Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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General Douglas MacArthur, Radiogram to Commander, Allied Air Forces, and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, 2 September 1944

Like Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower in Europe, Douglas MacArthur sought to win the hearts and minds of those people whom he was liberating. Just before launching the Allied campaign to retake the Philippines, he therefore insisted to the air and naval commanders that the invading forces must make every effort to respect the lives and property of the Philippine inhabitants.

One of the purposes of the Philippine campaign is to liberate the Filipinos; they will not understand liberation if accomplished by indiscriminate destruction of their homes, their possessions, their civilization and their own lives; humanity and our moral standing throughout the Far East dictate that the destruction of lives and property in the Philippines be held to a minimum, compatible with the assurance of a successful military campaign; indications are that in some localities the Japanese are evacuating cities, leaving Filipinos in residence, either failing to warn them or compelling them to stay; aerial bombing causes the greatest destruction; our objective in areas we are to occupy is to destroy totally hostile effort in order to insure our own success; in other areas we neutralize, to weaken any hostile effort which may tend to increase resistance to our occupation objectives; in the latter areas, our attack objectives are primarily airfields and shipping, not metropolitan areas or villages or barrios; to the extent possible, we must preserve port facilities that we plan to use. The Commander Allied Air Forces will, and CINC-POA [the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Ocean Areas] is requested, to issue general instructions in consonance with the above objective of minimizing destruction of life and property of Filipinos. . . .


Further Reading
Charles A. Willoughby et al., eds., Reports of General MacArthur: The Campaigns of MacArthur in the Pacific, 2 vols. (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966), 1: 118–120. .
 

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