Jonathan M. Wainwright (general)

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Jonathan M. Wainwright
Jonathan M. Wainwright.jpg
Wainwright after World War II and promotion to full General
Birth nameJonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV
Nickname(s)"Skinny", "Jim"
Born(1883-08-23)August 23, 1883
Walla Walla, Washington, U.S.
DiedSeptember 2, 1953(1953-09-02) (aged 70)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service1906–47
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held3rd Cavalry Regiment (United States) 1936–38

1st Cavalry Brigade 1938–40
Philippine Division 1940–42
Prisoner of war 1942–45
Second Service Command 1945–46
Eastern Defense Command 1945–46

Fourth Army 1946–47
Battles/warsMoro Rebellion

World War I

World War II

AwardsMedal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal
RelationsJonathan Mayhew Wainwright I (great-grandfather)
Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright II (uncle)

Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV (August 23, 1883 – September 2, 1953) was a career American army officer and the Commander of Allied forces in the Philippines at the time of their surrender to the Empire of Japan during World War II. Wainwright was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his courageous leadership during the fall of the Philippines.

Early life and training[edit]

Wainwright, nicknamed "Skinny" and "Jim", was born at Fort Walla Walla, an Army post now in Walla Walla, Washington, and was the son of Robert Powell Page Wainwright, a U.S. Army officer who was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Cavalry in 1875, commanded a squadron at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish–American War, and in 1902 was killed in action in the Philippines. His grandfather was Lieutenant Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright II, USN, who was killed in action during the Civil War. Congressman J. Mayhew Wainwright was a cousin.[1]

He graduated from Highland Park High School in Illinois in 1901, and from West Point in 1906. He served as First Captain of the Corps of Cadets.[2]

Wainwright was commissioned in the cavalry. He served with the 1st Cavalry Regiment (United States) in Texas from 1906 to 1908 and in the Philippines from 1908 to 1910, where he saw combat on Jolo, during the Moro Rebellion. Wainwright graduated from the Mounted Service School, Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1916 and was promoted to Captain. By 1917, he was on the staff of the first officer training camp at Plattsburgh, New York.

World War I[edit]

In February 1918, during World War I, Wainwright was ordered to France. In June, he became assistant chief of staff of the U.S. 82nd Infantry Division, with which he took part in the Saint Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. As a temporary lieutenant colonel, he was assigned to occupation duty in Germany with the 3rd Army at Koblenz, Germany, from October 1918 until 1920. Having reverted to the rank of captain, he was then promoted to major.

Inter-war period[edit]

After a year as an instructor at the Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Wainwright was attached to the general staff from 1921 to 1923 and assigned to the 3rd US Cavalry Regiment, Fort Myer, Virginia, from 1923–25. In 1929, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and graduated from the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1931, and from the Army War College in 1934.

Wainwright was promoted to colonel in 1935, and served as commander of the 3rd US Cavalry Regiment until 1938, when he was promoted to brigadier general in command of the 1st Cavalry Brigade at Fort Clark, Texas.

World War II[edit]

Wainwright ordering the surrender of the Philippines and watched by a Japanese censor
U.S. generals in Japanese captivity, July 1942; Wainwright is seated front row, third from left.

In September 1940, Wainwright was promoted to major general (temporary) and returned to the Philippines, in December, as commander of the Philippine Department.[3]

As the senior field commander of Filipino and US forces under General Douglas MacArthur, Wainwright was responsible for resisting the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, which began in December 1941. On December 8, 1941, he commanded the North Luzon Force, comprising three reserve Filipino divisions and the 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts).[4] Retreating from the Japanese beachhead of Lingayen Gulf, Allied forces had withdrawn onto the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor by January 1942, where they defended the entrance to Manila Bay.[5]

Following the evacuation of MacArthur to Australia in March to serve as Allied Supreme Commander, South West Pacific Area, Wainwright inherited the unenviable position of Allied commander in the Philippines. Also that March, Wainwright was promoted to lieutenant general (temporary). On April 9, the 70,000 troops on Bataan surrendered under the command of Major General Edward P. King. On May 5, the Japanese attacked Corregidor. Due to lack of supplies (mainly food and ammunition)[6] and in the interest of minimizing casualties, Wainwright notified Japanese General Masaharu Homma he was surrendering on May 6.

Wainwright at the same time sent a coded message to Maj. Gen. William F. Sharp, in charge of forces on Mindanao naming him as commander of all forces in the Philippines, excepting those on Corregidor and three other islands in Manila Bay. Sharp was now to report to Gen. MacArthur, now stationed in Australia. This was to cause as few troops as possible to be surrendered. Homma refused to allow the surrender of any less than all the troops in the Philippines and considered the troops on and around Corregidor to be hostages to ensure other forces in the Philippines would lay down their arms. Wainwright then agreed to surrender Sharp's men.[7]

Gen. Sharp was placed in a difficult position. He knew if he ignored Wainwright's wish for him to surrender that the hostage troops and civilians at Corregidor could be massacred. Though his troops were badly mauled, they could still put up a fight. It had been expected they would fight on as a guerrilla force. In the end, on May 10 Sharp decided to surrender. Sharp's surrender proved problematic for the Japanese, although Sharp and many of his men surrendered and suffered as prisoners of war until liberated in 1945. Many of Sharp's men, the vast majority of them Filipino, refused to surrender. Many considered Wainwright's surrender to have been made under duress and many ultimately joined the guerrilla movement led by Colonel Wendell Fertig.[8]

By June 9, Allied forces had completely surrendered. Wainwright was then held in prison camps in northern Luzon, Formosa, and Liaoyuan (then called Xi'an and a county within Manchukuo) until his liberation by the Red Army in August 1945.[9]

MacArthur (left) greets Wainwright (August 1945)
Wainwright (far side of table, second from left) receiving the surrender of Japanese forces in the Philippines at Baguio, Luzon, (September 3, 1945)

He was the highest-ranking American POW, and, despite his rank, his treatment at the hands of the Japanese was no less unpleasant than most of his men. When he met General MacArthur in August 1945 shortly after his liberation, he had become thin and malnourished from three years of mistreatment during captivity. After witnessing the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, together with Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival, he returned to the Philippines to receive the surrender of the local Japanese commander, Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita.[citation needed]

Dubbed by his men a "fighting" general who was willing to get down in the foxholes, Wainwright won the respect of all who were imprisoned with him. He agonized over his decision to surrender Corregidor throughout his captivity, feeling that he had let his country down. Upon release, the first question he asked was how people back in the U.S. thought of him, and he was amazed when told he was considered a hero. He later received the Medal of Honor, an honor which had first been proposed early in his captivity, in 1942, but was rejected due to the vehement opposition of General MacArthur, who felt that Corregidor should not have been surrendered. MacArthur did not oppose the renewed proposal in 1945.[10][11]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and Organization: General, Commanding U.S. Army Forces in the Philippines. Place and date: Philippine Islands, 12 March to 7 May 1942. Entered Service at: Skaneateles, N.Y. Birth: Walla Walla, Wash. G.O. No.: 80, 19 September 1945.

Citation:

Distinguished himself by intrepid and determined leadership against greatly superior enemy forces. At the repeated risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in his position, he frequented the firing line of his troops where his presence provided the example and incentive that helped make the gallant efforts of these men possible. The final stand on beleaguered Corregidor, for which he was in an important measure personally responsible, commanded the admiration of the Nation's allies. It reflected the high morale of American arms in the face of overwhelming odds. His courage and resolution were a vitally needed inspiration to the then sorely pressed freedom-loving peoples of the world.[12]

General Wainwright was presented the Medal of Honor in an impromptu ceremony when he visited the White House 10 September 1945 – he was not aware that he was there to be decorated by President Truman.

Post-war years and retirement[edit]

On September 5, 1945, shortly after the Japanese surrender, Wainwright was promoted to four-star General. On September 13, a ticker-tape parade in New York City was held in his honor.[13] On September 28, 1945, he was named commander of the Second Service Command and the Eastern Defense Command at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York.[14]

On January 11, 1946, he was named commander of the Fourth Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, filling the vacancy left by the November 21, 1945 death of Lt. General Alexander Patch.[15] Patch, formerly commander of Seventh Army in the closing days of World War II, had returned in poor health to head Fourth Army in August 1945.

Wainwright reluctantly ended his army career on August 31, 1947 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 64. In an emotional military review at Fort Sam Houston, he remarked with a touch of sadness, "This is not an occasion at which I can open my brief remarks with the somewhat stereotyped statement that I am happy to be here. For the generous tribute you have paid me here today I am deeply grateful." He went on to say, "For an old soldier to say that it is a pleasure to take his last review, to address his troops for the last time, and to make his last public appearance as a commander, is in my mind at least a stretch of the imagination and a far cry from the truth." [16]

He became a Freemason in May 1946 at Union Lodge No. 7. in Junction City, Kansas, and a Shriner soon after.[17][18][19][20]

Wainwright was a Hereditary Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States by right of his grandfather's service in the Union Navy during the Civil War. He was also a Compatriot of the Sons of the American Revolution.

He served on the board of directors for several corporations after his retirement. He made himself available to speak before veterans' groups and filled almost every request to do so. He never felt any bitterness toward MacArthur for his actions in the Philippines or MacArthur's attempt to deny him the Medal of Honor. In fact, when it appeared that MacArthur might be nominated for president at the 1948 Republican National Convention, Wainwright stood ready to make the nominating speech.[10]

He died of a stroke in San Antonio, Texas on September 2, 1953, aged 70.[21]

Wainwright was buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery, next to his wife and near his parents, with a Masonic service and is one of the few people to have had their funeral held in the lower level of the Memorial Amphitheater.[22][failed verification]

Awards[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
1st row Medal of Honor
2nd row Distinguished Service Cross Army Distinguished Service Medal
with oak leaf cluster
Prisoner of War Medal
(posthumous)
3rd row Philippine Campaign Medal Mexican Border Service Medal World War I Victory Medal
with three campaign clasps
4th row Army of Occupation of Germany Medal American Defense Service Medal
with "Foreign Service" clasp
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
with one campaign star
5th row World War II Victory Medal Medal of Valor
(Philippines)
Philippine Defense Medal
with bronze service star

Unit awards

Presidential Unit Citation
with two oak leaf clusters
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

Other official awards[edit]

Private honors[edit]

Promotions[edit]

No pin insignia in 1906 Second Lieutenant, Regular Army: June 12, 1906
US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant, Regular Army: July 30, 1912
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain, Regular Army: July 1, 1916
US-O4 insignia.svg Major, National Army: August 5, 1917
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel, National Army: October 16, 1918
US-O4 insignia.svg Major, Regular Army: July 1, 1920
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel, Regular Army: December 2, 1929
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, Regular Army: August 1, 1935
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General, Regular Army: November 1, 1938
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General, Army of the United States: October 1, 1940
US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General, Army of the United States: March 19, 1942
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General, Regular Army: March 31, 1943
US-O10 insignia.svg General, Army of the United States: September 5, 1945
US-O10 insignia.svg General, Retired List: August 31, 1947

[23]

Namesakes[edit]

Film[edit]

In the film MacArthur (1977), Wainwright was portrayed by Sandy Kenyon.[28]

Works[edit]

  • Wainwright, Jonathan M.; Robert Considine (1986) [1945]. General Wainwright's Story. New York: Bantam. ISBN 0-553-24061-7.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Deaths: J. Mayhew Wainwright". The Living Church. Milwaukee, WI: Morehouse-Gorham Co.: 22 June 17, 1945.
  2. ^ Kingseed, Cole Christian (2006). Old Glory Stories: American Combat Leadership in World War II. Naval Institute Press. p. 56. ISBN 9781591144403. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  3. ^ "General Wainwright Comes to Louisiana (November 2016) | Archive - 2016 | Rickey Robertson | Local Writers' Columns | Center for Regional Heritage Research | SFASU". www.sfasu.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  4. ^ Order of Battle, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East. North Luzon Force, 8 December 1941
  5. ^ Louis Morton The Fall of the Philippines (Washington: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1953), 2016 update, pp. 199ff.
  6. ^ Tyler, Floyd E (1967). How Far That Little Candle... Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Midwest Beach, Inc. p. 15.
  7. ^ Louis Morton The Fall of the Philippines (Washington: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1953), 2016 update, pp. 564-70.
  8. ^ Morton, pp. 576-77.
  9. ^ Litovkin, Viktor (2005-05-09). "Saving General Wainwright". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  10. ^ a b Murphy, E. Heroes of WW II (1990), pp 32–34.
  11. ^ Sterner, C. Douglas. "Family Feud – A Tale of Two Generals". Pueblo, Colorado.
  12. ^ "Medal of Honor recipients World War II (T–Z)". United States Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  13. ^ "City Hails Hero of the Rock Today". The New York Daily News. September 13, 1945. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  14. ^ "Wainwright Named Eastern Defense Head" (PDF). The New York Times. September 29, 1945. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  15. ^ New York Times%5d%5d "Wainwright Named Head of Fourth Army Head" Check |url= value (help). January 12, 1946. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  16. ^ New York Times%5d%5d "Wainwright Takes His Last Review: Hero of Bataan Deeply Moved as He is Retired in Fort Sam Houston Ceremonies" Check |url= value (help). September 1, 1947. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  17. ^ Wainwright, Jonathan; William R. Denslow; Forward: Harry S. Truman. 10,000 Famous Freemasons; 1957 Edition. Volume 4: Q-Z: Macoy Publishing. pp. 405–06.CS1 maint: location (link)
  18. ^ Wainwright, Jonathan; William Denslow; Macoy publishing. "Online Scanned Copy of 10,000 Freemasons". Volume 4, 1957 Edition. Phoenixmasonry.org. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  19. ^ Wainwright, Jonathan M.; Stephen J. Kapp; Source, Denslo. "Hero of Bataan". 1989–90 Masonic Research. srjarchives.tripod.com. Retrieved July 30, 2012.[unreliable source]
  20. ^ Wainwright, General Jonanthan. "Grand Lodge of Kansas-Masons". Masons of Kansas. kansasmasons.org. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  21. ^ "Wainwright In Semi-Coma. War Hero Suffers 2d Stroke in San Antonio Hospital". The New York Times. September 2, 1953. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  22. ^ "Service for Wainwright. Cavalryman's Rites in Texas to Precede Arlington Burial". The New York Times. September 4, 1953. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  23. ^ Official Army Register. Department of the Army. 1 January 1948. Vol. 2. pg. 2481.
  24. ^ "U.S. Army Recruiting Command Brigade and Battalion Public Affairs Offices" (PDF). Recruiting Command. U.S. Army. March 16, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  25. ^ "府城美國學校夷平逾30年 市府將立碑紀念". Epoch Times. March 25, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  26. ^ "Photos and Floor Plans". Directorate of Public Works, FORT HOOD, TX. United States Army. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
    Lozano, Madison (January 12, 2014). "Fort Hood housing offers security, sense of community". Killeen Daily Herald. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  27. ^ "School Information / About Wainwright". Wainwright Elementary. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  28. ^ Gerard Molyneaux (1995). Gregory Peck: A Bio-bibliography. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-313-28668-1.
    Robert J. Lentz (8 January 2003). Korean War Filmography: 91 English Language Features through 2000. McFarland. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-7864-3876-1.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

External links[edit]