South Australia.


General Douglas MacArthur was an American general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. At the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941, MacArthur was Allied commander in the Philippines.

He was a significant figure in the Pacific during World War II, receiving the Medal of Honour for his early service in the Philippines and on the Bataan Peninsula.

Initially designated to command the proposed invasion of Japan in November 1945, when that became no longer necessary, he officially accepted Japan's surrender on 2 September 1945.

General MacArthur is famous for uttering the phrase "I shall return". It is less known, however, that this phrase was first stated by MacArthur as part of an extended speech whilst visiting Australia.

On 17 March 1942, he arrived at Batchelor Airfield in the Northern Territory, Australia, about 100 km south of Darwin.

Following this, he flew to Alice Springs, then took the Ghan railway through the Australian outback to Adelaide. His famous speech, in which he said, "I came out of Bataan and I shall return", was first made at Terowie, a small railway township in South Australia, on 20 March 1942, before he continued on to Adelaide.

After he arrived in Adelaide, MacArthur abbreviated this to the now-famous, "I came through and I shall return" for which he is best remembered.

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