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Sutherland, Richard Kerens (1893-1966)


Photograph of General Richard Sutherland

National Archives #USA C-248

Richard Sutherland was MacArthur's controversial chief of staff, serving in that post throughout the war. Born in Maryland, he was the son of Senator Howard Sutherland. Though he had never commanded troops in the field at any rank higher than captain, MacArthur's patronage allowed him to rise to the rank of lieutenant general. Mayo quotes a fellow officer who described him as a "hard man" who was more feared than liked, but who "would sometimes break the mask of hardness with a sardonic smile and curious flashes of humor."

Sutherland was deeply loyal to MacArthur and was a formidable barrier to anyone wishing to take any of the latter general's time. This doubtless freed MacArthur from numerous distractions, but it likely also prevented important information from making its way to the top, as Lewis Brereton alleged took place on the first day of the war. MacArthur's own loyalty to Sutherland began to wane in late 1944, when it surfaced that Sutherland had had his Australian mistress commissioned into the Women's Army Corps so that she could remain close to him in the combat theater.

Service record

1893-11-27     

Born at Hancock, Maryland
1916

Graduates from Yale University
1916
Private
Connecticut National Guard, Mexican Border
1916
Second lieutenant     
Commissioned in the National Guard as an artilleryman. Later transfers to Regular Army as an infantryman.
1917
Captain

1932

Army War College
1934

Operations and Training Division, Army General Staff
1937

Battalion commander, 15 Infantry, Tientsin
1938-3
Major
Advisor to Philippine Army
1938-7
Lieutenant colonel

1941
Colonel

1941
Brigadier general

1941
Major general

1941-8

Chief of staff, USAFFE
1942-3-30

Chief of staff, Southwest Pacific Area
1944-2-20
Lieutenant general     

1946-11-30

Retired
1966-6-25

Dies at Walter Reed Medical Center

References

Arlington Cemetery Website (accessed 2008-1-18)

Boatner (1996)

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-1-18)

Hastings (2007)

Mayo (1974)



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