Arnold, Jackson D., ADM

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1970-1971, Navy Material Command (NAVMAT)
Service Years
1934 - 1971

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Arnold, Jackson D. (Jack), ADM USN(Ret).

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Date of Passing
Dec 08, 2007
Location of Interment
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Last Known Activity

                          Commander Carrier Air Group Two
                                      USS Hornet (CVA-12)

              The USS Hornet.

WASHINGTON, July 1, 1946 - Thirteen aircraft carriers which bore the brunt of the Pacific air-sea offensive were singled out for special honors today. Eight of them were awarded the presidential unit citation. The other five received the Navy unit commendation.

The carriers receiving the Presidential unit citation were the ESSEX, HORNET, LEXINGTON, BUNKER HILL, YORKTOWN, SAN JACINTO, CABOT and BELLEAU WOOD. Those awarded Navy unit commendations were the ENTERPRISE, HANCOCK, WASP, COWPENS and LANGLEY.

Other Comments:

                                       Attack on Pearl Harbor

During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, then-Lieutenant Arnold made his way to Pearl Harbor under fire. After quite a bit of trouble convincing the crew of a whaleboat to take him to Ford Island, his normal duty station, he finally got to the island. There, during the middle of the first wave’s attack, he fired up the only flyable Wildcat fighter on the island. A ground crew member crawled up on the wing telling him, “You can’t take this airplane!” “The heck I can’t, get off my wing!” Arnold replied. “But it doesn’t have any ammunition!” came the response.

Arnold jumped out of the airplane near the base of the airfield control tower and picked up a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) from a Marine who did not need it anymore. A member of the All Navy Pistol Team and a longtime pistol and bird shooter, Arnold was an excellent marksman, and shot down a torpedo plane coming in to strafe the new control tower next to which he was standing. The plane crashed on the field. Between the two waves, Jack and a couple of sailors went over to look at the wreckage. Discovering it belonged to the first wave’s Torpedo Squadron Commander, they drank the downed pilot's sake and returned to the battle. That kill from the ground was later to make Jack the only known pilot who shot down five aircraft (one with a BAR, two with an Avenger torpedo bomber, and two with a Hellcat fighter) who was not an ace.

During the lull between attacks he commandeered a motor whaleboat and began picking up survivors from Arizona and other ships in the harbor. The first person his boat pulled from the water was the Petty Officer in Charge of the Number Four turret on Arizona. Jack did not recognize him as he looked like a seal, black with oil head to toe.

Before leaving Pearl Harbor, he married Muriel McChesney on 16 January 1942.

                         The Job of Air Group Commander (CAG)
At the Battle of the Philippine Sea, he was handed a contact report that indicated the possible presence of the enemy fleet at a point too far west for a round-trip flight. Eager for battle, he declared that regardless of how far west the enemy was found, he would lead an attack, regroup as many planes as possible, and fly eastward until fuel ran out. He felt that a mass ditching would allow the downed aircrews to support each other until the arrival of the task force, which would be summoned to their location with Morse code messages prior to ditching.[3] During the actual attack, he personally scored a damaging near miss on the aircraft carrier Zuikaku, then led his flight back to base and assisted several in his group in landing in darkness under extremely difficult conditions before boarding the carrier himself, a feat for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Hornet and her Air Group supported operations in Palau, Guam, Iwo Jima, Saipan and Tinian and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. During the cruise, he flew 165 combat hours, made 4 Japanese aircraft kills, and was awarded two Navy Crosses, a Silver Star, a Distinguished Service Medal, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and seven Air Medals. Air Group Two finished the war after two cruises as the Pacific’s highest scoring Air Group in terms of tonnage sunk and the second in terms of air-to-air kills.

                                     Chief of Naval Material

Receiving promotion to vice admiral from Admiral Ignatius J. Galantin (right), 1969.

After another staff tour, Arnold attended Harvard University, where he got his Masters in Business Administration in 1952.[3] Subsequent assignments in the various Bureaus of Aeronautics, Weapons and Materiel, culminating in an assignment as the Force Material Officer on the staff of Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet in 1963,[1] gave Arnold a well-rounded background which made him the logical choice to succeed Admiral Ignatius J. Galantin as the final Chief of the Bureau of Naval Materiel and the first Commander of the newly formed Naval Material Command. The fact that he kept current as a Naval Aviator made him a standout choice for promotion.

He became Deputy Chief of Naval Material for Logistic Support in 1966, Vice Chief of Naval Material in 1967,[1] and Chief of Naval Material in June 1970.[5] He was advanced to the rank of full admiral on October 14, 1970,[6] the first restricted line officer to attain that rank.

He retired from the Navy on November 30, 1971,[6] and was replaced at Naval Material Command by a longtime friend and shipmate, Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr..

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)USS Arizona (BB-39)Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLTraining Squadron Six (VT-6) Shooters
USS Enterprise (CV-6)USS Savannah (CL-42)VT-2/VTB-2 (WW II)USS Hornet (CV-12)
Carrier Air Group 2 (CVG-2)Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)CNO - OPNAVUSS Boxer (CVA-21)
NAS North IslandVice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), CNO - OPNAVSecretary of the Navy (SECNAV)US Navy
  1930-1934, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1934-1936, USS Arizona (BB-39)
  1936-1937, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1937-1938, Training Squadron Six (VT-6) Shooters
  1937-1938, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1938-1940, USS Savannah (CL-42)
  1942-1942, VT-2/VTB-2 (WW II)
  1944-1945, USS Hornet (CV-12)
  1944-1945, Carrier Air Group 2 (CVG-2)
  1944-1946, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations OP-01, DCNO (M,P,T&E)
  1946-1947, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (DCNO). (Warfare Requirements and Programs) (N7), CNO - OPNAV
  1948-1949, USS Boxer (CVA-21)
  1949-1950, NAS North Island
  1950-1951, DCNO (Operations), Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO)
  1952-1963, Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
  1963-1967, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (DCNO). (Warfare Requirements and Programs) (N7), CNO - OPNAV
  1967-1969, Navy Material Command (NAVMAT)
  1970-1971, Navy Material Command (NAVMAT)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Guam
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Tinian
  1944-1944 Western Caroline Islands Operation/Battle of Peleliu
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Southern Philippines Campaign (1945)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyHarvard University
  1931-1934, United States Naval Academy
  1951-1952, Harvard University
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