Maj. (Ret.) Arch Arthur served with honor
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Born into a heroic military family, Arch Seewald Arthur took up the mantle in his life.
His great-grandfather Pvt. Max Hurt was shot in the head and left for dead during the Civil War, but survived.
His father Lt. Arch Wood Hurt Seewald, wounded twice in World War II as a platoon leader before and during the Battle of the Bulge, was killed during the Battle of Remagen on March 5, 1945.
Arthur was 13 months old. Widowed with a small toddler, his mother Gertrude Wheelock Seewald of Birmingham married Navy Lt. Harry Baker “Bo” Arthur, Jr. who adopted Arthur.
Capt. Bo Arthur retired as a Naval Supply Corps Officer with four stripes.
Arthur continued the family tradition attending Randolph-Macon, Culver and U.S. Naval Military academies.
He married his college sweetheart Judith Kennedy his junior year and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Asian studies.
After graduation, he went to flight training in 1968 and graduated from Lackland OCS, Officer Candidate School, and the first class of F-4 WSO Weapons System Officers.
In 1971, Capt. Arthur went to DeNang Air Force Base, Vietnam, as F-4 WSO flying “stormy missions.”
During a mission over North Vietnam on April 28, 1972, Arthur was shot down by Vietcong with his pilot Mike Francisco near the same place where 1st Lt. Iceal “Gene” Hambleton was shot down and rescued, the subject of the movie Bat 21.
They ejected over water 1,000 meters from shore and were rescued by “Jolly Green Giant” helicopter.
The helicopter dropped the traditional two orange smoke bombs flying over the base symbolizing the rescue of two men.
Maj. Arthur retired from the Air Force in 1987 with many medals including two Distinguished Flying Crosses, one for heroism and one for extraordinary achievement, 11 Air Medals and Purple Heart.
He was the Commander of the Lorenzo Burrows American Legion Chapter in Buffalo, N.Y., where he worked as an avionics program officer after military retirement.
The Arthurs live in Maylene and have two married sons and six grandchildren.
“I love living in Shelby County where we are close to family with nice weather, friendly people, local responsible government and affordable taxes,” he said.