Wainwright, Jonathan Mayhew IV “Skinny”, born 23-08-1883 in Fort Walla, Washington, the son of Robert Powell Page Wainwright, a U.S. Army officer who was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Cavalry in 1875, commanded a squadron at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish–American War, and in 1902 was killed in action in the Philippines. His grandfather was Lieutenant Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright II, USN, who was killed in action during the Civil War. Congressman J. Mayhew Wainwright was a cousin
Jonathan “Skinny” graduated from West Point in 1906. Wainwright served in World War I as a captain. In 1940, as Major General, he assumed command of the Philippines Division. Commanding North Luzon forces during the opening days of the Japanese invasion in December 1941, he redeployed American forces to defensive positions on the Bataan Peninsula. On 11-03-1942, after General Douglas MacArthur
left for Australia, Wainwright assumed command of U.S. forces on Bataan and the island fortress of Corregidor in Manila Bay. He distinguished himself by intrepid and determined leadership against greatly superior enemy forces. At the repeated risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in his position, he frequented the firing line of his troops where his presence provided the example and incentive that helped make the gallant efforts of these men possible. The final stand on beleaguered Corregido, for which he was in an important measure personally responsible, commanded the admiration of the Nation’s allies. It reflected the high morale of American arms of overwhelming odds. His courage and resolution were a vitally needed inspiration to the then sorely pressed freedom-loving peoples of the world. He was awarded with the Medal of Honor, by Harry Truman
in the face. Promoted to Lieutenant General and put in command of all U.S. Forces in the Philippines, Wainwright proved unable to prevent the collapse of resistance on Bataan on 8 April. In order to ensure continued resistance of U.S. forces in other areas of the Philippines, he released them from his control shortly before he surrendered the U.S. forces on Corregidor. Mayor General Homma Masahura, commanded the Japanese 14th Army, which invaded the Philippines and perpetrated the Bataan Death March. After the war, Homma was convicted of war crimes relating to the actions of troops under his direct command and executed by firing squad on 03-04-1946, age 58. General Jonathan Wainwright broadcasts surrender of Philippines, watched by Japanese censor, May, 1942 Out of concern for those already in captivity, Wainwright ordered the capitulation of all U.S. Forces, and more than 80.000, Americans and Filipinos then surrendered to the Japanese. Wainwright spent the remainder of the war in a series of Japanese prisoner of war camps. Liberated in Manchuria in 1945, the frail, emaciated general took part in the formal surrender ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri
in Tokyo Bay on 02-09-1945. Wainwright ordering the surrender of the Philippines and watched by a Japanese censor
The United States Army suffered 318.274 killed and missing in all theatres of the war. Greeted with a hero’s welcome upon his return to the United States, Wainwright resumed active service for a brief time before retiring in 1947. Wainwright served on the board of directors for several corporations after his retirement. He made himself available to speak before veterans’ groups and filled almost every request to do so. He never felt any bitterness toward MacArthur for his actions in the Philippines or MacArthur’s attempt to deny him the Medal of Honor . In fact, when it appeared that MacArthur might be nominated for president at the 1948 Republican National Convention, Wainwright stood ready to make the nominating speech.
Death and burial ground of Wainwright, Jonathan Mayhew IV “Skinny”.
Jonathan Wainwright died of a stroke at San Antonio, Texas on 02-09-1953, age 70. Wainwright was buried with his wife Adele, born Holley, who died age 83, in 1970, in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.
In Section 1 also buried, Major General, Commander Air Force, Follet Bradley, General, Commander 6th Army Group, Jacob Devers, General, Commander VII Artillery Corps Normandy, Willistone Palmer and Army Major General, Commander Twelfth Armoured Division, Roderick Allen.