My Freemasonry | Freemason Information and Discussion Forum

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Freemason: General Douglas MacArthur

Blake Bowden

Staff Member

26 January 1880 - 5 April 1964
General Douglas MacArthur, "liberator" of the Philippines, shogun of occupied Japan and mastermind of the Inchon invasion, was an admired national hero when he was relieved of his command by President Truman in April 1951 for insubordination and disobedience.

Earlier in his career he had supervised the eviction of the "bonus marchers" from Washington, DC on July 29,1932 in a controversially heavy-handed fashion. Retired from active service in December 1937, he was soon recalled to active duty as lieutenant general and named commander, United States Army Forces in the Far East, July 1941; was promoted to temporary general, December 1941; led American forces in Pacific campaigns as Supreme Allied Commander, 1941-1945; was promoted to temporary General of the Army December 1944; received the Medal of Honor for Philippine defense preparations and operations; was appointed Supreme Allied Commander, Japan, 1945; rank as General of the Army made permanent, April 1946; was designated commander in chief, Far East Command, 1947; upon the North Korean invasion of South Korea, was designated commander, United Nations Command in the Far East, July 1950.

"At the time of MacArthur’s removal President Harry S Truman was also a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri. Before dismissing General MacArthur, President Truman consulted with his advisors, which included Generals George C. Marshall who was Secretary of Defense at the time, and Omar N. Bradley who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In December of 1941, George Marshall had been made a Mason "at sight" by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia. Omar Bradley had been raised in West Point Lodge No.877, Highland Falls, New York in 1923. Dean Atcheson and Averell Harriman were also consulted. The recommendation to dismiss General MacArthur was unanimous... it was not the best of times for the Craft. Douglas MacArthur was relieved by Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgeway who was also a freemason. Like Bradley, he was a member of West Point Lodge No. 877, and was raised on May 1, 1924."

Made on Sight: January 17, 1936
Grand Lodge of the Philippines
Affiliated : 1936
Manila Lodge No. 1


Premium Member
Straightening up an old file cabinet a few weeks ago, I came across a set of the old original handwritten record books from the 1800s...
I found the record of initiation and membership of one of our more notable past members. This young Brother, an Army and Civil War veteran, was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in our lodge in the spring of 1879 while serving as an Army captain at the Little Rock Arsenal. He’s also a holder of the Medal of Honor, won at Chattanooga in November 1863 by being one of the first to place the colors atop Missionary Ridge...

Captain Arthur MacArthur, by then one of the youngest colonels in the U.S. Army, was sorely wounded at Franklin. He rejoined the Army after the war, and served again as a captain the next 20 years in frontier posts. In 1878, he was stationed at Little Rock, living in the Tower Bldg, which at that time had been converted to officer family housing. While living there, he and his wife Pinky were blessed with a 3rd son, whom they named Douglas. Some 60 years later, Douglas, who became a famous officer himself, also earned the Medal of Honor, becoming the first father/son pair so distinguished. Arthur himself rose to the rank of Lieutenant General, and when he retired in 1909, he was one of the last Civil War veterans remaining on active duty. He died of a massive stroke in 1912, and is buried at West Point.

Digging a bit farther,

I found the handwritten Minutes Book where Brother MacArthur was, at a called meeting, "raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in due and ancient form" by a dispensation from then Grand Master M.W. George Thornburg. Thornburg authorized past Grand Master Elbert H. English to act as his agent in conferring the degree. MacArthur had apparently received his EA and Fellowcraft degrees in the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, but the convocation ran out of time before they got to the master's degree, which was done at a follow-up lodge meeting at Magnolia. This page I didn't photograph, because they have this thing about privacy of the meeting minutes, but it was a bit of a thrill to see it there in handwritten ink script and to actually start recognizing names. A couple of months later, Brother MacArthur was noted as having delivered the address for the lodge's observation of the feast of St. John the Baptist... so he apparently lost no time in getting involved with the lodge's activities.

At any rate, it was a huge thrill tonite to dig out the original handwritten lodge record of General MacArthur, the father of WW2’s General of the Army Douglas MacArthur...

Travelling Man91

Registered User
Wow !!! That’s very interesting. I never knew MacArthur was a Freemason. Thanks for sharing

Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry Mobile