Woodbury County

Capt. Arnold J. Isbell




Navy Honors Native of Oto
Captain Arnold Isbell Wins Distinguished Service Medal

Washington—The Navy announced Monday awards to three native Iowans for heroism and meritorious service in the line of duty.

Capt. Arnold J. Isbell, 44, native of Oto, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his accomplished as a captain of an antisubmarine task force in the Atlantic from July 27 to November 9, 1943. The citation said his force “achieved a notable record of submarine sinking’s in this vitally strategic area.”

The Legion of Merit was presented to Capt. Philip R. Kinney., 47, native of Aurora, communication officer with the south Atlantic force. The citation declared “his vision, initiative and administrative ingenuity have resulted in a communication organization which has enabled the south Atlantic force to wage effective warfare against the enemy to the end that the submarine menace in the south Atlantic has been brought under control, and blockade runners attempting to get through have been sunk.”

Lieut. Comdr. James S. Clark, 31, who was born in Cedar Rapids, was awarded the Silver Star medal for his work as assistant approach officer and also as torpedo and gunnery officer of a submarine in the Pacific area. He was on four war patrols and made two trips by submarine to Corregidor fortress. The citation said “his outstanding ability and inspiring leadership contributed materially to the destruction of 11 hostile vessels and the damaging of another.”

Source: The Sioux City Journal, March 28, 1944

Capt. A. J. Isbell, Oto, Iowa, Native, Wins Air Medal

Des Moines—Special: Capt. Arnold J. Isbell, of the Navy, who was born in Oto, Iowa and who was previously awarded the distinguished service medal, has now been awarded the air medal. Capt. Isbell’s citation reads;

“For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as commanding officer of V.P. squadron, 54 during the initial selection and survey of United States army and navy bases in Newfoundland in September and October 1940. Skillfully maneuvering his plane in an attempt to evade a hurricane while en route with an accompanying craft to a rendezvous with high military officials in Newfoundland, Capt. (then Commander) Isbell was finally forced by exceptionally strong headwinds to effect a night landing on Prince Edward Island. Menaced by the hurricane center, which was but 20 miles distant, he took off before daylight in fog and violent winds and reached his destination without mishap. Successfully completing the inspection for over uninhabited regions and seacoast areas, Capt. Isbell returned later to carry out the first aerial survey ever made of Argentia, Newfoundland. His expert airmanship and tenacious devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States naval services.”

Capt. Isbell was previously the commanding officer of an antisubmarine task group given the presidential unit citation.

Source:  The Sioux City Journal, April 17, 1944