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The Airmen's Stories - F/O W Armstrong


William Armstrong, who came from Darlington, was born in June 1921, the son of William Armstrong (1900-1970) and Jessie Armstrong (nee Reed 1899-1968).

He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began flying as a pupil pilot in January 1939. After completing his training he went to 4 Ferry Pilot Pool but was then posted to 7 OTU Hawarden on 3rd September 1940 to convert to Spitfires.

He joined 74 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 28th October. On 14th November he was shot down off Dover after destroying two Ju87s, whether by a Me109 or anti-aircraft fire is not known.

He baled out and his aircraft, Spitfire P7836, crashed on Dover Road, Sandwich.


Above: Armstrong is second from right, with pipe.


On 5th February 1941 Armstrong shared in the destruction of a Do17 with three other pilots.

In April 1941 he married Bertha Elizabeth Snaith (1920-2012), they had a son William Neil Armstrong (1941-2015).


Above image courtesy of Dennis Lendrem.


On 8th May Armstrong destroyed a Me109. His next postings are currently unclear but in early 1943 he was serving as a Flight Lieutenant with the Ferry Pilots Pool at Gibraltar.

He was killed in a motorbike accident on 18th February 1943.

Armstrong is buried in Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery, Algeria.





Above cemetery images courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project



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