MAJOR-GENERAL CHARLES A.
CHIEF OF INTELLIGENCE G-2, GHQ, SWPA
Major-General Charles A. Willoughby was born at Heidelberg in Germany on 8 March 1892 to Baron T. Scheppe-Weidenbach and his wife Emma from Baltimore, Maryland, whose maiden name was Willoughby. The baby was named Karl (or Adolph Charles) Weidenbach.
In about 1910, 18 year old Karl Weidenbach moved to America and became an American citizen. He changed his name to Charles Andrew Willoughby.
He enlisted in the Regular Army, and served initially as a private, corporal and then finally became the sergeant of Company "O," of the Fifth US Infantry, from 1910 to 1913. He entered Gettysburg College as a senior in 1913, Willoughby graduated in 1914 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
In his earlier career he had served as a military attache in Ecuador. He received the Order of Saints Maurizio and Lazzaro a from Mussolini's government. Willoughby was an ardent admirer of General Franco. Willoughby once delivered a speech to Spanish dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco at a lunch in Madrid. He was toasted by the secretary general of the Falangist Party.
Major-General Charles A. Willoughby became Douglas MacArthur's Chief of Intelligence G-2 in the South West Pacific area during WW2. He wore a custom-tailored General's uniform and wore a monocle. Behind his back he was known as "Sir Charles" by those who worked with him.
Willoughby accompanied Douglas MacArthur to Tokyo for the occupation of Japan. On one occasion when military police searched his hotel looking for a fugitive, they found Willoughby at dinner with the stranded Italian fascist ambassador to Japan and members of his staff.
Willoughby was a heavy-handed censor. He would often suppress unfavorable news to the United States. He delighted in falsely labeling correspondents who defied him, as "Communists". Willoughby's dressed-up history of the Pacific War labelled MacArthur as the towering hero.
Willoughby down-played the Japanese war crimes, possibly so that they could be protected for use against the Soviets at a later time.
In August, 1952 Willoughby lobbied the U.S. Congress to authorize $100 million for Franco's needs.
I'd like to thank Ron Crissey for his assistance with this page.
"Spy Book : The Encyclopedia of Espionage
by Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen
"The Man Who Knew Too Much"
by Dick Russell
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"Australia @ War" Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 15 September 2001
This page last updated 31 August 2018