More detail on this person: Retired Maj. Gen.
Victor A. Armstrong, U.S. Marine Corps, of
Morehead City, died Thursday, May 20, 2010, at
His funeral service with military honors is at 2 p.m. Sunday at All Saints Anglican Church with the Rev. John Grayson officiating. The committal service with military honors is at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Quantico National Cemetery.
Gen. Armstrong was born in Bozeman, Mont., and attended high school at the Far Eastern Academy in Shanghai, China, graduating in 1936. He received his bachelor's degree in Science from Walla Walla College in College Place, Wash., in 1942. In May 1942, he entered the aviation cadet program and underwent flight training at the Naval Air Station in 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. During the Korean conflict, Gen. 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-1) 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, Calif., 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, Va., and served as executive officer, and later, commanding officer, Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) until April 1961. During this period, he was senior presidential helicopter pilot for both President Eisenhower and President Kennedy. While stationed at Quantico, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in July 1959. In April 1962, Gen. Armstrong completed the Indonesian Language School in Monterey, Calif., 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 in Newport, R.I., in June 1966, after which he reported to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in 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, Gen. Armstrong was assigned as assistant head and later head of 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 (OP-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, Gen. 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 United States in January 1975, he became Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. He retired as Commanding General Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in July 1, 1978.
He is survived by his wife, June J. Armstrong; two daughters, Karen T. Millikan and husband B.J. of Morehead City and Ann R. Armstrong of Atlantic Beach; one sister, Beth Coffin of Portland, Ore.; two granddaughters, Megan Ann Goold and Ashley Marie Goold; and one grandson, Patrick Samuel Armstrong Goold.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Marie Stuart.
This information was last updated 05/18/2016
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 11/02/2023
Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association