Claude Duran Arnold Jr. was the first to die — on Dec. 7, 1941, in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He had been on the battleship Arizona less than a month and was a fireman third class. Mr. Arnold was born July 28, 1923, in Houston, Texas, and enlisted in the Navy in April 1941.
His brother Leslie R. Arnold, a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, was killed in May 1944 when his fighter crashed at Honolulu. A Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was named in honor of the Arnold brothers and another local man also killed in the war. The family lived in Lake Charles and later in Crowley, Louisiana.
A third brother, John H. Arnold, also served with the Army Air Corps and became a first lieutenant. He was awarded the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters in the summer of 1944 “for meritorious achievement while serving as a bombardier of a B-17 Flying Fortress during combat missions over enemy territory…” He died in 1995.
The fourth brother, Gerald Durel Arnold, was a pilot in the Army Air Corps. He died in 1998.
Their father was an accountant and their mother a homemaker.