In Caesar's Shadow: The Life of General Robert Eichelberger

By Paul Chwialkowski | Go to book overview
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After the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945, the 8th Army landed in the vicinity of Yokohama, Japan, and dispersed across the islands of Hokkaido and northern Honshu. Krueger's 6th Army landed in southern Japan, and occupied the southern half of Honshu and the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. Krueger established his headquarters in the resort city of Kyoto. Eichelberger established the 8th Army headquarters in Yokohama, 80 miles distant from MacArthur's residence in Tokyo. 1

Eichelberger planned on returning to the United States after a short six-month stay in Japan. Tired and worn-out from his many campaigns in the Pacific, he was eager to see his wife in Washington after many months of duty abroad. Furthermore, Eichelberger was not anxious to remain under MacArthur's command. He could not forgive or forget the many incidents of "ill-treatment," and he had no desire to prolong his suffering by serving under MacArthur during the monotonous period of the occupation. He informed his wife that he would be returning to the United States by January 1946. 2

Not until November 1945 did he begin to have doubts about the prudence of leaving his current position. By then, a variety of events and changing circumstances made the possibility of staying in Japan more attractive. One such event was the announcement in December 1945 that General Richard (Dick) Sutherland, MacArthur's chief of staff, was quitting his position and returning to the United States. Sutherland explained that his departure was due to health reasons (high blood pressure), but Eichelberger believed that MacArthur had forced him to resign because of his continuing "affairs" with Elaine Clarke, an Australian nurse. 3 At any rate, Eichelberger was happy to see his old nemesis leave Japan. He stated that "Dick's departure" would mean a "final breaking up of the old Bataan boys who dominated the headquarters under Dick for so long." There "is no question," he added, "that the new regime under Mueller [ General


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