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MajGen Armstrong

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  • MajGen Armstrong

    From the mailbag

    I am the grandson of retired Maj. Gen. Armstrong. I am trying gather up as much information about my grandfather as possible. Also, is there anyone on this site I could contact to gather any more information about my grandfather this site might contain. He just turned 92, living outside of MCAS Cherry, NC and as a personal project, I am trying to gather as much information about him that I have not already discussed with him. It would greatly be appreicated.
    Thank you.
    Patrick S. Armstrong Goold

  • #2
    Is this the General Armstrong that was CG of 1st MAW in Vietnam in 1970? I might be wrong, but I think that there was more than one Marine General with the last name; Armstrong.


    • #3
      Major General Victor A. Armstrong retired from the Marine Corps on July 1, 1978.

      General Armstrong was born in Bozeman, Montana, and attended high school at the Far Eastern Academy, Shanghai, China, graduating in 1936. He received his B.A. degree in Science from Walla Walla College, College Place, Washington, in 1942.

      In May 1942, he entered the Aviation Cadet Program and underwent flight training at the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas. He was commissioned a second lieutenant on March 16, 1943, and designated a Naval Aviator April 3, 1943.

      During World War II, he was a fighter pilot with Marine Fighter Squadron 312 (VMF-312), Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG-33), and participated in aerial operations in the South Pacific, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and his first Air Medal in the Ryukyu Islands area.

      Following World War II, he was a squadron pilot and filled a number of staff billets with VRF-2, Headquarters Squadron, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, and with Air, Fleet Marine Force, Western Pacific.

      In June 1948, he was assigned to Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, and Marine Corps Air Station, Quantico, where he completed the Junior Amphibious Warfare Course in May 1949.

      During the Korean conflict, General Armstrong served as Executive Officer, VMO-6, with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. As such, he was in charge of the helicopters of the squadron. This was the first employment of helicopters in combat for the Marine Corps and was in support of the 1st Brigade in the Pusan Perimeter, the Inchon Landing, and in the Chosin Reservoir. There, he directed and participated in the earliest combat helicopter operations, gaining extensive knowledge about the tactical employment of the helicopter. During the Korean conflict, he earned the Silver Star Medal with one gold star in lieu of a second award, a third Distinguished Flying Cross and his second through seventh Air Medals.

      Upon his return to the United States in December 1950, he served with Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-l) and the Marine Corps Equipment Board at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, and was subsequently promoted to major in June 1952. In 1953, he was transferred to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California, where he served as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of HMR-163, Marine Aircraft Group (HR-16). This unit was deployed to Japan during that year and joined the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing for duty. In September 1954, he reported to Headquarters Marine Corps for duty as Assistant Head, Logistics and Materiel Branch, Division of Aviation. In November 1957, he returned to the Marine Corps Air Station, Quantico, and served as Executive Officer, and later, Commanding Officer, Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-l) until April 1961. During this period, he was Senior Presidential Helicopter Pilot for both President's Eisenhower and Kennedy. While stationed at Quantico, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in July 1959.

      In April 1962, General Armstrong completed the Indonesian Language School, Monterey, California, and then reported as Naval Attache, Djakarta, for a three year tour. He was promoted to colonel in July 1965.

      Upon his return to the United States, he completed the course of instruction at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island in June 1966, after which he reported to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Vietnam. He served as Commanding Officer, MAG-36, and later as Commanding Officer, Marine Wing Support Group 17. For his service in Vietnam, he earned the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", his fourth through seventh Distinguished Flying Crosses, and his eighth through 12th Air Medals.

      From June 1967 until September 1969, General Armstrong was assigned as Assistant Head and later Head, Assignment and Classification Branch, Personnel Department, Headquarters Marine Corps. After his promotion to brigadier general in September 1969, he was assigned duty as Marine Corps Liaison Officer (0P-09M), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and earned a second award of the Legion of Merit.

      A third award of the Legion of Merit was presented to him for his service as Commanding General, 1st Marine Brigade at Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe, Hawaii, from October 1970 through August 1972.

      In October 1972, General Armstrong became the Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, where he received his fourth award of the Legion of Merit. In August 1973, he returned to Headquarters Marine Corps and assumed the responsibilities as the Director of Information. He was advanced to the rank of major general on March 28, 1974, and the following month undertook the duties of Commanding General, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Upon his return to the U.S., in January 1975, he became Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, DC.


      • #4
        MajGen Armstrong

        I have orders signed by A. J. Armstrong, Major General, U. S. Marine Corps, Commanding while I was assigned to the 1st MAW in 1970. If I look hard enough, I may be able to find a picture of him.


        • #5
          I served in 1st MAW from November 1969-November 1970 in MWFS-1 at Danang. MGen Alan J. Armstrong was the CG. I don't know whether he and MGen Victor Armstrong were related, but both were very gracious men who embodied the leadership we all admire and respond to. Both will be missed.