Sunday, February 24, 2008

Arroz con Gansos o Patos (Rice with Geese or Ducks)

Jack Arnold was more than a Warrior - Artist - Scholar - Businessman, turns out that he was also a great COOK! from SUNSET magazine, we find this entry in a later issue:

Our "Chefs of the West" column (January 1954) featured recipes "by men ... for men." The note accompanying the recipe read: "Jackson D. Arnold--now a two-time Chef--can trace the following recipe back to an Italian cook in Nicaragua. Chef Arnold served it first after a hunting trip into Mexico where he got his limit of wild geese and ducks. Hence the name 'Arroz con Gansos o Patos' (Rice with Geese or Ducks)." Prep and Cook Time: about 2 hours.

Want to know more, for here:

Notice, this is Jack's second gastronomical entry for SUNSET!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

ATTACK INTO THE SETTING SUN - “First Battle of the Philippine Sea”

As the sun sat on June 19, Admiral Mitscher in LEXINGTON sent a message to all TG-58. “Desire to attack enemy tomorrow if we know his position with sufficient accuracy. POINT OPTION should be advanced westward.” At 1330 on June 20 the


ENTERPRISE and WASP launched search planes – eight Avengers and four Hellcats to search northwest for the Japanese fleet. About the same time Airgroup TWO was told to man our aircraft. On deck 14 F6F-‘s were loaded with two 500 lb. bombs and belly tank; 18 SB2-C Dive Bombers were loaded with 1000 lb bombs and 4 TBF-s Torpedo planes were hanging torpedoes and 2 TBS-s had 4 500 lb bombs. About 1430 we received word we could return to ready rooms to grab a sandwich and coffee or cold drink. At 1515 we received word to man planes again. We still had no word as to where the Japanese fleet was located. After about 45 minutes in the cockpit the word was passed to start engines. As I looked at the blackboard on the side of Primary Fly the Air Officer had printed in large letters the latitude and longitude of the Japanese fleet. As we put the information in our cockpit chart boards it became readily evident that it was well beyond the range of any aircraft to attack and return to our carriers (about 335 miles). We were under RADIO SILENCE (no radio transmissions) thus it meant no questioning the information as we sat prepared to take off with engines turning over. As Admira1 Jocko Clark leaned over the bridge I pointed to the blackboard and held my nose, indicating “We can’t make it!!” He gave a thumbs up signal with both hands meaning "Good Luck". At that moment dozens of microphones clicked, inicating many others wanted to say something, but not one transmission went on the air. I was never more proud of those pilots than at that instant.

Instead of circling our 38 plane deckload for the usual rendezvous of all aircraft units, we started a slow climb towards the northwest in order to conserve fuel. About 30 minutes after takeoff a message was received telling us that the Japanese were 60 miles further west. At this point I decided that we would pursue and attack then retire as far as possible before darkness set in, notify HORNET by key then have all the planes land in the water in the same vicinity so that rafts might be lashed together to make rescue more easily effected.
About 1830 with the sun low on the horizon like a blood red ball, clouds

from 3000 to 10,000 feet and a large cumulus buildup over 15,000 feet, we saw a mass of flashes from anti-aircraft guns such as we had never seen before. Immediately the sky was filled with deadly colored puffs – red, yellow, blue, black, purple and lavender as the marker bursts enveloped our formation. We came out from the large could buildup, I could see four major elements of their fleet. To the northwest was a large carrier, a smaller carrier, a battleship, two cruisers and eight destroyers. To the sourh was another group with a carrier, several battleships, several cruisers and seven or eight destroyers. Far to the south was a supply group and a number of oilers.

Immediately I called for Lt. Hal Buell’s division of 6 VB gto take the big carrier which I thought was SHOKAXU but I believe turned out to be ZUKAKU. The VB squadron commander, Lt.Cdr. “Soup” Cambell dived his group of 8 planes from the north. Several hits on the carrier were observed with fire coming out of the flight deck.

After directing the bomber aircraft towards the large carrier, I took our fourteen fighters down on a group of three carriers to the south which were HIYO, JUNYO and RYHO. After bomb release we strafed the decks and gun positions of the carriers attacked. (Later as observed by Lt(jg) George P.Brown and his crewmen ARM Babcock and AMM Platy from BELLEAU WOOD VT squadron who had been shot down and were in a life raft in the midst of the Japanese fleet, they witnessed he HIYO roll over and go down).

It became evident after the attack and the continuing dog fights that we would be unable to carry out my plan to all land together in the water. I called for all planes in Air Group TWO to retire towards out TG-58 which was closing the distance towards us. As the sun set and planes started landing in the water, I plotted the postion on my chart board to facilitate rescue, then lead as many planes as I could get to join up back towards our forces. As darkness came I was surprised to hear a signal sent for the destroyers “to make smoke”. (This would have been a good signal in the daylight, but hardly any help for making night landings).

With all carriers trying to land aircraft simultaneously there was considerable confusion in the area. In an attempt to assist pilots in landing and finding their ships, Admiral Mitscher ordered all ships to ”light pp", after a HORNET Avenger landed on LEXINGTON. He then sent a message for "pilots to land on any carrier”. Four HORNET fighters and torpedo planes landed on YORKTOWN, and one fighter landed on BELLEAU WOOD.

After finding HORNET and observing that all planes had not landed I headed up through the smoke where some of our planes had been circling, gave the “join up” signal, led them down to the ship and put them in the landing circle. When the last plane had landed, I commenced my approach, noting that the #1 and #2 wires had been pulled out by previous aircraft in their landings. I was at 50 feet over the ramp and was about to take a wave-off when the engine quit and I decided to dive for the deck rather than land in the water astern. Without the first two wires I stepped hard on the left brake to ground loop the plane, but it headed for the 40 mm gun mounts where I ended up in the catwalk. The flight deck crew chief said, “Skipper, you had better get out - - we can’t hold this plane much longer”. I grabbed my chart board and jumped to the deck saying, “Hold the plane until I can get the photo-film out”. They let go and all the film from the battle went overboard. I went ot the bridge and gave Admiral Jocko Clark my chartboard with the plot of where out pilos had gone down.

(On June 21, 51 pilos and 50 sircrewmen were rescuedand on June 22 and 23 33 more pilots and 26 aircrewmen were pulled out of the water. This was the total for from all carriers with a launch total of 226 planes from TF-58).

This memo was hand typed by Admiral Arnold and OCR’d for this posting.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Altitude Chamber

Pilots who fly above 10,000 feet above sea level need to be intimately familiar with what is now called Aerospace Physiology, the effects of the thinning of air on the body as you climb to altitude.

When I attended flight school at Pensacola in 1936-37, almost all our training was done below 2,500’msl, much less 10,000’msl. We had a class on high altitude flight, but there was no such thing as an “altitude chamber” where one could experience the physiological changes as one climbs to altitude. It had not been invented yet and most Navy pilots never would fly that high. But, when you left flight school, if you were headed to a fighter, you had to get the training.

There was no “altitude chamber”, so what to do? Once you got your wings and your assignment, you got one last ride. I don’t remember his name, but he was a Marine pilot instructor. He briefed me on my “altitude familiarization” flight. The aircraft was one of two, or maybe three, single seat Boeing F4B biplane aircraft fitted out for this specialized training. It was supercharged, had a recording barometric altimeter to make sure you really climbed up and had a large oxygen tank fitted. You were to breathe from a wooden mouthpiece, which as I recall, you started using about 10,000’msl, or so. The Marine told me that I should look for symptoms of oxygen starvation, check my nails for bluing, tingling in the fingers and the like. As soon as I felt light headed, I should take off my gloves, look at my nails and if they were blue, start down.

So off I went. Passing about 27,000’msl, I began to feel a bit tingly, I looked at my nails, still pink, or maybe some other color. Passing about 29,000’msl, I felt a bit light headed, I, well I don’t really know what I did next. According to the recording barometric altimeter, I climbed to a little over 33,000’msl. All I can tell you is that I woke up in a spin at around 7,000’msl.

When I got down, the Marine seemed satisfied. I was not so happy. I said, “What if I hadn’t awaken at 7,000’msl?” “We’d of had to get a new plane,” he answered.

I was never tempted to set any altitude records after that.

Oral History by Admiral Jackson D. Arnold 2004

Saturday, February 2, 2008


In preparation for eventual landngs of our troops on Saipan and Guam, Task Group 58.1, consisting of the carriers end air groups of HORNET, YORKTOWN and ESSEX made strikes on Saipan, T1n1an and the Bonin Islands Group, Chichi Jima, Haha Jima, with special attention to the airfields Orote and Agana on Guam.

June 15 – The landings on Saipan with the Second and Fourth Marine Divisions met more resistance inland than on the beaches.

On June 17 the air groups of HORNET, YORKTOWN and ESSEX continued attacks on the airfields at Guam. At about 0100 June 19 bogies were reported just west of TG-58 and ENTERPRISE launched search planes but no contact, was made. At about 0600 CABOT’S CAP shot down a Val. (CABOT was about 24 miles south of HORNET) It became evident that many Japanese aircraft were in the area and head1ng and heading in the general direction of Guam. CAP aircraft were launched from HORNET, YORKTOWN and BELLEAU WOOD and by 0845 our aircraft had downed 10 ZEKES and several HAMPS. By this time Task Groups 58.1, 58.2 and 58.3 were placed between th4 Japanese fleet and Guam. This began what was later called the “MARIANNNAS TURKEY SHOOT” with about 400 Japanese aircraft destroyed.

The VT-2 and VB-2 squadrons were launched with 100 lb. and 500 lb. bombs to hit the airfields at Agana and Orote with Japanese planes landing or trying to land. As we circled the field we had a front row seat to watch Tex Vineyard (VF-2) shoot down four Japanese planes as they went into echelon to land. By 1045 the “Turkey Shoot” was over, and of the 500 planes the Japanese had launched, about 100 returned to their fleet. Our losses for the entire operation were 22 shot down by fighters or the deadly flak around Orote.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


On 13 June 1944 our air group was launched with fighters, dive bombers and torpedo planes to hit the Agana and Orate alrfie1ds at Guam. Strike CAG-2 Lt. Cdr. J. D. Arnold with wing man Ens. Donald C. Brandt were flying F6F-3's (0930). As we pushed over in a bombing run anti-aircraft fire intensified and Ens. Brandt's plane was hit almost immediately with smoke pouring out. As he opened the canopy with the plane headed for Agana Bay I called to tell him not to ball out yet (I didn’t think ke could make it to the bay and to parachute to the land area meant capture and death-- we had been briefed that the Japanese were taking no prisoners with beheading the most likely result). In the next minute he left the plane while nosed over in a fast dive and the parachute snapped open. The wind carried him towards the bay, and several of us started to strafe the beach where it was apparent he was going to land about 500 yards off shore.

I called the life guard submarine STINGRAY which was supposed to be station off the harbor entrance. (Skipper of the sub was Lt. Cdr Sam Loomis). Realizing the sub might be attacked, I called for dive bombers to hit AA positions along the harbor entrance and for all fighters with ammunition remaining to set up a strafing circle and to take out the boat which was departing 'the beach and heading for Brandt’s raft which he had managed to crawl into.

(1230) With ammunition gone, I headed back to the ship to refuel and rearm so we could keep the shore batteries busy so they wouldn’t have time to shoot at Ens. Brandt. Meantime the wind was pushing him away from the beach. We were hoping that the wind would take Brandt toward the bay entrance. At about 1430 we returned from the HORNET rearmed, and commenced runs on the beach and the dive bombers on shore gun positions. At this point, I was cussing the skipper of the sub for lack of action. As I flew low over Brandt in his raft, I noticed he seemed to be moving faster than the wind would ordinarily propel him -- a second pass and the reason was apparent -- he had secured his raft to the sub's periscope with a line and was being towed towards the harbor entrance. It was more important than ever that we

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silence all guns in the area, and that we did. At about 1630 the STINGRAY surfaced and took Ens. Brandt aboard.

I learned later that after our troops landed on Guam in August 1941~, a diary was recovered from a dead Japanese soldier. On the afternoon of 13 June 1944 the soldier had watched Ens. Brandt’s rescue and had written down these impressions: “The Americans are very stupid. They risk a submarine for one man. I think they have very foolish minds>’

This memo was hand typed by Admiral Arnold and OCR’d for this posting.


On April 29 - 30, the HORNET launched Air Group TWO against Truk which was one of the largest Japanese bases In the Pacific. The first strike had been made on 16 February and the magnitude of the development of the island base had been well photographed. The first attack had focused on ships and aircraft, leaving ground targets largely un-touched. TORPEDO TWO targets were the airfields gun positions, buildings, docks and the Dublon seaplane base. Bombs were dropped with great success as warehouses and an ammunition dump went up with large explosions. The airfields were made ot look like swiss cheese and several ships in the lagoon were rolled over.

As we retired, Lt. Cdr. Arnold heard Scott Scammell say he was hit and going down near the atoll entrance. Noting that he was landing near the heavily armed island of Faleu. guarding the entrance, I called for our dive bombers (VB-2) to attack the island. The bombers literally sunk the island. So effective was there operation that as we circled and watched Scott’s life raft blown towards the island he and his crewmen carried the raft across and launched it back into the water on the other side. Their only injury was from stepping on a hot bomb fragment.

At the same time I called for the dive bombers, a call as made to the rescue submarine on station. This turned out to be the TANG commanded by my classmate Dick O’Kane. Scott and his crewmen were picked up and joined nineteen other pilots and crewmen already recovered by TANG.

Coincidentally, a Kingfisher two place seaplane (OS2U) launched from a cruiser in the task force group had already picked up seven pilots and crewmen and was unable to take off because of the load and sea condition. O'Kane finally had to take all aboard the sub and then sank the plane by gunfire.


This memo was hand typed by Admiral Arnold and OCR’d for this posting.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


We had formed and trained at Quonset Point, Rhode Island--flew our planes cross country to Santa Rosa, California, and after some delay, embarked as passengers aboard USS CABOT to Hawaii. More training and delay but hopeful, as the Navy's first SPARE AIR GROUP, for a carrier to adopt us and give us a platform from which we could carry the fight to the enemy.

On 3 March 1944 at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Halsey assigned us to the newly arrived USS HORNET and on the 4th we were headed west to MAJURO, Marshall Islands. On arrival we were assigned to TASK FORCE 58 and became the Flagship for Rear Admiral “Jocko” Clark (58.1).

March 20th all squadron and air group commanders, were summoned to the Flagship of Admiral Mitscher for briefing and planning for our first strike. The Admiral said that Palau was second only to TRUK in its importance as a fleet anchorage for the Japanese. If we could bottle up or deprive their fleet elements the use of that harbor it would greatly enhance an operation planned later for Hollandia, New Guinea. His Operations Officer, Cdr. Gus Widhelm, an old friend, proceeded to brief the Torpedo Squadron Commanders on a few of the details we needed to put together our attack plan for laying the mines (MK 52 2000 Lb. parachute type).

This was to be the first aerial mine laying job by any element of the U.S. Navy. Then came some very important specifics:

1. The mines had to be released at no higher than 200 feet--so chute would open.
2. The speed of the aircraft should be at exactly 120 knots, straight and level -- no jinking.
3. The narrow channels we were mining had hills some 400 feet high on both sides and were probably heavily armed!
4. In order to cover all channels we would probably have to make three or four trips!
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About this time I asked Gus, who was nervously waving a cigar as he talked, if he had another cigar. He produced one and the squadron commander on my left asked if he had another. We all alternately smoked and chewed those cigars through the remainder of the briefing. On return to the HORNET I decided I would put off briefing my pilots on the details for several days because the loss of sleep can be dangerous for someone flying a torpedo plane. Anyway we had nine or ten days until launch.

Proceeding towards Palau, on the night of March 29, our night fighter Combat Air Patrol intercepted and splashed a Japanese BETTY (twin engine bomber capable of carrying torpedoes). Since the presence of our Task Group had been discovered, it was decided we would have a pre-dawn launch.

There had been much discussion with the Air Officer regarding the spotting of my plane on the flight deck because I was to be first off and no one was quite sure how much deck was needed to get airborne with a 2000 lb. mine. Since the deck was fully spotted there was no appeal. To bed and up for the pre-dawn launch.

As we manned the planes in the pre-dawn darkness, I told my radioman, Adair, who was also the tunnel gunner to train the tunnel gun straight down and if he felt it striking the top of a wave to let me know. (Only a short time before, we had installed a radio altimeter which was supposed to give a much more accurate reading than our barometric altimeter, but complete confidence was lacking). As we took off into the blackness the radio altimeter, set for flight deck height, went immediately from yellow to red and in seconds Adair reported, "Skipper, 'the gun is bouncing!" Wheels were up and flaps bleeding slowly as I watched the radio altimeter go from red to yellow to green.

The rendezvous of our torpedo planes was accomplished with minor strain, but the accompanying fighters left something to be desired. As we approached Palau the sun was rising behind us -- a beautiful day with billowing clouds all around. Additional color was added to the scene as anti-aircraft bursts appeared as colored
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clouds all around. we pushed over and headed for the various labyrinthine shipping lane channels. As we slowed to 120 knots and leveled off at 200 feet, you realized that the anti-aircraft guns were shooting down on you and you felt like a duck on the opening day of the hunting season!

Those mines were laid and channels closed. (On following flights the mine laying aircraft were given another 100 feet of flight deck for take-off).

Torpedo Two pilots were Lt. Cdr, J. D. Amold (Squadron Commander), Lt. Joe Moore, Lts. (jg) Kenny Glass, Troy Porterfield, Moose Langford, Ken Nelson, Clint Branham, K. G. Sull!van, Scotty Scammell, Ens. Bernard and Ens. Richards. (We lost Ens. Bereolos on the takeoff).

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This memo was hand typed by Admiral Arnold and OCR’d for this posting.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

19 January 2008 - Final Flight

The photograph above shows US Navy Chaplain LCDR The Reverend Cartus Thornton reading the gospel, with Jackson E. Arnold and The Reverend Keith Acker assisting. Admiral Arnold's urn is on the table, along with the burial flag, a photograph of he and his wife and his wings and medals. Behind the portrait, his unique four star flag can be seen.

Admiral Arnold's funeral service was held 19 January 2008 at the NAS North Island Chapel. Chaplain LCDR The Reverend Cartus Thornton, Wing Chaplain assisted The Reverend Keith Acker of Blessed Trinity Church of Alpine, CA, who had been Admiral Arnold's priest for the past couple of years. The Admiral's great nephew, Jackson E. Arnold was Acolyte and read High Flight, the poem by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, the American pilot who died while flying with the RCAF four days after Pearl Harbor as the result of a mid-air collision in the UK.

The funeral was attended by his sister, Dorothy Sivyer; his brother in law, Rod McChesney, a fellow torpedo plane pilot and all 26 of his nieces and nephews, as well as numerous grand nieces and nephews and friends.

At the conclusion of the service, the 11 man Honor Guard performed the flag folding ceremony; then the flag, which had flown over both ARIZONA and HORNET, was presented to his sister, Dorothy Sivyer. Following the flag folding ceremony, the congregation went outside for the customary 21 gun salute, taps and a fly-over by two F-18 Hornets from Navy Leemore.

All of the family, the US Marine Honor Guard, the Hornet pilots all came together at a reception following the service at the lobby of the I building and I Bar, the final surviving pilot bar in the US Navy. All in all, it was as Admiral Arnold directed, "Quite an operation."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Funeral Arrangements

Admiral Arnold’s funeral arrangements have been finalized as follows:

Date: 19 January 2008 - Saturday
Time: 1430 (2:30pm)
Place: NAS North Island Chapel

The funeral will be a full military honors funeral, with an Honor Guard, Flag Team and live bugler. Weather permitting there will be a Missing Man formation flyover, tentatively set to be United States Marine Corps F-18 Hornets from MCAS Miramar.

Following the funeral service, there will be a reception at the NAS North Island Officers’ Club, in the tradition of aviators everywhere. Jack asked that it be, “Quite an operation.”

If you plan on attending the funeral, and I really encourage you to do so, please let me know so we can plan for you. Also, the funeral will be held on an active military installation. If you do not have a base decal, we will need to make arrangements for a guest pass for you. If you do not provide information for the guest pass, there will be parking outside the gate with buses to the chapel and Officers’ Club. Please see the form at the end of this letter.

If you have any questions, please call or e-mail me: (800) 207-9301 •