Last Update: November 9, 2020 November 9, 2020

A Tribute Honoring

Arizona World War II Submarine Veteran

Buford Young Arney, Seaman Second Class


Phoenix (Florence), Arizona

The only known photograph of Buford Young Arney

    Buford Young Arney was born on 22 May 1925 in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona to Benjamin Roe and Mary Magadalene Patrick Arney. Benjamin "Ben" made a living as an Automobile Mechanic while the couple raised their two sons Ben Edward the older born in 1921 and Buford.  Buford attended and graduated from Florence High School in 1942.  During his school years, Buford participated in the Boy Scouts and participated in the 4-H Club achieving several awards.  He was also one of the many players on the school's basketball team that played other local area high schools.  Buford's father Ben Roe Arney is noted to have served in the U.S. Army as a Private First Class during World War I.  His grave marker is shown below.


   On 8 March 1943, Buford enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Phoenix and after receiving basic training at an unknown base, he became a Seaman Second Class. There is very little information found in the World War II Navy Muster Reports about him, but what was found indicates Buford departed the San Francisco area on the troop transport, USS Rochambeau (AP-63) bound for the South Pacific. The Rochambeau was noted to have made 5 round trips from the west coast of the U.S. to the Central and South Pacific between October 1943 and January 1945.   A diary entry reflected that Buford was transferred from the Rochambeau to the Receiving Station Navy #134 on 12 August 1943. Navy #134 was established by the U.S. Navy at Brisbane to support the war effort. On 17 October 1943, Buford was transferred from the USS Pompon's Relief Crew to the Balao class diesel electric submarine USS Capelin (SS-289). Under the command of Commander E.E. Marshall, the Capelin conducted two combat war patrols as follows: #1 from 30 October 1943 to 16 November 43 departing Brisbane and return to Darwin.  On 17 November 1943 the USS Capelin and its crew of 76 men departed Darwin for its second (and last) patrol.  Records reflect that the Capelin was lost at-sea possibly struck by a mine on 2 December 1943 off the Celebes Island, off Kaoe Bay. 

USS Capelin (SS-289) Loss Location
   Buford never married.  He was survived by his parents, and his brother Ben Edward.  Buford's father and mother died in 1954 and 2011, respectively.  Ben Edward served with the Navy SeaBees in the Asiatic-Pacific.  During his service, his obituary reported he received two Bronze Stars with "V" device.  He was married three times and raised a son and two daughters. Ben Edward died on 8 November 2011 while living in Casa Grande, Arizona where he had worked for Reynolds Metals Company as a foreman. He had 42 grandchildren and 78 great grandchildren.  He lived to be 90.


Click here to join the ASSM email list. 

Like what you see here, tell us about it! Click here.


Copyright © 2015 through 2020

Website developed and maintained by Ray Olszewski USS TUNNY (SSG-282) 1958-1962 Boat Yeoman YN1(SS) and IS1(SS) USSVI Life Member and Author of USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute and Memoir.