Last Known Activity|
LT Arthur Anderson Steinmetz
USNR Lost At Sea WWII
Arthur was born in July 1919 to Arthur A. Sr. and Bertha Cox Steinmetz who resided at 613 West Miner St. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Arthur was their only child.
His father worked as a clerk at the historic First National Bank of West Chester, located on High St. across from the Courthouse.
Arthur was a member of the Church of the Holy Trinity at 238 south High Street in the town. He graduated from West Chester High School in 1937, which was then located on the northeast corner of Church and Washington Streets.
Arthur’s family had just moved to Olympia, Washington, where his father had become the manager of a plant owned by the Jacob Company of West Chester. The Jacob Mushroom Company was a division of Grocery Products Manufacturer Corporation then headquartered at 238 south High Street. (The family later returned to their home in West Chester when his father was employed by the Charles A. Green and Son of Philadelphia and Concordville – for the Concord Foods Company.)
After graduation Arthur left West Chester to join his family in Washington. He then attended Washington College in Olympia where he studied aviation. The Civil Aeronautics Association choose him to be given further instruction in the aeronautics; handling of aircraft and control and maintenance. He was one of 150 selected from 600 students in Washington, Oregon and California. Arthur received his pilot’s license in 1939, and continued his training with the CAA until January 1941.
In February he enlisted in the Navy at Sandpoint, Washington, one of the larger Naval Stations on the West Coast, and then was sent to Pensacola, Florida for Naval Aviation training, received his wings and a commission as Ensign.
He was sent to Squantum Naval Air station, outside of Boston where he was trained as an instructor. He was sent back to Florida to train new pilots.
In January 1942, Arthur was sent to New England where he flew patrol missions over the Atlantic. He was promoted to Lieutenant (J. G. - Junior Grade). The Navy accepted a new type of Patrol Bomber, and Arthur was sent to Burlington, Vermont to study and train on the aircraft. After completion, he was sent back to Florida.
On a patrol mission in June over the south Atlantic, Arthur’s aircraft failed to return. A telegram was sent to his family stating the aircraft with a crew of 5 failed to return to its base and is long overdo, and was presumed lost. The telegram further informed the family that all efforts are being carried out to locate the men and the ship and search the islands near its path.
However no radio messages were received, nor was any trace of the aircraft or crew found. Lieutenant Arthur Anderson Steinmetz was Killed In Action on June 21, 1943.
A memorial service was held at his base on June 27, 1943.
Posthumously awarded the rank of Lieutenant, by order of President Roosevelt.