After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, MacArthur commanded the defense of the Philippines until Mar., 1942, when, under the orders of President Roosevelt, he left for Australia to take command of Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific. From Australia he launched the New Guinea campaign and later (Oct., 1944–July, 1945) directed the campaigns that led to the liberation of the Philippines. He was promoted (Dec., 1944) to the new rank of general of the army (five-star general). MacArthur accepted the surrender of Japan on the U.S.S. Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945. He was then named commander of the Allied powers in Japan and directed the Allied occupation of Japan. He was seriously considered for the Republican presidential nomination in 1948, but his defeat in the Wisconsin state primary discouraged his supporters.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.