ARMSTRONG, SR., LT. COL. JOHN R.
'An Officer and a Gentleman'
Port Orange - Retired Lt. Col. John R. Armstrong Sr. passed away suddenly on Dec. 28th 2014 at his home in Port Orange, FL. He was the only child born to Stoney and Maggie Armstrong in Turnersville, TX. When he was 19, he enlisted in the US Army where he built a very impressive military career. During his 23 years of service he was involved with the 101st Airborne Infantry Division 'Screaming Eagles,' and parachuted into Normandy on D-Day. He became a prisoner of war and was moved to several German camps during his 9 1/2 months in captivity, and celebrated his 21st birthday in a war camp. After the war John was assigned to Hachinohe, Japan from 1946 to 1949 with the 511th Parachute Infantry regiment. His next assignment was in the Korean War, where he served a 13 month combat tour of duty with the 9th Infantry Regiment.
Once back in the States he was sent to the Pentagon and during this time of service he also took college classes and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Military Science from the University of Maryland in 1959. That year he received orders to attend the Air Command and General Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. He graduated 3rd in the class of 600 and his required thesis, 'Close Air Support for the U.S. Army,' was placed in the college library for future reference. His next assignment was the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii. During the next three years he would be Operations Officer in the 25th Infantry Brigade and run field combat preparedness tests for combat situations in Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and South Vietnam. John was then assigned to the Army Command General Staff College as an Instructor at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was the interim assigned to MSQ 19, a unit for preparation and evaluation of the Army's induction into the world of computers! During this time he was also traveling back and forth from Ft. Benning, Columbus, GA for maneuvers/field test with the Air Calvary Division that fought in Vietnam-a more modern use of paratroopers as infantrymen with helicopters. A Hollywood version of the tactics can be seen in the movie 'We Were Soldiers.' He served in three wars and then decided to retire.
John also had a very full personal life. He and his first wife, Lois were the parents of three daughters. His second marriage of 55 years with Dorothy Brown had one son. He and Dottie loved to travel after his retirement all over the United States. They settled in Ocala for 22 years where they had many wonderful friends and ate lunch at Richard's several times a week. In January 2014, they moved to Port Orange to be closer to their family. Dottie passed May 2014 and our father lost his best friend. Being the soldier that he always was, he kept on course and spent as much time as possible with his large family.
Our father had a great life. He was a survivor, strong, faith and honor above all. He was a hero to his family and a National Treasure to our country. He was preceded by his parents, Stoney and Maggie Armstrong; wife, Dorothy of 55 years; and their son, Johnny. He is survived by his three daughters Maryann (Bob) Rawlins, Patty Lee (Doug) Davis, and Jeannie (Richard) Helm; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren; he was a very blessed man. In lieu of flowers, please honor our dad's memory by contributing to Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida 32256.
Funeral service will be Friday, January 2, 2015 2:00 PM at HIERS-BAXLEY FUNERAL SERVICES - Boulevard, with visitation one hour prior. Entombment with military honors will be at HIGHLAND MEMORIAL PARK. Sentiments may be left online at www.hiers-baxley.com.