Vern L. Arnold

December 16, 1916March 26, 2011

Vern L. Arnold

Vern L. Arnold, 94, of Yakima, WA, died Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Landmark Care Center after a brief illness. He was born in Seattle on December 16, 1916, the son of Vern and Bess (McNeel) Arnold.

He entered the U.S. Air Force and trained as a Bombardier serving with the 384th Bomb Group based at Grafton Underwood, England. Having completed 30 missions, he was honorably discharged on June 9, 1945. After “the War,” he continued in the title business retiring from his position as Chief Title Officer at Chicago Title in 1983. He served as president of the Washington Land Title Association. An avid photographer, he worked for the state of Washington as a professional photographer, won a photo contest at the Seattle Times, and had his work exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum.

Vern married Ruth Bruty in Seattle on April 17, 1942 . She died in September, 1984. On February 15, 1986, he married Peggy Kissling in Yakima, WA. Until 2007 he and Peggy divided their time between the condo in Yakima and their home on Whidbey Island.

In his retirement years, Vern attended several reunions of his 384th group in the U.S. as well as England and until early February was a regular volunteer at the McAllister Museum of Aviation in Yakima.

Vern loved sharing and hearing stories about B-17s and “the” He was willing to share his war story with civic groups, students, and visitors to the McAllister Museum. In 2004, he wrote B-17 Bombardier Vern Arnold, A History of an Air Crew Member of the 384th Bomb Group.

Vern is survived by his children, Sandra Millson, Richard (Deborah) Arnold, Robert (Pamela) Arnold, Judie Engel, son-in-law, Bruce Smith; step children, Gary (Nancy) Kissling, Andrew (Jill) Kissling, grandchildren, Eric, Kenneth, and Deanna Engel, Peter Arnold; step grandchildren, James Patrick (JP) Kissling, Amy (Devin) Casto , Rory (Janelle) Kissling and Jared Kissling; great grandchildren, Raushan Engel-Pearson; and step grand children, Maddie and Miah Casto and Colton Kissling. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Jan Smith. His wife, Margaret “Peggy” Arnold died on March 30, 2011.

A military interment service will be held at the Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA. on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. Keith & Keith Funeral Home are entrusted with the arrangements.


  • Graveside Service Friday, April 8, 2011

Vern L. Arnold

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Lee and Kathy Olson

April 8, 2011

Vern and Peggy were our neighbors on Whidbey Island from 1995 to 2004, and we've never had nicer neighbors. I have his fascinating book about his B-17 experiences. Vern was so proud of his Norden bombsight and we're happy to see it's in a museum now. Because of his land title experience, we often used his expertise to guide us in our decisions in our housing development. We were so sorry to hear of the passing of both Vern and Peggy. How very much they will be missed.

Tom & Linda Rowley

April 8, 2011

Linda and I met Vern as members of the 384 Bomb Group. We attended several reunions with Vern inclunding the Grafton Underwood reunion in England.

Vern was truly a member of the greatest generation. He was a good friend, modest about his accomplishments, very helpful and a key member of the 384th Bomb Group.

We will truly miss him and wish his family all the best at a difficult time.

Will Moore

April 8, 2011

I only met Vern once at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in England, he was with other bomb group airmen. He struck me as a very good chap and oh so modest.
I am very sorry to hear that he has left us. My very best wishes to his family.
Will Moore SplashOne Aviation Images.

Bob Brine

April 8, 2011

Vern was a terrific mentor and example to so many, including me. A true patriot, and a great friend of Claire's & mine. A mutual friend of ours summed up Vern much better than can I. I quote: "good life; good friend; good man". All that, and much more.

April 6, 2011

You were a great neighbor. You will certainly be missed.

Wayne & Gladys Bath
Whidbey Island

Rob Jacobsen

April 6, 2011

I didn't meet Vern until this past summer, it was by chance that we had him as a guest at one of our Submarine Veteran's meetings that we hold locally each month. He had been noticed by one of our members and invited to attend our meeting. As luck would have it, he was open to speak of his experiences which immediately endeared him to everyone there. Soon after that several of us had the good fortune to meet with him at one of our local coffee shops near his home where he presented us with copies of his book. We are thankful for his Son's prompting to get him to collect his experiences and put them in print. He is one of the "Greatest Generation" warriors and I will always be grateful for the chance meeting and followup get together that we had. You have served well, R.I.P.