As a junior officer he had duty on board two cruisers and three destroyers - INDIANAPOLIS, VINCENNES, GREER, SELFRIDGE, and HERNDCN. There followed a tour in USS BARNETT, then called a Marine Transport but later designated Attack Transport, during the early days of training and developing tactics for amphibious forces. He left this duty during the Solomons Campaign.
As a Lieutenant Commander, he took command of the destroyer ANTHONY and participated in the Pacific Campaigns for the Mariannas, Western Caroline's, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. For duty on the famous "nickel line" at Okinawa, ANTHONY was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, and her commanding officer the Navy Cross and the Silver Star Medal.
His career continued in destroyers -- command of PERRY, Destroyer Tender TIDEWATER, Escort Squadron TEN, Destroyer Squadron 36, Chief of Staff of the Destroyer Force Atlantic. In Flag rank he commanded Destroyer Flotilla ONE, the South Atlantic Force, and the Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic.
Ashore, he had duty with the Naval ROTC Units at the University of Oklahoma and at Duke University was on the staff of the Naval War College; was Naval Attaché and Naval Attached for Air in Paris; was in the Strategic Plans Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In flag rank he was Director of the Joint War Games Agency of the Joint Staff in Washington; Deputy Chief of Staff of the U.S. European Command in Germany; Commander Western Sea Frontier and Commandant TWELFTH Naval District, San Francisco.
Retired on June 30, 1973, RADM Van Arsdall was recalled to active duty on February 20, 1974, and at the end of that month became Governor of the 1.1.5. Naval Home, Philadelphia. He continued as Governor of the Naval Home during the construction of the new Naval Home in Gulfport, Mississippi, preparing that installation to receive the Residents from Philadelphia during August 1976, and disestablishing the Home at Philadelphia in September 1976. RADM Van Arsdall retired as Governor of the Naval Home in August 1977.
RADM Van Arsdall is married to the former Jean Carter, and they make their home in Gulfport.