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Home Town Not Specified
Last Address Gainesville
Date of Passing Dec 08, 2007
Location of Interment Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity
Commander Carrier Air Group Two
USS Hornet (CVA-12)
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.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December1941, 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 January1942.
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. 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.
After another staff tour, Arnold attended Harvard University, where he got his Masters in Business Administration in 1952. 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, 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, and Chief of Naval Material in June 1970. He was advanced to the rank of full admiral on October 14, 1970, the first restricted line officer to attain that rank.