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Home Town Born in Golden and raised in Denver
Last Address ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY BURIED AT: SECTION 66 SITE 6626
Date of Passing Feb 26, 2004
Location of Interment Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity
Charles Snowden Arthur, Jr.
Captain, United States Navy
Retired Navy Captain Charles Snowden Arthur Jr., U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1938, was ambitious, searching and intellectual. He also was quirky, unorthodox and unconventional.
Captain Arthur was the elder of two sons born to a Colorado mining engineer and an elementary school teacher. He was a Boy Scout and often went fishing and camping with his father and his uncles. At 16, he entered the Naval Academy and became a varsity swimmer and cheerleader.
He commanded destroyers during World War II and the Korean War. He also helped devise the Navy's Directives Issuance System, which organizes instructions from the Navy Department and from naval commands worldwide and is still in use.
His career entered a dark phase in the early 1960s, when he was stationed at the Pentagon during the Berlin Wall and Cuban missile crises. He was convinced that General Lauris Norstad, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe, was trying to start a nuclear confrontation with the East Germans.
"Snowden thought it was true and was very perturbed and went over people's heads," said Hilda Mintzes, a longtime friend. "He went to [U.S. Supreme Court Justice] Byron White and other people at their homes."
Mintzes added that although the Navy brass frowned on Captain Arthur's behavior, her own boss at the time, the Navy's chief psychologist, called him "the most brilliant officer we've ever had in the U.S. Navy."
Captain Arthur later received a master's degree in literature from the University of Maryland and joined the Washington-Lee faculty. He retired in 1983.