General Douglas A. MacArthur and Philippine President Sergio Osmena at Leyte

United States Army General (later General of the Army) Douglas A. MacArthur (January 26, 1880 - April 5, 1964) and Philippine President Sergio Osmena (September 9, 1878 - October 19, 1961) after landing on Palo Beach, Leyte, on October 20, 1944. MacArthur wears his trademark "scrambled eggs" cap. "Scrambled eggs" was the term coined by reporters for the gold braid. MacArthur added the gold braid when he became Field Marshal of the Philippine Army in 1937. He also removed the wire inside the cap to have a more rakish appearance. The corncob pipe, another MacArthur trademark, was only seen during press photography opportunities. MacArthur, ever conscious of public relations, cultivated an almost "godlike" aura with his men, the Filpinos and the press. Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes (March 15, 1874 - February 3, 1952) warned Osmena not to be caught up in MacArthur's shadow during the landings. With the death of Philippine President Manuel Quezon (August 19, 1878 - August 1, 1944) in the United States during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Osmena was seen as something of a usurper, without an election to legitimize his Presidency. Caught between a living American "demigod" directing the liberation of the Philippines and a dead Filipino patriot, Osmena refused to campaign during the 1946 elections and was defeated. Quezon's term as President was the shortest in Philippine history. "Scrambled eggs" gold braid was added to the United States Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Coast Guard caps after the Korean War.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives and Records Ad
Archival Identifier: 
Date Photographed: 
Friday, October 20, 1944