Arthur Marvin Lien
Service Information: Memorial Service Celebration of Life
Celebration of Life
Interment: Coon Valley Cemetery ~ Coon Valley, WI
Arthur Marvin Lien, age 91, died April 18, 2012 in Lacey, Washington. He was born at home in rural Lacrosse County, Wisconsin, the only child of Alvin and Mabel (Stafslien) Lien. He grew up on a small dairy farm in Vernon County, Wisconsin. Although his family had lived in Wisconsin for four generations, only Norwegian was spoken in his childhood home, and Arthur did not learn English until he started school. He graduated from high school in Westby, Wisconsin in 1938 and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Following the United States entry into World War II, Arthur attended flying school and then B-26 pilot training. He married his high school sweetheart, Alverda Larson on October 30, 1942. The following year, at the age of 22, he piloted his B-26 bomber, the “Thumbs Up,” to England, where he and his crew joined the 386th Bomb Group of the Ninth Air Force. He flew 70 bombing missions during that war, targeting enemy lines and factories in Germany and in occupied France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. On one of his missions, he carried the noted CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, who taped his evening broadcast while on the mission. Arthur also flew his B-26 on D-Day and never forgot the sight of the allied invasion force on the waters of the English Channel below.
After World War II, Arthur remained a career Air Force officer and was assigned to the 27th Fighter Wing, based in Austin, Texas, where he flew the F-82 long range twin mustang fighter and the F-84 fighter-bomber. During the Korean War, he was based in Korea and Japan and flew another 74 combat missions in support of U.S. ground troops on the Korean Peninsula. He returned to the United States in 1951, became a logistical officer, and was involved in the development programs for both the B-52 bomber and the U-2 surveillance aircraft.
After attending the Armed Forces Staff College, he was assigned to the Pentagon in 1957 and reassigned to the Pentagon following his graduation from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1962. He made three trips to Vietnam, where he again came under fire, and retired as a Colonel on August 1, 1966. He moved with his family to Bellevue, Washington where he worked for the Boeing Company as a logistical manager until his retirement in 1983.
Arthur was an avid reader and also loved the game of bridge. He and his wife, Alverda, frequently traveled to participate in duplicate bridge tournaments throughout Washington and other western states. He learned to use a computer at the local community college, and used this skill in his retirement hobby as a genealogist. He made several trips to Norway, using his knowledge of Norwegian to research church records going back to the 17th Century, and frequently lectured throughout the western United States on Scandinavian genealogical research. He was a founding member of the Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Bellevue, Washington, where he served on the governing board. Later in his life, some of his favorite moments were spent having breakfast after church with fellow members of the congregation.
Arthur is survived by his wife of 69 years, Alverda Lien; son John (Molly) of Traverse City, Michigan; son Richard (Susan) of Colorado Springs, Colorado; son Robert (Laurie) of Tumwater, Washington; granddaughter Cari (Scott) Dye and great grandson Samuel Dye of Colorado Springs, Colorado; grandson Christopher Lien, a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and a graduate of the Air Force Academy in 2007, currently based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; step grandson John (Anna) Warner of Chicago, Illinois; and step grandson Robert (Christine)Warner and step great grandson John Donovan Warner, of Traverse City, Michigan. Arthur was preceded in death by a son, James, who died at age 13. Arthur will be buried next to his son James in the cemetery adjacent to the Coon Valley Lutheran Church in Wisconsin, on land which was sold to the church by Arthur’s great grandfather.
A celebration of Arthur’s life will be held at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 2:00 p.m., Pastor Mitzi Miyamoto officiating. The service will be followed by interment and a gathering and refreshments at the church.
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