LTjg Arnold Winfield Barden, Jr.

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LTjg Arnold Winfield Barden, Jr.'s Geni Profile

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LTjg Arnold Winfield Barden, Jr.

Birthplace: Gloucester, Essex, MA
Death: September 20, 1971 (25)
Killed In Vietnam
Immediate Family:

Son of Private; Col. Arnold Winfield Barden and Natalie Estelle Barden

Managed by: Meredith Tufts Bradley
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About LTjg Arnold Winfield Barden, Jr.

LTJG Barden was killed when his Huey helicopter, UH-1B threw a blade and crashed Vietnam. At the time of his death, he was assigned to the highly decorated and all volunteer Helicopter Attack Light Three HA(L)-3 "Seawolves".

Arnold Winfield Barden Jr. was born on April 2, 1946 in Gloucester, Massachusetts to Colonel Arnold Winfield Barden USMC and Natalie Estelle (Bradley) (Bardon) Keenan. He attended junior high school in Coronado, California and graduated from Huntington Beach High School. He attend Cal-State College at Long Beach before entering the United States Naval Academy on a Presidential Appointment. Midshipman Barden was a member of the fall 4th Battalion staff and graduated 677 of 878 Midshipmen on June 4, 1969.

In the 1969 Lucky Bag, Midshipman Barden’s roommate wrote:

Arne came to the Academy, via Presidential appointment, from Huntington Beach, California. Prior schooling included attendance at Villanova Preparatory School, and Cal-State College at Long Beach. His extra-curricular activities included the Log, Italian Club and Foreign Relations Club, in addition to being the Lucky Bag and Company Representative. He was a member of the Plebe gymnastics, Battalion and Varsity fencing teams, and the sailing squadron. Arne is a man capable of achievement over and above the average and expected modicum, always in search of enlargement and fulfillment, and in hot pursuit of a Walden Pool and a Convey Island.

From July 1969 to September 1970, Ensign Barden completed basic flight and helicopter flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola Florida.

In 1970, Ensign Barden attended Survival Training.

In 1970, Ensign Barden received Helicopter Transition and Tactical Training with the US Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

On January 8, 1971, LTJG Barden was assigned to USN River Patrol Force, Task Force 116 and Helicopter Attack (Light) Three “Seawolves” (HAL-3) Detachment 4 which operated out of Ben Luc, a Vietnamese fire base south of Saigon. He flew nearly every day putting rockets, machine guns and mini-gun to good use in support of the river patrol boats, SEAL teams and Army units who were always in need of air support. Half of the flights were at night, so getting a sleep cycle that worked took a little time. The Seawolves guaranteed that when called for help, they would launch and be enroute to the target in five minutes or less, day or night.

After quickly gaining the required combat experience as a copilot, Barden was designated as an Attack Helicopter Aircraft Commander and then as a Fire Team Leader. Because of the nature of our special warfare operations, Barden had great latitude and responsibility as a Fire Team Leader in selecting targets and employing tactics to save the lives of friendly troops.

On March 30, 1971, LTJG was awarded Air Medal for meritorious actions in air combat in Vietnam. He subsequently was awarded a second Air Medal.

On September 20, 1971, during a routine daylight patrol in Hau Nghia Province west of Saigon, a Seawolves gunship "disintegrated in mid-air" when his Huey helicopter, UH-1B (hull number 62-04602), threw a blade in the engine and crashed. Everyone on board was killed: the pilot, LTJG Barden; the copilot, LCDR Lawrence L. Cover; and door gunners, ADJ-2 Charles H. Goldbin and AMS-1 Harold E. Cowen. A rotor blade had broken off in flight, and the gunship was torn apart as it plummeted to earth. It was every helicopter pilot's worst nightmare, the kind of accident from which there is no reprieve.

Presidential Unit Citation

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in awarding the Presidential Unit Citation to Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 3 for the period July 1, 1970 to December 31, 1971.

LTJG Barden is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, San Diego California, Plot: D324-D.

LTJG Barden’s personal decorations includes: Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal (2), Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

LTJG Barden is remembered on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. on panel P-02W/ L-20.

LTJG Barden is remembered in Memorial Hall at the United States Naval Academy where his name is engraved under the “DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP” flag honor those alumni killed in action.

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LTjg Arnold Winfield Barden, Jr.'s Timeline

April 2, 1946
Gloucester, Essex, MA
September 20, 1971
Age 25
Killed In Vietnam
Navy Helicopter Pilot
San Diego, California