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In Memoriam: George Arnott Jr.

February 19, 2021

On October 25, 2020, the Museum lost a dear friend and invaluable member of our restoration team – George Arnott Jr.

George’s love for education and serving his community brought him to Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum as a volunteer. His skills as a successful engineer, coupled with his lovable personality, instantly made him the perfect fit for our restoration team. He spent many days in Hangar 79 – restoring planes, meeting World War II pilots, and “talking story” with the guys – but most of all, George loved sharing his excitement for history with our visitors.

George understood that you never stopped learning in life. He was constantly growing and inspiring those around him to do the same. The Museum is incredibly grateful to have had his insight, support, and friendship throughout the years. Especially missed will be his easy-going nature and ability to complete the most complicated tasks with precision and humility. The entire Museum staff will miss those days and the man who came to be known as a great volunteer and true friend.

George’s legacy of giving continues through his wife and daughters, who have created a GoFundMe page raising funds for the Museum in his memory. If you would like to make a donation in his honor, please click here.

Tribute from Randy Gratz, Manager, Restoration, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

The first time I met George Arnott was in 2014 while working the on the Museum’s Cessna 0-2. At the time, I was a part-time employee.

The 0-2 was in pieces, like a puzzle. We were trying to put together one aircraft with the parts from two others, using the best pieces of each to make one good aircraft. At one point, I was ready to give up while trying to get a wing strut to fit. George patiently worked the problem and was able to get all the parts to fit correctly together.

This is the George I will always remember – patient, understanding, and a great guy to work with.

Since 2014, George has contributed to the restoration of the majority of the aircraft in Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum’s historic Hangar 79, including:

  • Cessna 0-2 assembly, paint
  • T-6 Texan assembly, fabric repair
  • F-100 assembly, restoration
  • F-102 cockpit restoration
  • C-47 restoration
  • F-16 assembly, paint
  • B-52 restoration, paint
  • F-105 assembly
  • TBM Avenger restoration, radio mast installation

In addition to aircraft restoration, George was my go-to guy for the repair and maintenance of our vehicles. From changing engine starters to fixing tire flats, George was always willing to help. He had a hand in making sure everything was in tip-top shape, including:

  • Gas golf cart
  • Electric golf carts
  • Forklifts
  • Tugs
  • Vintage military vehicles
  • Museum pickup truck

George was such a friendly, easygoing guy to work with and, although he had a wealth of knowledge in many different things, he was also very humble.

I always told George that on the days he came to the restoration shop, I knew it would be a good day. I can’t tell you enough how much he meant to me and to the Museum, and how much he will be missed.

He was a great volunteer and a true friend.

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