Plattsburgh — William B. Arnold, 73, of Truman Avenue, passed away on Thursday, March 13, 2003, at Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vt.
He was born in Frankfort, Kan., on Nov. 23, 1929, son of Minor W. and Norma M. Arnold.
Graduated from East Denver High School 1947. Worked for Safeway stores until Sept. 20, 1950, and enlisted in U.S. Air Force. Completed aerial gunner at Lawry AFB, Colo. Transferred to Roswell, N.M., and became combat ready as B-29 gunnery sergeant. Applied for and entered aviation cadets for pilot training. Completed preflight training at Lackland AFB, Texas. Completed primary trainer in Piper Cubs and T-6 Texans at Marana, Ariz. Completed basic training at Williams AFB in T-28 and T-33 aircraft after earning commission as second lieutenant and pilot wings.
Completed B-29 transition at Randolph AFB, Texas. Transferred to Davis Montham AFB, Ariz. Completed B-47 transition at Wichita, Kan., as a co-pilot. Assigned to 43rd Bomb Wing at Davis Montham AFB. Checked out as Aircraft Commander as first lieutenant. The 43rd Airborne Wing only had two B-47 first lieutenant aircraft commanders in its history. Served in 303rd Bomb Wing at Davis Montham after 43rd Bomb Wing was deactivated. Transferred to Pease AFB, N.H., and flew B-47's until being put on the 509th Bombing Wing staff as a command post controller. Was transferred to 100th Bomb Wing command post until April 1967, when the wing was deactivated. Transferred to Fairbanks AFB, Alaska, as a command post controller. Additional duties there were flying search and rescue missions with base flight. The Distinguished Flying Cross was earned during the rescue operations. Stationed at Plattsburgh AFB, N.Y., in October 1968. Completed B-52 bomber transition at Castle AFB, Calif. Became B-52 aircraft commander and flew 40 combat missions during Vietnam war. Completed FB-111 transition at Carswell AFB, Texas. Flew the FB-111 until 1972 and returned to the command post as Senior Controller and Division Chief. Retired in October 1974 as Major and Command Pilot. Total number of years in service was 24.
Medals: Distinguished Flying Cross; Meritorious Service; Air Medal; Air Force Commendation; outstanding Airforce Unit (four clusters with V for valor in combat); Combat Readiness; Army Good Conduct; National Defense with Star; Vietnam Service w/2 Campaign Stars; Expert Pistol; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
William is survived by a sister, Janet Sue Guy of Kokomo, Ind.; and close friends James and Cynthia McCarty of Plattsburgh.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, March 18, 2003, at Brown Funeral Home in Plattsburgh at 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont, Health Science Research Facility, 149 Beaumont Ave., Burlington, VT 05405-0075.