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PICTURES: World War II Experiences {MacArthur signing the treaty & the surrender of Japan}

Updated on August 26, 2011

Gen. MacArthur signs Japan surrender war treaty

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Gen. MacArthur signing Japanese surrender terms aboard USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945US marine1945 WWII souvenirsJapanese occupation currency one centavoJapanese WW2 helmetJapanese WW2 souvenirM-42
Gen. MacArthur signing Japanese surrender terms aboard USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945
Gen. MacArthur signing Japanese surrender terms aboard USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945
US marine
US marine
1945 WWII souvenirs
1945 WWII souvenirs
Japanese occupation currency one centavo
Japanese occupation currency one centavo
Japanese WW2 helmet
Japanese WW2 helmet
Japanese WW2 souvenir
Japanese WW2 souvenir

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A 72-year-old retiree recalls his WWII experiences

I WAS born in a sun-caressed Philippine barrio where-during low tide- one had to wade knee-deep in swamp-mud to reach barrio proper from outrigger-banca anchor point. Tiny crabs would come your way with pinchers brandished as if to do some harm but in reality they're trying to evade danger by hiding in the muddled seawater created by your feet as you walk. Yes- Hitaasan's balmy sea breeze and the bird-snaring activity we had with my cousins are deeply etched in my memory.

One day hell broke loose. In San Sebastian, the town proper where we were permanently settled was without our knowing involved in the war between 2 warring forces, the Americans versus the Japanese. We had to bite something- we were told- while the cannon gun atop the hill behind the school building fired loud BONG! BONG! BONG! towards Paranas where the Japanese had built camp. Paranas is located east of San Sebastian across the sea which can be reached then by paddling a banca in one and a half hours. A friendly plane- I came to know its purpose later- would suddenly appear in the horizon perhaps to effectively aid in the air assault.

In time war planes swiftly appeared, dotting the sky. They roared and dived, dropping bombs. Barooom! With mounted machine guns, they spread the Japanese hideouts with ra-tatat-ra-tatat The bombing and shelling were targeted to Paranas my adopted hometown later and where I got married. At every cannon fire, bomb explosion and the unending spit of ra-tatat from the machine guns shook our little world.  We cowered with fear under the table.  When we could muster courage, we took stolen peeps at the planes. To us kid, then, fear gave way to admiration for the intrepid pilots behind the wheels.     

In another separate incident, I still recall the commotion causing residents to run here and there. Not understanding what the trouble was and sensing danger, I ran and left my family away-as others do- in no direction. I could see clearly "tracer or treasure" bullets whizzing up above our heads. I found myself together with other townmates face flat on the swampy town outskirts, the onrushing seawater lapping our feet because it was high tide. When the smoke clears, I rushed home and found my parents and 2 siblings intact. They prefer to stay home because of a suckling baby girl. Ida who was born on May 9, 1942 and grew to become a teacher who succumbed to breast cancer on Sept. 9, 2000 at age 58. I was told the Japanese suffered 1 casualty, were able to fire back with a machine gun perched atop a tree. Had the American soldiers chose to, they would have annihilated all 3 boatloads of Japanese warriors. They should have lay in wait and pounced on the slit-eyed Japanese on the right moment, but the US defenders fired too early.while the enemy was quite far across the river. The Japanese soldiers dived, swam and hid in the thick-forested swamplands

One incident which is still vivid in my memory is the appearance of an American soldier who sported a half-finished haircut, engaging- together with his comrades- in a toe-to-toe battle with our common enemy, the Japanese.

I remember of 2 occasions with the Japanese soldiers in town to commander food, animals and fowls for their sustenance. With "bariga" or Filipino males forced at gunpoint to do labor for them, to carry sacks of rice, to run after and catch pigs and poultry. Then the bariga would load the commandered food supply in big boats tied together bound for Bato a place along the road. Our only rooster which was tied in the kitchen was included in the loot despite the pleadings of my grandmother. These WWII episodes happened in 1944 in our home town San Sebastian


Gen. Douglas MacArthur lands at Leyte on October 20, 1944.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur lands at Leyte on October 20, 1944.

"I Shall Return"

General Douglas H. MacArthur

A symbol of American determination and fighting ability, General Douglas A MacArthur ranks as an imaginative, sometimes brilliant military commander. His defence of the Philippines in World War 2 proved crucial to the war effort, and as commander-in-chief in the Pacific, accepted Japan's surrender. He garnered the respect of his troops and the admiration of the nation. He retired from the army a 5 star general and hero.

  • Father : Gen. Arthur MacArthur
  • Mother : Mary Pinkney Hardy
  • Date of Birth : Jan. 26, 1880, Little Rock Arkansas
  • Date of Death : April 5, 1964, Washington, D. C., buried in MacArthur Memorial Park in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Wife : Louise Cromwell Brooks, married Feb. 14, 1922, (divorced in 1929)
  • Wife : Jean Marie Faircloth, married Apr. 30, 1937, died Jan. 22, 2000 (at age 101)
  • Mistress : Isobel Rosario Cooper, a Eurasian woman whom he met while assigned in the Philippines
  • Son : Arthur MacArthur IV was the only child of Douglas and Jean, born in Manila on Feb. 21, 1938 
  • Book:  He wrote and published  "REMINISCENSES" from 1962 to 1964.


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    • profile image

      Ann Cashion 

      5 years ago

      I have an original snap shot of MacArthur at the signing of treaty with Japan on the USS Missouri BB66 9-3-45. There is another picture of him coming down the steps with Admiral 'Bull" Hallsey. The third one I have is a picture of the Japan leader (not sure who this one is). Is their any value to these pictures. I would like to get them somewhere that they would be preserved with pictures of my uncle, who these pictures belong to. Ann Cashion (

    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      I feel elated for having shared with you, Lisa, a bit of WWII experience we had in the Philippines. Just like your late foster father, our country has contributed a lot of young men who were rushed up for recruitment at the eleventh hour. Few came back to tell their stories. My wife's uncle Pedro barely 19 or 20 wrote a letter home, which was delivered after the war, tells of the ordeals they had in camp in Luzon in preparation for the upcoming battle, died of malnutrition and malaria together with his comrades-in-arms as prisoners. A fellow retired teacher Mrs. Abando now in her 80s recalls that she never had the chance to taste the sweetness of a married life with her husband because on the very day of their wedding he was forced to ride with fellow recruits in the waiting truck for the military camp.

      We're honored to have your foster father's life sacrificed for the cause of freedom and we will include him in our prayers.

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      nick, this Hub caught my eye because my mother (American) had married a young man before she met my father. He was 23/24 when he thought he was done with his tour of duty in the US military, but he was called back after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was killed in the Philippines during the war. Although I never knew him, I grew up hearing some about him and have always had some interest in what went on in the Philippines at that time.

      My mother and her family (and her young husband's family, of course) were all devastated that he had been called back into service, and that he was killed so young. It was a time in history when just about everyone seemed to live in fear and horror for one reason or another.

      You were a child at the time, so I can imagine the impact it had on you. I do think so many people went through so much horror and loss during WWII (in the various regions where its impact was most felt) that you are far from alone in having seen, first-hand, what war can do.

      It's good that you've made peace with the soldiers who were there at the time. So many had no choice but to go where their government told them to go.

    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      Thank you masmasika as well as to others who may come to visit and read this hub. My noble purpose in publishing this hub is to show the horrors and related problems that war may bring to humankind. I hate war and even petty bickerings. They are roadblocks to the attainment of peace and prosperity. I've long pardoned both the American and Japanese soldiers for sowing fear in our young hearts then.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow these are great pictures of WWII. Your article reminds me of long time ago. Although i wasn't part of the war, I have learned this in History. thanks for sharing.


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