Arthur was born in New York City and moved to Washington DC at the age of four. He graduated from the Theodore Roosevelt High School.
After serving as a pharmacist's mate aboard U.S. Navy ships in the Pacific Theater during World War II, he graduated from George Washington University and went to work as a historian in the National Archives.
In August 1948 he quit his job to join the Israel Navy during Israel's War of Independence. Paul Shulman had recruited him. On 18th August 1948 Arthur was asked to report for duty by 22nd August. At the time, Arthur had been dating Annette for about a year, and they decided to marry on 21st August in Virginia.
On arrival in Israel, he served as a ship's medic in the Israel Navy. Annette waited for him at the dock whenever the ship returned from engagements or patrol duty in the eastern Mediterranean. She worked for the Israeli Government in the field of statistics and finance.
Arthur later related to his grandchildren how frogmen from his ship attached explosives to the Egyptian ship, the "King Farouk," and succeeded in sinking it. He returned to the USA in 1949.
Source: American Veterans of Israel Newsletter: Winter 2001