Sunday, February 25, 2024

Avenue of Heroes: Arthur D. Ronimus Jr.

Prepared by: John Nolan (friend)

Arthur Dyer Ronimus, Jr, was born on August 22, 1922, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Arthur and Julia Ronimus, and to an older sister, Eleanor. CDR A.D. wanted to be a pilot early on in life and enjoyed learning, which later led to a lifelong pursuit at multiple universities and to several degrees; however, flying was his true passion.

At 19 years old, he enlisted in the Navy as an Aviation Cadet and was commissioned in 1944. From several west coast Naval Air Stations, his flight operations in 1944 through 1946 took place in the Pacific Theater, from San Diego, San Francisco, Hawaii, New Guinea, Australia, the Philippine Islands, Japan, Australia, the Solomon Islands, China, to Vietnam. He received two Air Medals for bravery and outstanding contributions to the war effort in the Pacific.

From 1946 to 1952, Arthur was stationed on the East Coast flying in NATS squadrons, flying to Cuba, the Azores, Europe, Greenland, and to Canada. He served as the OPS duty officer in Anacostia NAS, and then stationed at Westover NAS from 1952 to 1954. Then, he was stationed at Monterey Naval Post Graduate School and in 1954 earned a master’s degree. Duty station at NAS North Island followed, and Ronimus served as patrol bomber (PBY) pilot assigned to VP 48. In 1957, he was stationed to NAS Floyd Bennett Field in New York and then assigned to the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

He returned to NAS North Island in 1960 as VP 48’s Commanding Officer, followed by serving as the first Naval Officer to report to the Under Sea Warfare Council for Research and Development at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in White Maryland – where CDR A.D. was instrumental in a study of anti-submarine warfare. His last assignment was in 1968 at NAS Lemoore as the Base Administration Officer. Arthur honorably retired in 1969 as a Commander after 27 years of honorable service. He was pilot rated in nearly 30 types of aircraft and flew over 15,000 hours in his years of service.

After retirement, he volunteered at the Coronado Library, the Navy Relief Child Care, and NAS North Island, with the support of his wife Doris. Before CDR A.D.’s passing in 2005, he and Doris traveled the world and were Hotel Del Beach and Tennis members for many years, playing tennis and enjoying the pool.

The Avenue of Heroes Program is a military service recognition program sponsored by the City of Coronado. Introduced in 2014, the program has honored 230 hometown heroes to date. On May 20, 2023, another 15 were honored. City staff and volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422, the Coronado Historical Association and the Third and Fourth Streets Neighborhood Association oversee its operation. In 2011, the program was inspired spontaneously with the movement of two Navy SEALs to their final resting place. News spread quickly throughout the city and the local Rotary Club passed out American flags. People lined Fourth Street to honor the fallen service members. As the procession approached the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, a lone Navy SEAL stood at attention, saluting as he waited for the passage of his comrades. At that moment, it was clear that Third and Fourth streets were already an Avenue of Heroes. From that spontaneous beginning, the program was launched in May 2015 with 18 banners. Ceremonies are held twice yearly and men and women with ties to the community have been recognized from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Avenue of Heroes program is a reminder that Coronado has a rich history and legacy of service to country.

Bella Villarin
Bella Villarin
Bella is a proud military brat who has been a resident of Coronado since 2015. She was born in Japan, and after a short stay in Virginia, traveled extensively throughout Asia while living in Singapore and picking up another language. A senior at Coronado High School, Bella can be found at the driving range or golf course when not in school, studying, writing, playing the guitar, or spending time with her family. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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