Arbury, Howard H. (772nd, 4th Grp, 2nd Brg, 608th, 820th, 821st)

Howard H Arbury 1Howard H. Arbury

Biography:  Howard Hosom Arbury was born on August 28, 1906, in Detroit, Michigan. He was the son of Andrew Stephen Arbury and Pearl Anderson and grew up in Midland, Michigan, graduating from Midland High School.

Howard enlisted in the Michigan National Guard on February 14, 1923, and was assigned to the 107th Motorcycle Company. On May 16, 1928, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps and continued with them after he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Howard married Marie Angelus Kathryn Duford on March 13, 1929, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Marie was born in Bay City, Michigan, and was the daughter of Alfred Duford and Elizabeth Young. The couple had two children, William and Ruth. 

The 107th was redesignated as Company F, 107th Quartermaster Regiment, and Howard took command on December 20, 1936. He was promoted to Captain in March of 1938 and was assigned to the 2nd battalion of the 177th Field Artillery Regiment. He was promoted to Major in September of 1940, and finally the unit’s Executive Officer when it was called into active duty in April of 1941.

Service Time:  In December of 1941, Howard was transferred to the 772nd Tank Destroyer Battalion, serving as its Executive Officer. From September 1942 to February 1943, he was then assigned to the 4th Tank Destroyer Group, serving as its S-3 Operatiions Officer and then transferred to the 2nd Tank Destroyer Brigade. In January of 1943, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel.

From July of 1943 to February, 1944, he first commanded the 608th and then took over the 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion. In February, he was placed in command of the 821st, which he commanded in the ETO (European Theater of Operations), throughout the unit’s time overseas. While in Europe, the 821st was assigned to the 29th and 35th Infantry Divisions and received credit for the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. Lt, Col. Arbury received the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in military operations against the enemy and in March of 1945, he received the Oak Leaf Cluster denoting his second award of the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service for military operations against the enemy.

In civilian life, Howard became part of the Insurance company started by his father, A.S. Arbury & Sons. By 1955, he is listed as the company’s President. He later served as a Director of the Midland National Bank and was the secretary and Director of the Collinson Contribution Company. He also held positions at a number of other institutions.

The Michigan National Guard was reactivated and Howard was assigned to the 46th Infantry Division as the division quartermaster until March of 1959, when he was reassigned as the trains commander for the division. He was promoted to full Colonel in April of that same year. In September of 1960, he was given command of the 1st Battle Group, 125th Infantry, and on December 21, 1962, he was appointed Assistant Division Commander and Federally recognized as a Brigadier General of the Line of April 9, 1963, retiring in 1966.

In addition to the Bronze Star, he also received the American Defense Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the EAME Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the Armed Forces Medal with two devices and the Michigan National Guard Medal with oak-leaf cluster. He was a member of the Michigan National Guard Associations of the United States and Michigan, the Michigan and National Associations of Insurance Agents, the Rotary, Masons, Elks and the American Legion.

Howard H. Arbury grave markerHoward passed away on January 21, 1992, and was buried in the Midland City Cemetery, in Midland, Michigan. I want to thank Howard’s grandson, Mark, for providing the information and main photo for this tribute. Much of the information came from a General Officers of the National Guard publication. Thank you to Gladwingal (L Heller) a Find-a-Grave contributor, for the grave marker photo, used by permission.