General MacArthur’s Honor Guard
When General Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines from Australia in Oct 1944 and American forces recaptured Manila in early 1945, it became necessary to establish a group to protect the General, his family and staff, and visitors from the US and foreign countries. In May 1945, a rigid selection process began to build Company E (later renamed to Honor Guard Co). Criteria for these men were exceptionally high – candidates must have had a good record as a combat soldier, bearing, neatness, thoroughness, character and loyalty, and be between 5’10” and 6’2” tall.
The men’s duties were guarding the Manila hotel, the City Hall (offices of MacArthur & his staff), and Casa Blanca (the General’s home). They were proud of their assignments.
One of Company E’s assignments was to guard the Japanese delegation that came to confer with MacArthur and his staff about the cessation of hostilities throughout the Pacific and Asia, the peaceful occupation of Japan by the allied powers and the signing of formal surrender papers.
Company E was responsible for guarding the officers of the United States and other allied nations on board the USS Gen. Sturgis. The men of Co. E were present as representatives of the various commands in the Pacific Theater.
Company E was moved to the old Japanese Finance Ministry building in Tokyo to continue guarding the Commander-In-Chief and all high allied officers. Part of the Company soon moved into the American Embassy where General MacArthur and his family lived. In addition to guarding the Embassy, their duties were expanded to guard the Dai Ichi building where the offices of General MacArthur and his staff were located.
On March 9, 1946, Company E was officially renamed the Honor Guard Company. The men continued their duties with pride and, as replacements were provided, they returned to their homes proud of their historic associations with General Douglas MacArthur. Between its inception and April 1951 (when General MacArthur was relieved of command by President Truman), about 2,000 men had served in the Honor Guard. A large number of the men also served in the Korean War. The Company also served subsequent Commanders, and was disbanded in July 1957.
The Honor Guard alumni are close-knit group that continues to hold annual reunions, sponsor excursions (to the Philippines & Japan) and enjoy fellowship and memories.
For additional information, contact Maurice Howe, Vice Chairman of the General MacArthur Honor Guard Assn, Maurice Howe
Click on the arrow beside ‘The Honor Guard’ in the menu to get a list of the Honor Guard Members that we know of. If you know of someone that was a member and is not on the list, please contact us and let us know, so they can be added. You may also click one of the links below:-