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Vintage West Point Cadet-Douglas MacArthur perhaps???

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Posted 6 years ago

(136 items)

Found an old turn of the century photo of a Cadet for $7.99....came from the New York area....Great photo. I think it looks a lot like a young Douglas MacArthur.....I searched the internet, and the resemblance is close, but what if this is an unknown or forgotten photo of the General or a family member? (photo #4 I puled off the internet, its a KNOWN photo of MacArthur...)

in September 1893. While there MacArthur attended the West Texas Military Academy,where he was awarded the gold medal for "scholarship and deportment". He also participated on the school tennis team, and played quarterback on the school football team and shortstop on its baseball team. He was named valedictorian, with a final year average of 97.33 out of 100. MacArthur's father and grandfather unsuccessfully sought to secure Douglas a presidential appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, first from President Grover Cleveland and then from President William McKinley. After these two rejections, he passed an examination for an appointment from Congressman Theobald Otjen, scoring 93.3 on the test. He later wrote: "It was a lesson I never forgot. Preparedness is the key to success and victory."

MacArthur entered West Point on 13 June 1899, and his mother also moved there to a suite at Craney's Hotel, overlooking the grounds of the Academy. Hazing was widespread at West Point at this time, and MacArthur and his classmate Ulysses S. Grant III were singled out for special attention by southern cadets as sons of generals with mothers living at Craney's. When Cadet Oscar Booz left West Point after being hazed and subsequently died of tuberculosis, there was a congressional inquiry. MacArthur was called to appear before a special Congressional committee in 1901, where he testified against cadets implicated in hazing, but downplayed his own hazing even though the other cadets gave the full story to the committee. Congress subsequently outlawed acts "of a harassing, tyrannical, abusive, shameful, insulting or humiliating nature", although hazing continued. MacArthur was a corporal in Company B in his second year, a first sergeant in Company A in his third year and First Captain in his final year. He played left field for the baseball team, and academically earned 2424.12 merits out of a possible 2470.00 or 98.14, the third highest score ever recorded, graduating first in his 93-man class on 11 June 1903. At the time it was customary for the top-ranking cadets to be commissioned into the United States Army Corps of Engineers, so MacArthur was commissioned as a second lieutenant in that corps.


  1. walksoftly walksoftly, 6 years ago
    I love the old photo, it's said everyone has a twin.
  2. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    The cadet in your photograph is wearing what appears to be Supply SGT rank insignia.

    This would cast doubt on a MacArthur attribution, based on your other provided information and photograph (1SG as 2nd classman) .

  3. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    In the modern era, cadets usually hold two positions over the course of the academic year (one each semester), so there is the possibility of a cadet being both a 1SG and a supply SGT.

    I don't know the standard of MacArthur's era. It is possible only his leadership position (1SG) was mentioned, while he also served as a supply SGT.

    If it were my image, I'd want to resolve the contradiction.

  4. tlmbaran tlmbaran, 6 years ago
    Thanks Scott. Being a Navy Vet, I can read both enlisted & officer rank of all branches of service. However, when it comes to Cadet rank, I am lost. I have looked at several old photos of MacArthur, and the facial features and shape of the ear is very close, yet the rank my photo has, I have yet to find any "known" photos of MacArthur wearing such rank. But if the cadets advanced as fast as you say they did, it is quite possible that MacArtur wore this rank for a 6 month period of time!.....perhaps I need to contact the HISTORY DETECTIVES on PBS......and another reason why I think its MacArthur, is that this Cadet's pose, with crossed arms, just seems like a confident MacArthur.....and this is the ONLY Cadet photo I have ever seen is such a pose......

    Your thoughts???
  5. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    I'd send an email to the West Point cadet library and ask the archivist if MacArthur ever held the rank of cadet Supply SGT or if they only held ONE job/ duty position for an entire year.

    I am a skeptic on ALL "looks like" attributions without any other supporting evidence (inscription, family history/ provenance).

    Online auctions are notorious for "looks like" images.

    My standard line: "looks like" RARELY is!


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