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Col John William "Bill / Jack / Army" Armstrong
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Birth: Dec. 5, 1926
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Death: Nov. 9, 1967, Laos

In Memory of ...... Col. John William Armstrong.
*** John William Armstrong, Colonel Unit: 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron Serial Number: 449306236
Notes: Colonel Armstrong was the squadron commander of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On November 9, 1967, he was flying in a McDonnell Douglas Phantom II Fighter (F-4C) over the Ho Chi Minh Trail when his aircraft was hit by a surface to air missile. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 47
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Dec 5, 1926
Born in Dallas, Texas.
Religion: BAPTIST
Marital Status: Married - Margarete B. Armstrong of Universal City, Texas and Son, Thomas K. Armstrong. Parents: Father, Walter T. Armstrong and Mother, Mary Lois Anderson Armstrong. Sister, Betty Susan Armstrong, Born April 15, 1931 in Dallas, Tx.
?Daughter, Kathryn Armstrong Born June 3, 1947 in Dallas, Tx. Daughter, Lynn Armstrong, Born Aug. 30, 1948 in Dallas, Tx. Son, Thomas Figh Armstrong, Born Sept. 19, 1951 in Dallas,Tx.

***** Garland Memorial Park - Garland, Tx.
The cemetery has no record of a headstone for John W. Armstrong.
The photo I have placed here is the Armstrong Family plot at Garland Memorial Park. Knights of Pythias Section 3 Block 45.
There are 8 spaces in this plot.
On the front row from left to right are J.C., Jr. 2/16/1906-9/14/1933/38?space 1
Susan M. 1/29/1859-12/26/1933 space 2
Dr. Jno C. 9/6/1858-12/24/1934 space 3
Space 4 is empty
On the back row from left to right are
Space 5 is empty
Mary L. 1897-1942 space 6
Walter T. 1885-1954 Space 7
Gloria born/died 7/15/1924 space 8
~ James

****** "Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1935"
Name: John William Armstrong
Event Type: Birth
Event Date: 05 Dec 1926
Event Place: Dallas, Dallas, Texas, United States
Gender: Male
Father's Name: Walter T Armstrong
Mother's Name: Mary Lois Anderson

***** United States Census, 1940
Name: Walter T Armstrong
Event Type: Census Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Garland, Dallas, Texas, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 54
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Relationship to Head of Household: Head
Birthplace: Texas
Birth Year: 1886
Last Place of Residence: Same House
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
Walter T Armstrong Head M 54 Texas
Mary L Armstrong Wife F 42 Mississippi
John W Armstrong Son M 13 Texas
Betty S Armstrong Daughter F 8 Texas

His tour began on Nov 9, 1967
Casualty was on Jun 7, 1974
Hostile, died while missing, FIXED WING - CREW
Body was not recovered
Panel 29E - Line 55

Other Personnel in Incident: Lance P. Sijan (Died in Captivity, Remains returned)

Bill's last military assignment was to DaNang Air Base in Vietnam as Commander of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

On the night of November 9, 1967, while on a bombing mission over Laos, his aircraft was destroyed.

His body was never recovered.


John William Armstrong was born 5 December 1926 and grew up in Garland, Texas a suburb of Dallas. During his youth hardly anyone knew that his first name was John; he was always known as Bill. Not until his Academy days did he acquire such names as Jack or appropriately, Army.

Always a good youngster and student, Bill blossomed in his high school years to become exceptional. He was a standout at every aspect of teenage life in the early 1940's. He was a social, academic and sports leader. He graduated as valedictorian of his 1944 Garland High School class. He had been class president, captain of the bi-district championship football team and editor of the school yearbook. He won the school leadership award and was elected most popular boy. He participated in every team sport offered and lettered in them all. Upon graduation, he won a scholarship to Southern Methodist University. Bill always had roots in Garland, and he was remembered there. In 1988 a public park in the city was named in his honor.

It was during his year at SMU that he became interested in West Point, and, as a result of competing for a congressional appointment, he was admitted to West Point in July 1945. Bill's success continued at the Academy. In this broader setting, he again met every challenge, always with good humor and an engaging openness. He graduated 16th in his class of 574, participated in both intramural and varsity athletics, and was a cadet captain. Always busy, he was seldom too busy to pursue the fair sex. He maintained an exceptionally high level of physical fitness, which he continued throughout his life, also becoming an avid golfer. At graduation, Bill chose the Air Force and pilot training. After getting his pilot's wings in 1950, he began his career as a fighter pilot. His initial assignment was to fly F-84's, then a new fighter in the Strategic Air Command. In December 1950, from its Texas base, Bill's unit moved to Korea to fly in combat. Although the standard tour length was 100 missions, Bill flew 127 before returning to the United States. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and other combat decorations.

When his tour in Texas ended, he had another fighter assignment at Bangor, Maine. From there Bill returned to West Point for four years as an instructor in the Military Psychology and Leadership Department.

Then he was transferred to the USAF, Europe as a fighter pilot. During this tour he was selected to lead the Skyblazers, the USAF Europe's aerial demonstration team, comparable to the Thunderbirds in the United States. He also met and married Margarete Burch. They moved to the US in 1961. He was assigned to an Atlas missile wing at Altus AFB, Oklahoma as crew member and supervisor during the early ICBM buildup. This was for Bill a different type duty, one that he enjoyed far less than flying. He was pleased to be selected to attend USC in 1965, where he earned an MBA with high marks. While there, Bill and Margarete adopted a son, Thomas. His next assignment was to DaNang Air Base, RVN as a squadron commander and F-4 pilot. While on a night combat mission on 9 November 1967, Bill's aircraft was seen to explode in mid-air. His body was never recovered. He was declared dead in 1974.

School Spirit & History
Year opened: Fall of 2002
Mascot: Aviators
Colors: Navy Blue and Gray

Named After a Great Leader
Our school is named after John William Armstrong. We are the only Garland ISD school to be named after a former student.
Born in 1926, John William Armstrong was a native of Garland, Texas. He entered first grade at Garland Elementary School and graduated from Garland High School as valedictorian of the class of 1944.
Known to his friends as Bill, he was a social, academic and sports leader at GHS. He served as class president for three years, edited the Owl's Nest yearbook, won the school leadership award, and was elected most popular boy. Bill participated in every team sport offered at the school, and lettered in them all. Most notably, he co-captained the undefeated 1943 regional championship football team.
Earning a scholarship to SMU, Bill attended that university for a year, where he played football and made the Phi Eta Sigma scholarship fraternity. During that year, he earned an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy.
He entered West Point in summer of 1945 as a member of the class of 1949. Bill continued his stellar academic career as a cadet at West Point, earning "Dean's List" status for four years, serving as Cadet Captain, participating in intramural and varsity sports, and graduating 16th in a class of 574. He was the first Garland native to enter and graduate from the prestigious academy.
After graduation, Bill embarked on a career as Air Force fighter pilot. At the start of the Korean War, his unit was assigned to the combat area. While a standard "tour of duty" for a fighter pilot was 100 missions, Bill voluntarily flew 127 before returning to the U.S. He was awarded Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following flying assignments in the United States, he served on the faculty at West Point for four years in the Military Psychology and Leadership Department.
Bill's last military assignment was to DaNang Air Base in Vietnam as Commander of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On the night of November 9, 1967, while on a bombing mission over Laos, his aircraft was destroyed. His body was never recovered. We can only imagine what life would have brought this gifted, idealistic and hardworking person, had he survived and returned home. While his body may not have returned home to Texas, his spirit certainly lives on - in the hearts of his family, his friends, and certainly in the students, parents and faculty who will pass through the halls of Armstrong Elementary.
John. W. Armstrong Elementary School. What a fitting tribute to a fallen hero - a man who loved life, loved his country, and loved learning!

+++++++School Song++++++++

At John Armstrong
We cherish lessons we have learned
In scholarship in character and pride
Throughout the years wherever we may wander
We'll carry Armstrong's messages inside.
Work hard, play fair; Respect yourself and others.
Find joy and honor in the Golden Rule
While staying true to all that we believe in.
Join hands and hearts and hopes
To make this special school.


Family links: 
  Walter T. Armstrong (1885 - 1954)
  Mary L. Armstrong (1897 - 1942)
Garland Memorial Park *
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Plot: Not located with his Mom and Dad .
*Cenotaph [?]
Created by: Eddieb
Record added: Nov 15, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61661681
Col John William Bill / Jack / Army Armstrong
Added by: Eddieb
Col John William Bill / Jack / Army Armstrong
Added by: James
Col John William Bill / Jack / Army Armstrong
Added by: Eddieb
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Col. Armstrong was remembered at a Pentagon ceremony on 16 Sep 2016 for MIAs. I have his POW/MIA Viet Nam Tribute Bracelet. I honor Col. John William Armstrong for his bravery and for his sacrifice.
- Sheila Werhand Alba
 Added: Jan. 14, 2017
Col John William Armstrong, USAF, was remembered yesterday during a Department of Defense Ceremony at the Pentagon for MIAs on POW/MIA Recognition Day (16 September 2016). Col Armstrong, USMA Class of 1949 is one of 10 USMA alumni who remain MIA from the...(Read more)
- Friends of Rocky Versace
 Added: Sep. 17, 2016

- Teresa
 Added: Aug. 17, 2015
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