Arthur Curtis Day was born in Manila, Philippines on 13 July 1921. He was the son of US Army Colonel John Day and Georgia Day. Arthur was a 1939 graduate of Rogers High School, Newport, Rhode Island and entered the Rhode Island State College in September 1940 majoring in Civil Engineering. He participated in the Army ROTC program during his time at RISC. Arthur left RISC after his freshman year and later volunteered and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
He completed his basic training and Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps in 1943. Second Lieutenant Day attended the Marine Corps Officer Training Program at Quantico, Virginia and deployed to the Pacific Theater in late 1944. He was assigned as an Infantry Platoon Leader with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
He was involved in combat operations throughout his assignment and took part in the landing and battle of Okinawa in April 1945. The Battle of Okinawa, code named “Operation Iceberg,” was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The 82-day long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were approaching Japan and planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 340 miles away from mainland Japan, as a base for air operations on the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland.
In June 1945, the Battle of Okinawa raged on. The loss of life and the willingness of the Japanese to fight to the last man were beyond comprehension of American leaders and soldiers. The battle resulted in the highest number of casualties in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Sadly, Lt. Arthur C. Day was Killed in Action on 14 June 1945. He was initially buried with full military honors at the Okinawa First Division Cemetery, Ryukyu Retto. On 11 March 1949, his remains were finally interred with full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
2Lt. Arthur C. Day was posthumously awarded the Combat Action Ribbon and the Purple Heart. He is a true Rhode Island hero in every sense of the word. He gave his life in service to Rhode Island and America. He is a heroic member of the “Greatest Generation.”