September 14, 1922 —
January 1, 1943 — May 16, 1955
Killed in Action: No
Gene was born in Elmo, Kansas to Benjamin and Alla (Rutz) Arnold. After graduation from Abilene High School, Gene attended college in Wichita. While in school he began working for Southwestern Bell Telephone as a part time coin collector. In October, 1942 he married Willetta F. Irby of Wichita. As he was completing his enlistment papers, Gene was drafted into the Army in January 1943 and completed basic training at Camp Polk, Louisiana. Because he had completed nearly 2 years of college, Gene rose through the ranks very quickly. After basic, he was sent to Miami, where he decided to transfer to the Army Air Corps. He began pilot training in Bozeman, Montana. On November 20, 1944, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant while stationed in Santa Maria, California. Because of his skill as a pilot, his commanding officers kept recommending him for further training on newer and bigger planes so he was never deployed overseas. His last assignment was as a pilot on a B-29. After leaving the service he returned to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, retiring in 1979 as an Assistant Vice President of the Rates Department. He is the father of 2 daughters (Jeanne Batha and Linda Ingram), grandfather of 3 and great grandfather of 7. He currently resides in Abilene.
Prisoner of War: Unknown
This submission is honored by: Daughter, Jeanne Batha