Arlington Sanford was born on December 21, 1923, in Danbury, Connecticut. He joined the Navy shortly after graduating from high school. After boot camp in Newport, Rhode Island, he went to diesel school in South Richmond, Virginia, and graduated as a Fireman First Class. He was then assigned to landing ship tank (LST-307) in Boston, Massachusetts. He shipped out of New York on St. Patrick's Day in 1943 and took part in the Sicilian Occupation, the Salerno Landings, and the Normandy Invasion. Sanford describes his close relationship with Jack Junior Faughn, Boatswain's Mate Second Class from Peoria, Illinois: We were closer than brothers. We were inseparable; everywhere we went together, all through the war and did the same thing. LST-307 was struck hard by German guns during the Normandy invasion off Sword Beach. Upon impact Sanford sped to the main deck where he found Faughn's badly injured body. I kind of held him and took care of him for a while, until the corpsman came, Sanford recalled. That's the last I ever saw him.