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The Secret Affair of General Dwight Eishenower With His Driver

MG is an air warrior and a global traveler who loves to visit and explore new places.

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Background

General Dwight D Eisenhower was the supreme commander of the allied forces during World War II. He was a five-star general equivalent to Field Marshal. In 1952 he defeated the opposing candidate Adlai Stevenson and became the President of the United States. He was a soldier-statesman and remained president for 2 terms before retiring in 1960. He died in 1969. Eisenhower was endearingly called 'Ike' and this nickname struck him throughout his life.

Eisenhower was a competent general and later president. As general historians have mixed views about him and generally consider him to be mediocre and Bernard Montgomery as the better general. Now 50 years after his death he is considered as among the top 10 US presidents of all time.

Love Affair with Kathleen Helen MacCarthy-Morrough Ike had an illustrious career in the army and was made Lieutenant-General when he first visited London in December 1941. That was the time the Japanese armada had struck Pearl Harbor and drawn the USA into the war on the side of the allies. For his entire illustrious career, one mystery has remained. It is reported that Ike had a secret love affair with a British girl name Kathleen Helen MacCarthy-Morrough.


the-secret-affair-of-general-dwight-eishenower-with-his-driver

The Affair

Helen was a British girl who came to London in 1939 to try and get a break in the British Film industry. She worked as an extra in films and also modeled, but her career was going nowhere. With war around the corner, she joined the Mechanized Transport Corps of the British army. Thus Kathleen became a driver.

When Ike came first to London in the fall of 1941 she was assigned to drive the general. This was a normal occurrence as the British provided women drivers for the American top brass. Eisenhower it appeared liked Kathleen and now began to insist that she alone should be his driver for the entire day. Thus Kathleen became close to Ike and was in the thick and thin of the war as well as being with him 24 hours. It is possible that a close intimacy grew between the two and Eisenhower took great interest in her becoming an American citizen. He also saw to it that she was promoted to officer rank as captain.

Kathleen served with him throughout the war and in the end became his secretary, when Ike was assigned to NATO. He took over as the first supreme commander of NATO, but Kathleen was always by his side. It was rumored that she was also his mistress.

Kathleen wrote two books on her relationship with Ike. The second book written in 1975, when she was on her death bed is thought to set the record straight. In the book Past Forgetting:My love affair with Dwight D Eisenhower she mentioned that she and Ike had a love affair. She also mentioned that she had kept quiet earlier as she did not wish to damage the reputation of Ike.

Were Ike and Kathleen in love? I will quote Chicago Tribune reporter John Thompson during the war who stated that he had never before seen a chauffeur get out of a car and kiss the General good morning. So that's it.

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Farewell

There is further evidence available from writer Merle Miller, who was told by Harry Truman the US President that Ike had applied for permission in 1945 to divorce his wife Mamie, and marry Kathleen, but the permission was refused as the US Army would not be able to stomach a scandal.

Truman mentioned that he had seen the correspondence. It must be mentioned that in the armed forces one cannot divorce or marry without permission. Many people are inclined not to believe this love affair. But there can be no doubt that Ike had some liaison with Kathleen. Secondly, you don't expect a person on her deathbed to relate lies. Kathleen remains a footnote in history. She left the army in 1947 and after Ike became President, she married. She didn't have a very happy marriage and was divorced in 1958 and finally died in 1975 at the age of 66 of cancer.

I will conclude with the opinion of the biographer of General Eisenhower Jean Edward Smith. He wrote, "Whether he and Kay were intimate remains a matter of conjecture. But there is no question they were in love." General Omar Bradley in his autobiography has written that the two were in love and he accepted whatever Kathleen wrote in her book Past Forgetting.

And now for the parting kick. Field marshal Barnard Montgomery who was the rival to General 'Ike'and considered himself to be the better general has written after reading the book Past Forgetting that Eisenhower discussed with Kay Summersby, his woman car driver, his views on Generals under him, and disclosed to her the most secret matters. You don't do such things if you are not in love. Even Eisenhower's son said he was not very clear about the relationship.

Ike was a great soldier-statesman and this love affair does not in any way detract from his greatness, which is a normal human failing

Comments

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on April 07, 2021:

Thank you, Farah, for your comment

Farah N Huq from Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 07, 2021:

Interesting read!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on April 05, 2021:

Thanks, Chris, your comment is welcome.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on April 05, 2021:

Wow! That was a great read.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on April 02, 2021:

Thank you, Vanita, for posting your comment.

Vanita Thakkar on April 02, 2021:

MG Singhji, true. "Jauhar" cannot be anywhere near joy.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 31, 2021:

Thanks Peggy,your comment is refreshing.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 31, 2021:

Thanks Vanita, the concept of Jauhar was negative and gives no joy . There is an article by me on this.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 31, 2021:

Thanks Chitra, for commenting.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 31, 2021:

Thanks Tom, Anjali, I think hanged herself and Tail hook is well known.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 31, 2021:

I had heard of this rumor, and I guess the truth of it will always make for some conjecture. The part that I had never heard was that Ike wished to divorce Mamie. I would have thought that information would have become more public. They appeared to live out their lives in harmony after the war and even after his Presidency.

Vanita Thakkar on March 31, 2021:

Interesting. New information and facts in the article and comments.

With reference to your latest comment: In Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, in the first chapter (Adhyaaya) - Arjuna Vishad Yoga - while enumerating the devastating aftereffects of war, Arjuna had grumbled about the sufferings of ladies of the family - " .... pradushyanti kulastriyah" (shloka 41). His concerns were genuine and relevant to this day. As a protection to such threats, the tradition of Johar came into being. Wars and war-intoxicated men are worst of havocs on womanhood.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 31, 2021:

An interesting read, and nice narration. I wasn’t aware of this.

Thank you for sharing.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 30, 2021:

Thanks, Tom, Nice information about Mac Arthur and his mistress. I didn't know money was paid to hush up the affair and it was paid by Ike who was his ADC. Rapes are common in all militaries and so is love between younger females and older officers. So many cases in IAF.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 30, 2021:

Thank you, David, I quite agree with you in your opinion. Ike should have recognized his liaison, he is a man with lesser stature for it.

David Issac on March 30, 2021:

wonderful article, I think it was churlish of Ike not to have acknowledged his secret affair. He was the smaller man for it.

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