Arthur was born in Woburn MA. in 1902 but lived most of his life in Beverly MA. He joined the Navy in March of 1919 at Lynn MA when he was 17 years old.  His first assignment was the cruiser Baltimore CM-1 where he served for three years until it was scheduled to be decommissioned in 1922. He was reassigned to the Battleship USS Mississippi BB-41 where he served for ten months. This was the first of three battle ships that he was to serve on, the other two being the USS Wyoming and the USS Arkansas. In addition to the 4 ships mentioned above, he also served on 8 destroyers and a combination aircraft tender and mine layer (USS Shawmut, later renamed USS Oglala) and his last ship was the USS Harry Lee. He was a qualified helmsman but his expertise was in ordinance and gunnery.

He reported on board the Harry Lee as a Chief Gunners Mate/Chief Petty Officer on 17 December 1940 as ordered. He was almost 39 years old at the time. The ship was commissioned ten days later on 27 December 1940.  He served through all 7 amphibious invasions and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received during the Sicily landing.  As he stated in his journals on July 11, 1943. “At sunset while undergoing an alert, a 20 m/m shell from some outside source burst in the #3 gun tub injuring myself, Heath, Doyle and 5 others.  Sustained heavy air attacks after dark by dive bombers. 5 planes down all guns firing.”  He kept journals for virtually every day aboard the Lee.

He left the Harry Lee on 16 August 1945 after the Japanese surrender. He had served on the Lee for 4 yrs and 8 months.  He was transferred to Boston where he was discharged on 5 September 1945.  He was recommended for reenlistment which he did.  His final discharge came on 31 March 1952 at age 50 and after 33 years with the Navy. He had served for 8 years in the regular navy and 25 years in the USNR. He passed away on 31 April 1956 after suffering his second heart attack.

"Wackiest Ship the Navy Ever Saw"
Click HERE for a

Newspaper Article from 35-40 years ago
about the USS HARRY LEE!

sent to us by
daughter of Shipmate ARTHUR L. McELHINEY

Photos of Gunners Mates - provided by John McElhiney, son of Shipmate Arthur McElhiney

Back row:    Heath     Gayda      McElhiney     VeenHuyzen     Price
Center Row:   Vanderpool     VanKainen     Pimenlauf     McMahon      Thomason
Front Row:    Drumm     Wagner     Gordan     Jones     Doyle