“I Shall Return”: General MacArthur’s Promise

Gen. Douglas MacArthur (C) and Gen. Richard Sutherland (L) and Col. Lloyd Lehrbas wading ashore during Amer. landing at Lingayen Gulf. Source: (Photo by Carl Mydans/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

During World War II’s Pacific Campaign, General Douglas MacArthur, along with his family, were located on the island of Corregidor where he oversaw more than 90,000 American and Filipino troops in the battle against the Japanese military. As neighboring strongholds fell to the Japanese, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, grew concerned that Corregidor would also fall and MacArthur, a well-respected leader, would be captured or killed. General MacArthur balked at the President’s request to leave the island, but when he was ordered to do so, he had to oblige. When he left, MacArthur vowed, “I Shall Return.”