Monday, March 28, 2016

Major General Alan J Armstrong

General Alan Armstrong was born on a farm north of Garland, NE, graduated from Garland HS in 1938, attended the University of Nebraska, began flight training at Pensacola, FL and was commissioned a Marine Second Lt. as a Naval Aviator in July of 1941. During WWII he served in the Pacific theater where he earned two distinguished Flying Crosses and the Air Medal with six Gold Stars. Following WWII he served in several assignments including a couple years with the 20th Fighter Bomber Group, USAF. During the Korean War he served on the staff of MAG-33 and was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Commendation Medal. He then served in a variety of positions in Washington, D.C., was promoted to Major General in 1969 and served as Commanding General, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Vietnam. Gen. Armstrong's last assignment was as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, at Headquarters, Marine Corps. He retired in July 1973 and died in 2003 at the age of 83. Col. Jerry Meyer who is heading up the development of the Nebraska National Guard Museum here is Seward, is stimulating a lot of interest in Nebraskans military careers. Gen. Armstrong's younger brother, Don was a classmate of mine at GHS and my best friend. In February of 1948, my brother Don, Ed Pollak, Don Armstrong and I drove my '41 Chevy back to Quantico, VA where Major Armstrong was stationed at the time, to pick up a car he was giving to his younger brother. We spent a few days with he and his family as well as visiting the sights of D.C.  I had classmates from the Marine Corps while getting my MBA at George Washington U., and they told of Gen. Armstrong having flown just about every plane in the Service. We had a good visit back here in Seward at the time of his Mother's funeral. He is certainly one of our local heroes and one of our highest ranking Service members.

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