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Arcement, Norman

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Norman "Bud" Arcement was born 16 November 1922 in Raceland, Louisina. After leaving school in 1936, he lived in the New Orleans area, working at several sugar refineries. In November 1942 he joined the US Navy and was sent to San Diego, California, for Basic Training, and in early 1943 to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for advanced training as an electrician. At the conclusion of electrician school Bud volunteered for the submarine service and in November 1943 was sent to New London, Connecticut, for this training. Here Bud joined the crew of a new submarine, the USS Pampanito (SS-383), and spent the next two months on sea trials and training exercises in the Atlantic. The Pampanito left Portsmouth, New Hampshire, sailed through the Panama Canal, and arrived in Pearl Harbor in February 1944; she left on her first war patrol the following month. Between March 1944 and April 1945 the Pampanito completed six war patrols, and Bud Arcement was on every one of them. As electrician's mate, Bud worked in the maneuvering room, where the submarine's changes in speed were made in response to orders from the conning tower, bridge, or control room. Pampanito patrolled from the Central Pacific to the Indian Ocean, and from the coast of Japan to Australia; during her six patrols she sank six Japanese vessels and damaged four others. In addition, in September 1944, Pampanito rescued 73 Australian and British POWs from a Japanese ship previously torpedoed by American submarines. Bud left Pampanito after her sixth patrol, returned stateside, and was assigned to a newly launched submarine, USS Tusk (SS-426). With the end of the war in August 1945, however, he never actually joined the crew. Bud was discharged in November 1945 with the rank of electrician's mate 2nd class. After military service, Bud moved to Minnesota to be with his wife, Frances (Olson) Arcement, whom he had married in May 1945. Settling in the Twin Cities area, Bud worked for a number of firms in the electrical trade, including Commonwealth Electric. Bud and Frances lived in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, until the mid-1960s, at which time they moved to May Township, Minnesota. Bud retired in 1984, and passed away in 2002.


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Bud Arcement - Transcript.pdf (645 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Bud Arcement