General Douglas MacArthur

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In 1944, the USS Nashville was General Douglas MacArthur's flagship, supporting his activities in the Pacific, including the Leyte landings in the Philippines

General Douglas MacArthur

LtCol Rufus B. Thompson, Jr., USMC tells the following story:

"In compliance with a Navy ALNAV (Navy Administrative Message) to dispense with rendering honors in forward areas, we didn't post a Marine honor guard to welcome him aboard. Looking back on it, I think it was a bit extreme in complying with the ALNAV and not welcoming General MacArthur aboard with a Marine honor guard. Of course, I think most Marines would have agreed that we did the right thing because General MacArthur was not too well thought of by Marines because he felt there was no need to have a Marine Corps.

I did have a Marine orderly assigned to him and stationed outside his cabin. Not long afterwards, the orderly came and told me the General's Chief of Staff wanted to see me. The CofS (Chief of Staff) said the General wanted to know why a Marine orderly was stationed outside his cabin. After a short discussion with the CofS, he took me in to see General MacArthur who asked why I felt he needed a Marine orderly. I told him I was obliged to assign an orderly to any flag officer when on board. Also, my Marines knew their way around the ship, the communications office, and evacuation stations in case we had to abandon ship. He accepted my explanation and had a Marine orderly every time he came aboard."