Landmarks of Dekalb County, Alabama

World War II Veterans Book: Arthur Lee Cobble

An Excerpt

Arthur Lee Cobble was born July 1, 1922.
He died October 4, 2007.
Father: William Henry Cobble
Mother: Nellie Jane (Moon) Cobble.
Wife: Fannie (Wellborn) Cobble.
Date of marriage: October 27, 1945.
Children: Arthur Lee Cobble, Jr., Charlotte Baldwin.
Brothers: William Henry (“Bill”) Cobble, Jr., Robert Ray Cobble.
Sisters: Mary Pyron, Gwendolyn (“Syd”) Burros, Julia Ann Malcom.

Arthur Lee Cobble

Arthur Lee Cobble enlisted to serve in the US Army Air Force December 1, 1942 in Birmingham. When he was honorably discharged October 13, 1945 from Greensboro, North Carolina, he had advanced from the rank of corporal to the rank of staff sergeant.

After months of basic training, Cobble met several objectives. He successfully completed courses of instruction in radar observation and sea search, thus earning the Aircrew Member Wings. He also received his Qualification Badges as a marksman with a carbine and a pistol. On January 17, 1945, Cobble departed for the Pacific Theater and arrived in the Marianas Islands January 22. He was assigned to the 1st Bombardment Squad, 9th Bomb Group, 313th Bombardment Wing, 20th Air Force.

Damage done by the 20th Air Force was devastating to Japan’s industry, and severely crippled its ability to fight. Because of the long ranges involved, the 20th Air Force was equipped with B-29s, the longest range bomber in the world at that time.

While in the Pacific, Arthur was stationed on Tinian Island in the Marianas. He flew 35 missions against the Japanese Empire as the radar operator on a B-29. Most of the missions were flown at night, and took 17 to 18 hours.

He said that each of the 35 missions he flew over Japan had its scary moments, but one in particular was frightening for him. During a flight over Magoya all but one of their bombs released. The airplane commander ordered Cobble to go to the open bomb bay and try to free the bomb which was hanging on one side. Another crew member and Cobble tried to get it to release but it would not budge. They were able to close the bomb bay doors, but had to fly back home to Tinian Island with the bomb hanging on one side.

Medals awarded: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three Bronze Battle Stars, World War II Victory Medal.

Arthur Cobble left his hometown of Fort Payne to serve his country. After discharge he returned to Fort Payne and joined the family hosiery business. He is buried in Glenwood Cemetery.