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Robert Arn Army

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Assigned: Air Transport Combat, 10th, 14th, 20th Air Force
Highest Rank: Captain
Entered Service: 9/15/1942
Exited Service: 12/1/1948
Foreign Service Length: 11 Months
Continental Service Length: 5 Years, 5 Months, 14 Days
Location of Service: China - Burma - India (CBI)
Gender: male
Basic Training: Memphis, Tennessee
Military Position: Pilot
Place of Separation: Ft. Sheridan, Illinois
From City: Westerville
From State: Ohio
Current City: Westerville
Current State: Ohio
Date of Birth: 10/1922
My War Stories
  
  1940 Robert Arn graduated from Westerville High School in 1940 and went on to further his education at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio. Robert was inspired when he heard about a program where you could earn 30 credits by signing up for a government aviation program which would help off-set the very expensive college tuition in 1940. He maintained 16 hours of class work during the day and learned about flying and how to fly in the evenings at Foster Lane. His primary training was in a Taylor Craft through Capital University and his secondary training was in a RDG-18 through The Ohio State University. His cross country experiences were in a Stinson reliant, also through The Ohio State University.
  12/7/1941 During his second year at Otterbein College, the Japanese attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor. The United States was completely unprepared for aviation as it was shipping all planes overseas to fight the Western Front in Europe. The US had no first line aircraft and the P-40 was the closest thing the US had to a fighter plane at that time.
  1/1942 Mr. Arn wanted to go into the Navy program once the war had started but fate intervened and altered his plans when he was in a car accident at the corner of Broad St. and Front St. in Columbus, Ohio by hitting a high pressure hydrant head-on with two fraternity brothers and their dates. They were in Hutch William’s dad’s brand new Buick. Robert went over his date Jackie (future wife of 63 years) and crashed into the dash fracturing his 6th and 7th cervical in his neck. After the accident and his injuries, he was forced to drop out of his Navy class.
  2/1942 Robert’s mother passed away and he moved in with his neighbors. One Saturday morning when he went out to get the newspaper, an article caught his eye. The paper said that pilots were desperately needed to man a patrol base in Panama City, Florida flying civilian planes. Robert thought that this could be his in after he got a tip that they only shot the recruitment pictures from the neck up and he might be able to hide his injuries. He shaved carefully, took off his neck brace off, and went downtown with his paper work from CPT training and was selected along with 12 other young men.
  3/1942 Between January and August 72 American ships were sunk by the German U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico. Central Americans were sympathetic to the German cause at that time. Therefore, any Americans within 80 miles of the coast who had a civilian airplane were grounded and could not fly due to the necessary military airspace restrictions. Fairchild 24 and Cessna Airmaster 165 (an extremely fast plane that won the Thompson trophy race from California to Cleveland in 1939, 1939, 1940) were some examples of the types of planes the newly formed coastal patrol would fly. The patrol would always fly in pairs, one fast plane and one slow plane. The fast plane would fly a box pattern out one mile ahead of the slow plane, over, down, and back while the slow plane would stay on course to make sure there were no submarines in the area.
  8/1942 Convoys would start in Brownsville, Texas with five or six ships then head to Corpus Christi and pick up a few more ships, they would continue on up to Galveston and Beaumont to pick up more tankers while en route to New Orleans to pick up supply ships and finally made their last stop at Mobile, Alabama. Well, by the time the convoy reached Robert’s sector, there would be more than 70 ships in the convoy fleet. By the time the convoy fleet reached the Florida Keys, it would split in two convoys, one going to the East coast and the other going to Natal by South America to North Africa. They tried to keep the convoy within 20 miles of the coastline so that they could decrease the threat of submarines as the u-boats could not operate properly within the 20 mile limits as the continental shelf became a major barrier for diving.
  12/1942 Robert’s roommate was Cleeve Morrison who was great flier in the silent movie days. Cleeve was pilot Capt. Russell in a 1928 motion picture called Lilac Time which went back to the World War I era. Cleeve had this motion picture sent in from California to show at Tindle Field one day. Robert’s girlfriend, Jackie, was not allowed by her parents to come down to visit Robert right before Christmas. Cleeve did not want his friend to spend the holidays alone so he called him up and invited Robert to go dinner at the Cove Hotel. Cleeve directed Robert to get dressed in his Class A uniform and told him that he had a surprise guest that would be joining them for dinner. When Robert arrived, he was greeted by his friend Cleeve, his date, and none other than the Hollywood movie star Clark Gable, who was a close friend of Cleeve Morrison. Clark Gable was much smaller in person than Robert would have thought and he learned that he always wore risers in his shoes to appear taller. He was a very down-to-earth man and would go on to be a lifelong friend of Robert. In conversation at dinner, Cleeve mentioned that like Robert, Clark also liked to shoot skeet. Robert would go out three times to shoot skeet with Clark Gable in Florida.
  12/1942 During Robert’s ten months of Coastal Patrol NO.14, he was credited with helping to sink one German U-boat. They dropped a bomb near the U-boat which scared it up and resulting in the Coastal Patrol calling the American Navy and Coast Guard to pursue the U-Boat at which point the U-Boat had hit the coastal shelf. The German Captain put the submarine directly into the second continental shelf. Navy men then dropped a huge chain on the prop and the submarine while it was still running. The U-boat was in display in Mobile Harbor, Alabama up until a few years ago at which point the exhibit was replaced by a nuclear submarine.
  1943 The Ohio Coastal Patrol Unit, as they were called, had a regular Army ordinance unit with them that armed the planes. The Fairchild could not be armed because it was too light but the Airmaster could carry three one-hundred pound bombs on it. The Stinson Reliant could carry one ashcan. Ten months after starting patrol, six of the twelve men serving with the Ohio Coastal Patrol Unit were killed.
  4/2/1943 Robert marries Jackie his high school sweetheart.
  5/1943 After the coastal patrol, Robert decided he wanted to get into something bigger; he was tired of this little stuff. He ran into some trouble however due to his neck injuries from the car accident in 1942, there was nothing he could do. He got hooked up with this retired flight surgeon who told him how he could get into this man’s military. The surgeon suggested that Robert try getting into the Army Air Corp and Robert wanted to know how he could circumvent his injuries. The surgeon said it would be easy; the Navy is stupid, they will take the x-rays too low and miss the fifth and sixth cervical in their medical evaluations. Robert thought that while it would be risky, it was worth a shot, so off he went down to Pensacola from which point he continued on to Dale Mayberry field in Tallahassee, Florida where he passed the tests and was accepted into Air Transport Command. The surgeon’s plan had worked.
  6/1943 So Robert passed the Physical and took his papers and one week later arrived in Memphis, Tennessee reporting for a hiring ride examination in an AT6. He passed with flying colors and the pilot examiner told Robert he was going to be commissioned within 30 days without going through any school, but they wanted to give him special training. He became part of the 4th Ferrying Group Air Transport Command. He was trained to fly 36 planes and would come to fly every one of them and was an instructor for many of them throughout the war.
  7/1943 Robert was an instructor for the Bryan system of blind flying for the 581st AAF Base Unit. Robert thought at the time that it sure was strange they are giving him so much instrument training.
  1944 Robert and his wife Jackie had their first son Bobby Arn. Robert came up to visit Jackie in Westerville right after he was born on after being granted Red Cross emergency leave. When Robert got back to Memphis, he had orders waiting for him saying he was going overseas but did not include a location. Robert went on to Nashville to where pilots were shaken out for service. Before he went overseas, Robert was determined to see Jackie one more time. He was lucky that due to his continual flight missions, the men at the flight line new him really well, and he devised a plan to get home to see Jackie. He asked the crew chief if there were any planes that needed a test top. The crew chief said “yes he had a jug that had its carburetor changed.” Robert asked if he could fly the P-47 that night to Columbus, Ohio then return by 10 a.m. the next morning. The Crew Chief said that Robert’s proposal was crazy but he trusted Robert, so he let him go. The flight took 1hour and 15 minutes and Robert was able to have one last night with Jackie before being shipped out.
  1944 Robert was sent to Miami Beach, Florida at the Floridian Hotel where they took his winter gear and gave him summer gear. It was not warm in England where Robert was sure he was going, so in heightened curiosity, he picked up his new uniform. Robert Arn received his orders which were posted on the board that he was to fly a C54 which he had been teaching on in Mats.
  1944 Doolittle Raid. Arn said he would not mind taking off in a B-25 from an aircraft carrier. He said “if you hold on to the breaks tight, give it full power, and one quarter flap the plane would practically jump into the air.”
  3/1944 Flying over Bermuda. Interestingly, Bermuda has no water, so all the roofs were painted white so the people could collect all their water from the rain runoff from their roofs. You can see Bermuda from 80 miles out because of the reflection from the white roofs into the sky.
  3/1944 Robert was told he was going to be flying the C54 from Miami to Bermuda then to Azores where further orders would be presented. Arn still thought he was going to England since this was the typical path. The plane was heading to Karachi, India to his dismay. His route was from the Azores to Casablanca to Tripoli to Panefield, Cairo then to Abadan, Iran then the Northern coast of the Persian Gulf to Karachi, India. They took the plane away from him and he was instructed to fly dead head to Chabua in the Assam valley in the Northeast part of India (Now Pakistan).
  4/1944 Most of Arn’s missions over the Hump were to fly gasoline and combat cargo because Roosevelt decreed that China must be kept in the war to fight against the Japanese. There were nine bases that could be used to fly into China. Before one could pilot, the Army made the pilots take ten memorization rides into each base first and two times into Kunming so that they would be familiar with the treacherous terrain. All bases were at a very high altitude and planes do not perform very well as the altitude increases, leading to serious potential flight risks and dangers.
  5/1944 After all his extensive previous training, the plane the military assigned Arn to fly in the Indo-China theater was a C46, which he had never flown before. His base was Sookerating, India with the 1337 AFF Base Unit. He would fly to China via the Hump cruising at 260 mph fully loaded at about 22,000 feet. Many times, ice would build up to an additional 2.5 tons on the plane along with the cargo, which made it very difficult to get above 22,000 feet at which point the oil would also congeal. Coming back from the Hump was a different story. Sookerating was the most forward base at Hells Gate Pass, 530 miles from China. Hells Gate Pass is where Stillwell pulled out and built the Ledo military base.
  5/1944 Sookerating Robert’s base was in a horse shoe valley. It was extremely hot during the day but at night the mountain winds would roll into and make it very cold.
  6/1944 How to negotiate the Hump. One could not fly over the Hump easily because the planes could not reach the desired altitude loaded but coming back they did not have a as severe of a problem because of the significant reduction in the weight of the plane after it was unloaded. Robert had to fly through the mountains on his 106 complete missions back and forth over the Hump; they would do this by looking at the clouds. If two clouds were next to each other and there was a valley, there would be a funnel in between the clouds because of the strong winds in between the mountains which would be the only way to navigate over the Hump successfully.
  8/1944 The Army sent in two B-25s to the base but no pilots to fly them. Since Arn was checked out on a B-25, he went on standby to fly search and rescue missions for downed pilots in the Northern part of Burma. At the time, the Japanese still held the bases there until later when the Japanese were pushed out by, after which it was much safer to fly the Hump. Some of the bases were Shinghwiang, Warasup, and Myithiyina.
  8/1944 Robert always carried an Army issued 45 pistol if he ever had to bailout and he carried it under his arm so it would not come off his hip if a parachute has to open like many did. One person, usually a radio operator, would always guard the plane against sabotage during meal times and they would rotate men for the watch duty until the mission was completed. On one occasion, a service man was shot over a craps game so the weapons were taken from everyone and only provided before each mission; each soldier now had to check in and out their weapons before and after each mission. Robert had his name and tally marks on his holster for each mission. He flew into a base and the officer said he had left his 45 at the check in, however, he already had a 45 on him under his flight jacket, he quickly realized that some other poor soul must have left his gun there. When Arn was about to go back to the states, he got friendly with an MP and the MP devised a way for him to get his 45 home with him. After some special maneuvering, Robert was able to then keep both of the guns and was even able to bring “his” gun back with him after the war. Arn was given certified mail containing secret documents and thus was required to have a 45 on him at all times.
  10/1944 The left engine went out on the C-46 during a mission so Robert had to take it down at Tsuyung. The radio operator tried all the bases around for a day and could not get a hold of anyone because Tsuyung was in a bowl. They then tried to contact the planes flying above which they did. A plane dropped a message from a parachute saying they received the message about needing a new distributor. The next day they sent an L-5 with the new distributor and a mechanic to the engine.
  11/1944 When Robert was teaching the Chinese how to fly combat in the P-40 Warhawk with squadrons of threes or fives, they could not understand any English. Only the Chinese flight leader knew a few words creating a very steep learning curve. On one occasion, they went up after two Jakes, floatplanes (Aichi E13A), who were trying to protect some Japanese barges retreating down the Yangtze river. Robert said he strafed the barges with the P-40.
  11/1944 They need to get ammo and medical into Naga, Warasup and which was being harassed by Japanese guns on both sides of the mountains. The C-46’s had to make laboring turns to make the running and the Japanese were picking them off like clay pigeons. The Army asked Robert if he could get in there, he thought about it and said yes. He devised an ingenious action plan. He would line up with the runway, come in at tree top level (145mph) which would force the Japanese guns to aim at each other if they started shooting. It worked like a charm and he flew in and out with injured men on the plane. Robert said he was really good at flying massive cargo planes at extremely low altitude.
  12/1944 Arn flew in the 10th Air Force in Burma, the 14th Air Force under Chenault in China, and under the 20th Air Force until December 1944.
  12/1944 When the railroad between Calcutta and Sookerating (620 miles) was knocked out by the Japanese, Robert’s unit could not get any supplies. The Gurkha was the local Northern Indian tribe known by the Army Air Corps as the “natives.” Robert’s unit interacted heavily with the Gurkha; Robert even taught some of the younger ones how to fish. Robert was amazed to watch as they were only casting nets onto the water until Robert set them straight and opened their eyes to a much more successful approach. Robert had them lay on their bellies, throw a grenade into the water where the concussion would knock out the fish and all of them would float up to the surface where the kids could catch as many fish as they wanted. The Gurkha were known as head hunters because they literally cut off their opponents heads during battle. The Gurkha were peaceful but the Japanese hated them. The Gurkha could penetrate Japanese lines, feel the hats (to indentify friend of foe) of the soldiers at night and kill Japanese, when the Japanese would wake up the heads would be on sticks in the camp. Gurkha were also used to track fallen men to rescue them.
  12/1944 Instead of liberty passes, Robert’s unit was issued hunting passes in the surrounding areas which was much easier given their location than flying them to an R&R station. They would hunt small deer and anything else they could shoot with a M1. Keep in mind; the jungles surrounding Robert’s unit territory included cobras, pythons, monkeys, and Bengal tigers to mention a few.
  12/6/1944 The United States Army was bound and determined to get more gasoline into China for upcoming raids. They selected 33 crews of which each crew had four or five member teams (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Radio Operator, Flight Chief and/or Crew Chief). Out of the 33 crews, only three crews came home within 24 hours. According to NASA satellites, there at currently 920+ crashed aircraft still in the Himalayas which have been declared impossible to retrieve. The prevailing winds are from 200 to 280 mph which were a serious challenge to overcome during WWII and especially in trying to recover and retrieve the remaining planes now, despite multiple attempts and all of the advanced technology of the 21st century. Robert Arn flew 106 missions or 212 flights over “the rock pile” as he calls it. All the rivers start at one spot the Himalayas. They would fly Western River Valley then Eastern River Valley then Sawwane River Range, then to the Mecon River Valley, then to the Yangztee River then finally the Yellow River. The Japanese had the entire Southern route sewed up and if anyone went down south, they would be picked off like clay pigeons by the Japanese. Once the Northern bases were taken, the Japs had about five minutes of fuel to go after one of the ATC planes, if they were ambitious enough because they were so far away. Ultimately, the weather in the Indo-Burma-China theater caused more downed planes than the Japanese did.
  1945 Robert Arn flew the P-40, C-46, C-47, B-25, L5 and C-54 overseas.
  1945 Robert had an opportunity to ride in a Lancaster when he had some engines troubles in Chadwa. He said it was like flying a “bamboo bomber.”
  1945 Robert Arn met Clare Chenault commander of the Flying Tigers and later the 14th Air Force. They would meet when Chenault was destitute for items and wanted to know what Arn had on the plane. Robert liked Chenault because he was rough and tough and mean on codger, but he never asked anything impossible from his men. In contrast, Robert did not like Stillwell.
  1945 B-25 Search Rescue. Inside where they would normally carry the bombs, Arn’s B-25 would carry six survivor packs for down airmen that were configured right in the bombs bay. They would drop the packs just like bombs, Robert would try to drop one short, one on target and one after. If the crew could get one of them, they could last for seven days. The packs included spam, M1, water, and items to trade with the natives. Robert flew the B-25 D and it was armed with 50 caliber machine guns. Robert said the flight characteristics did not change when the guns were being fired.
  1945 Robert mostly had spam, powdered eggs, and powdered milk to eat every day. He emphatically did not like the food but very few foods could last in the heat and it was all that they had, so he made the most of it.
  1/1945 An MIT graduate was in Robert’s unit. With the large fluctuation of temperature, fog was very prevalent. Well, unlike in England where weather dictated flights, in the CBI, every flight was on all the time. The MIT grad was trying to figure out how to land a plane using math. His plan utilized the two compasses on the C-46, at an altitude of 500 feet going 145 mph, they would set mark at the bamboo tower. The home compass number 1 was set for Ohbol and compass number 2 was set for Sokadia, with a heading for 9 degrees east and 270 degrees west. They would fly the C-46 for 5 seconds after the tower, then turn 45 degrees (2 needles) for 15 seconds descending at 300 feet per minute until 270 degrees. Then the wheels would squeak for landing. Using this remarkable plan, Robert was able to essentially fly and land his plane blind successfully, Arn did this 7 times without being able to see a thing.
  2/1945 When the planes were about to take off at night, they were allowed to turn on their lights for 5 seconds in order to line up the plane with the runway. The Chinese had developed a superstition routine where if they ran in front of the plane during this period it would wipe out evil spirits and ensure a safe flight. On one specific occasion Robert’s co-pilot “Couch” witnessed several Chinese get tore up by the propeller as they could not outrun the plane speeding down the runway. On another occasion when landing a C-46, a 1933 Chevy tried to dash in front of the plane going over 100 mph and the vehicle did not make it because it hit the landing gear; surprisingly, the Chevy did no damage to the plane, not even a scratch, but the car was blown to smithereens projecting pieces of the Chevy hundreds of yards in every direction.
  3/1945 The first seven months of Robert’s tour was a tough battle dodging the Japanese with lots of pressure on him; however the last three and a half months of his tour was a lot easier once the Japanese were pushed back far enough they could not fly to his bases anymore.
  3/1945 Some of the bases Robert flew in while stationed at Sookerating. Sookerating was an English Tea plantation; it was ideal for growing tea as it was extremely hot during the day and cold at night. They had no ground forces to protect them, just an auxiliary of M1’s their unit manned. China: Paoshan, Yunnanyi (P-40), Tsuyung (crooked runway because the Chinese followed a river), Kunming (HQ for 14th Chenault), Chengkung (B-24 base), Chanyi (Supply Depot), Luliang (Largest base, P-40’s), Yangkai (B-25 base), Chengtu (B-29 base), A1, A7 Burma: Shingbwiyang, Warasup, Myitkyina, Bhamo India: Sookerating, Chabue, Jorhat, Tezpur, Misamari, Lalhat, Cobo, Dinjan, Ledo, Mohanbari.
  5/1945 When Robert went to the mail shuttle, he received his orders to go home in May of 1945. The Army said if he could get as far as Karachi, India, then he could probably get a plane home. He was there for 30 days and found out they were going home on a boat out of Bombay, but he was not interested in that plan or route home. Robert got familiar with the MP's and Robert said he would love to go get some corn beef at the British bar if only he had a jeep. The MP's signed him out a jeep. Robert was drinking a warm beer (no cold beer in England) and a man called out “I detect a Midwestern accent.” The man was from Columbus, Ohio which is only about twenty minutes driving from Westerville, Ohio. It was Captain Jerry Spears. They both had the going home orders but Arn said “if he had a plane they could take a war weary trip back home.” Spears said” if I had a jeep I know all the brass in Calcutta HQ and the people on the flight line.” Two hours later, Spears and Arn had a plane and they posted a note for people to join the crew; they were mobbed with people signing up to fly home with them. They got a completely wore out C-54 that needed pretty much everything. Everything was leaking, so they worked all night on getting it up and running. They had to land at a British fighter base after about half way on their trip because they were laying a mist of a fuel a mile long. Robert got the plane as far as Panefield, Cairo before they class 26’d it. They thought they were in big trouble now without a plane, but Jerry worked his connections and got a brand new C-54 with plush seats for the two of them and the other twenty five soldiers coming home with them.
  6/1945 Robert was never discharged from the Army Air Corps because he was supposed to be a service pilot. His AGO (Agent Generals Office) card was stamped inactive in the middle of it. When Arn was overseas flying combat and teaching combat to the Chinese, he was a service pilot without ever going through a school. The one stipulation about a service pilot is that they cannot fly combat. One needed 380 points to get out of the war, Robert had over 680 points. Robert knew the Bikini project was coming up so he wanted out and kept writing his CO in Topeka, Kansas to let him out. His CO said he could not let him out of the service because he had never been through a military school to learn how to fly. Arn was pretty hot at this point but his CO said “wait a minute.” Robert went down to Enid, Oklahoma (B-25 School) the next day to fly with a B-25 ace who made history in Europe. They got a brand new B-25 and they caged (to not break them) the instruments to go on a check ride. For 1 hour and 45 minutes they did everything you could think of in a B-25. When they were done, the Ace took his wings off and gave them to Arn, as he had now successfully complete his first and only required flight school in under two hours.
  6/1945 Borden milk company provided free milk to them when they got in at LaGuardia Field. The men excitedly gulped down their cold milk as quickly as they could when they were given a glass as they got off their planes home. While it was a very appreciated token of generosity and support for the military men from Borden, because the soldiers had not had any milk for years, their bodies all went into dairy shock and they all were sicker than dogs.
  1948 Robert Arn graduated from Otterbein College in 1948.
  1948 Of all the planes Robert Arn flew, his favorite plane to fly was the P-51. “All you had to do is think what you wanted to do and it would do it. Like an old man’s rocking chair.”
  8/30/2008 Robert Arn flew a Cessna 172 and a Sirius. The pilot wanted to know why Arn was not using the computers, Arn said he did not trust the computers and he prefers the instruments.

My War Awards
  • Air Combat
  • Air Medal (Three Air Medals.)
  • American Campaign Medal - WW II
  • Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal - WWII (Three battle stars)
  • China Campaign Medal - Army
  • China War Memorial Medal
  • Combat Service
  • Distinguished Flying Cross Medal
  • European - African - Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  • Overseas Service
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Sharpshooter Badge
  • World War II Victory Medal
My War Pictures
Click on the pictures to enlarge.
        
  Arn flew the B-25 H Mitchell Search and Rescue in the CBI during World War II. Arn flew the B-25 H Mitchell Search and Rescue in the CBI during World War II. Arn touch the Chinese how to fly the P-40 Warhawk in the CBI. Arn touch the Chinese how to fly the P-40 Warhawk in the CBI. 569 was the C46 that Robert routinely flew. 569 was the C46 that Robert routinely flew.
  Life Magazine. Picture of C46 number 569 the plane that Robert Arn flew. Life Magazine. Picture of C46 number 569 the plane that Robert Arn flew. Bob and his wife Jackie. They were married on April 2, 1943 before Bob went overseas. Jackie knew that Robert would never forget their anniversary because it was the same day as her birthday. If he forgot that day he would be in big trouble. Bob and his wife Jackie. They were married on April 2, 1943 before Bob went overseas. Jackie knew that Robert would never forget their anniversary because it was the same day as her birthday. If he forgot that day he would be in big trouble. 1337th Sookerating, India. 1337th Sookerating, India.
  Chennault and Stilwell. Robert liked Chennault more than he did Stilwell. Chennault and Stilwell. Robert liked Chennault more than he did Stilwell. Sookerating, India 1944 - 1945. Sookerating, India 1944 - 1945. Planes flow by Robert. Count them 36 planes! PT-17, PT-19, PT-22, PT-23, AT-6, AT-7, At-10, AT-8, UC-78, At-17, AT-9, AT-11, AT-19, O-59, OA-10, PBY-5A, P-36, P-40, P-47, P-51, P-80, B-18A, B-25, A-20, A-24, A-25, A-26, A-35, A-31, A-29, C-45, C-46, C-47, C54, C-60, C69, and C-61. Planes flow by Robert. Count them 36 planes! PT-17, PT-19, PT-22, PT-23, AT-6, AT-7, At-10, AT-8, UC-78, At-17, AT-9, AT-11, AT-19, O-59, OA-10, PBY-5A, P-36, P-40, P-47, P-51, P-80, B-18A, B-25, A-20, A-24, A-25, A-26, A-35, A-31, A-29, C-45, C-46, C-47, C54, C-60, C69, and C-61.
  1337th Sookerating, India base unit. Robert's base in the CBI. 1337th Sookerating, India base unit. Robert's base in the CBI. Westerville, Ohio newspaper article about Robert. Westerville, Ohio newspaper article about Robert. 1337th Base Unit as Sookerating. P-51 undershot field and landed in tea patch. March 1945, L/R Gigin, Brooks, Kerman, Long, Weatherall, Major Lowell. Lt. Hetshell's plant crashed while landing as night, no survivors. 1337th Base Unit as Sookerating. P-51 undershot field and landed in tea patch. March 1945, L/R Gigin, Brooks, Kerman, Long, Weatherall, Major Lowell. Lt. Hetshell's plant crashed while landing as night, no survivors.
  Walking stick used to literally bat off the natives who would swarm for free items. Walking stick used to literally bat off the natives who would swarm for free items. Mountains in the Hump. Robert said you could not flew over the mountains you had to flew threw them. Middle of the hump 28,000 feet. Mt Sikiang from 50 miles at 20,000 feet. Himalays at 28,000 feet. Mountains in the Hump. Robert said you could not flew over the mountains you had to flew threw them. Middle of the hump 28,000 feet. Mt Sikiang from 50 miles at 20,000 feet. Himalays at 28,000 feet. Kunming 1/7/1945 stamps and dinner check. Kunming 1/7/1945 stamps and dinner check.
  These are the bears MIke Ancik gave to Robert during a visit. When Robert's long time co-pilot because very ill MIke took his spot as co-pilot. These are the bears MIke Ancik gave to Robert during a visit. When Robert's long time co-pilot because very ill MIke took his spot as co-pilot. Robert loved to draw Disney characters. He drew the insignia for his Coastal Air Patrol group. Later he forgot about what he had drawn and drew this and sent it to his friend. When his friend died his family sent it back to Robert. Robert loved to draw Disney characters. He drew the insignia for his Coastal Air Patrol group. Later he forgot about what he had drawn and drew this and sent it to his friend. When his friend died his family sent it back to Robert. Letter from presidents like the Ford's, Clinton's and Bush's. Letter from presidents like the Ford's, Clinton's and Bush's.
  Hump 30th anniversary reunion pilots association. Hump 30th anniversary reunion pilots association. July 12th, 2008 World War II Memorial honor flight. July 12th, 2008 World War II Memorial honor flight. Honorable service with the civil air patrol during World War 2. Honorable service with the civil air patrol during World War 2.
  Aviation fuel depot. Aviation fuel depot. This is the brief case carried by Robert. At times this is all he would have. This is the brief case carried by Robert. At times this is all he would have. World War 2 memorial. World War 2 memorial.
  Ohio national guard. Ohio national guard. Planes Robert flew overseas in combat missions. C-47, C-46, P40, and B-25. Planes Robert flew overseas in combat missions. C-47, C-46, P40, and B-25. One man raft drill. Search and rescue planes would drop rafts to down crews in the water. One man raft drill. Search and rescue planes would drop rafts to down crews in the water.
  Chinese Air Force accomodation. Chinese Air Force accomodation. Chinese wings awarded to Bob. Chinese wings awarded to Bob. Combat stripes. Combat stripes.
  Coastal Patrol Wall. The coast patrol was Ohio unit that Robert volunteered for based on a newspaper add. 12 pilots went but only 6 returned. Coastal Patrol Wall. The coast patrol was Ohio unit that Robert volunteered for based on a newspaper add. 12 pilots went but only 6 returned. Assam Bengal Railraod Calcutta to Assam, Inida. 620 mile trip to Sookerating, India (Robert's Base). Assam Bengal Railraod Calcutta to Assam, Inida. 620 mile trip to Sookerating, India (Robert's Base). Air Medal awarded during Coastal Patrol in Florida. Robert would hunt for U-Boats off the coast of Florida. Air Medal awarded during Coastal Patrol in Florida. Robert would hunt for U-Boats off the coast of Florida.
  Mike Ancik was Robert's co-pilot for his last missions. Robert always thought Mike was older but many years later found out he was a year older. Mike Ancik was Robert's co-pilot for his last missions. Robert always thought Mike was older but many years later found out he was a year older. Robert E Arn in his uniform at the age of 86. Robert E Arn in his uniform at the age of 86. Summer flight cap. Summer flight cap.
  Authentic World War 2 uniform Robert still wears today. Authentic World War 2 uniform Robert still wears today. Everything on the wall was in Robert's footlocker for decades before he put it all together. Everything on the wall was in Robert's footlocker for decades before he put it all together. Plane wreckage in the mountains. More planes were lost due to weather than were shot down by Zero's. Plane wreckage in the mountains. More planes were lost due to weather than were shot down by Zero's.
  Blood Chit worn under jacket. Some Flying Tigers worn it on the outside of the jacket making a nice target for the Japanese. The blood chit had all the dialects of Chinese on it stating that if a pilot was returned from being shot down they would receive gold or silver. Most locals preferred pots, pans, guns and ammo over money. Blood Chit worn under jacket. Some Flying Tigers worn it on the outside of the jacket making a nice target for the Japanese. The blood chit had all the dialects of Chinese on it stating that if a pilot was returned from being shot down they would receive gold or silver. Most locals preferred pots, pans, guns and ammo over money. E6B Flight Computer. Used during flight planning and even flying to aid in calculating fuel burn, wind correction, and time en route. The flight computer can be used to calculate ground speed as well while in the air. E6B Flight Computer. Used during flight planning and even flying to aid in calculating fuel burn, wind correction, and time en route. The flight computer can be used to calculate ground speed as well while in the air. Elephant loading gas into plains. In the CBI supplies were limited for many reasons. There were no fork lifts to load gas into the transports therefore they had to improvise. The nice things about elephants is that if there was a leak in the barrel the elephant would just sit it back down and go onto the next drum. Elephant loading gas into plains. In the CBI supplies were limited for many reasons. There were no fork lifts to load gas into the transports therefore they had to improvise. The nice things about elephants is that if there was a leak in the barrel the elephant would just sit it back down and go onto the next drum.
  Flying Tiger Scarf. Flying Tiger Scarf. Medals earned during service from 1942 through 1948. Medals earned during service from 1942 through 1948. Robert's wife Jackie used this radio as company when Robert was on long flights overseas.This radio was a Christmas from Robert to Jackie on December 25th, 1938. Robert's wife Jackie used this radio as company when Robert was on long flights overseas.This radio was a Christmas from Robert to Jackie on December 25th, 1938.
  World War 2 assignments. -Panama City, Florida (Costal Patrol NO. 14) -Memphis, TN (4th Ferrying Group ATC) -Little Rock, AR (581st AAF Base Unit) -Nashville, TN (558th AAF Base Unit) -Sookerating, India (1337th AAF Base Unit CBI) -Fort Dix, NJ (592nd AAF Base UnIt MAT) -Topeka, KS (594th AAF Base Unit MAT) -Columbus, OH (105th Radar CAI DET ONG) World War 2 assignments. -Panama City, Florida (Costal Patrol NO. 14)
-Memphis, TN (4th Ferrying Group ATC)
-Little Rock, AR (581st AAF Base Unit)
-Nashville, TN (558th AAF Base Unit)
-Sookerating, India (1337th AAF Base Unit CBI)
-Fort Dix, NJ (592nd AAF Base UnIt MAT)
-Topeka, KS (594th AAF Base Unit MAT)
-Columbus, OH (105th Radar CAI DET ONG) Part of Captain Arn's wall in his house. Part of Captain Arn's wall in his house. Last issue of the Yank. The Yank was an Army weekly magazine during World War II. This issue was published in December 1945. Last issue of the Yank. The Yank was an Army weekly magazine during World War II. This issue was published in December 1945.
  86 Year Old Pilot Robert Arn is still flying. Arn prefers to use the instruments to fly and does not trust all those computers. 86 Year Old Pilot Robert Arn is still flying. Arn prefers to use the instruments to fly and does not trust all those computers. 1944 Map of the Hump. China, Burma, and India. 1944 Map of the Hump. China, Burma, and India. 106 Combat Mission over the Hump Flight cap. 106 Combat Mission over the Hump Flight cap.

My War Videos
Click play button near the bottom left of image to watch the video.
WWII Pilot Robert Arn Tells the Unknown Story of 1942 (Part 1). After briefly attending college, WWII starts, Arn takes aviation classes and wants to join the Navy to fly off aircraft carriers. After a detour he is soon flying private planes with bombs attached over the Gulf of Mexico hunting U-boats.



WWII Captain Arn Shoots Skeet with Clark Gable (Part 4). Last part of the Robert Arn story in the Coastal Patrol before he heads off to the CBI. Along the way he meets Cleeve Morrison and Clark Gable.



WWII Pilot Arn sinks his first U-boat while flying a Stinson Reliant (Part 2). The Ohio Coastal Patrol Unit constisted of 12 men flying private aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico hunting U-boats with make shift bombs attached to them. You will not read about this story in the history books.



WWII Pilot Tells the Story of Convoy duty over the Gulf (Part 3). Captain Arn goes into detail about his very unique and untold story of the Coastal Patrol. There were 12 men is his unit and fewer than half made it back home.



Army Air Corps World War 2 Earning Wings in only Hours. No one told Captain Robert Arn that he needed to go to combat training before succesfully completing 106 missions in the CBI theater during World War II. Service pilot graduates to the Army Air Corps in less than two hours.



War Weary Trip Home from World War 2 from Burma. 1945 World War 2 honor flight home from China Burma India (CBI) theater after 106 missions. If you are a Captain in the Army Air Corp why would you ride on a ship home when you can pilot your own crew back to the United States? The only catch, you have to get a plane (C-54) and getting a crew proves to be the easy part.



World War 2 Munn Surviving Crash But May Day Later. Arn's watches a flock of birds behaving erratically while he was flying his C46 only to notice they were not birds at all. Robert new they were not birds when they crashed into the mountain only to find out later that his roommate was one of the pilots. A B-24 was flying at the wrong altitude which caused the head on collision.