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."

No comments: