Armstrong, Robert George, 1st Lt

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1115A-Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1964-1964, 309th Air Commando Squadron, Troop Carrier
Service Years
1961 - 1964
First Lieutenant

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
1939
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Gerald Jones (Jerry)-Deceased to remember Armstrong, Robert George, 1st Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
New York
Last Address
Tan Son Nhut AB

Casualty Date
Oct 24, 1964
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Cambodia
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 067

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Vietnam Advisory Campaign (1961-65)
Start Year
1961
End Year
1965

Description
November 15, 1961-March 1, 1965 .
On November 15, 1961, the 2d Advanced Echelon (2d ADVON) was
activated in Saigon, capital of the Republic of Vietnam (South Viet-
nam). The 2d ADVON, administratively part of the Thirteenth Air
Force, controlled USAF units operating in Vietnam and reported to the
Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam. The 4400th Combat
Crew Training Squadron's FARM GATE detachment arrived on Novem-
ber 16. The FARM GATE. organization, although trained for counter
insurgency combat, for about 2 months limited its mission to training
Vietnamese aircrews and supporting with reconnaissance flights the
operations of the Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF). Activation of the 2d
ADVON and arrival of the FARM GATE detachment heralded the
buildup of the United States Air Force presence in Vietnam.

Responding to the Republic of Vietnam's appeal in December 1961
for increased military aid to counter Communist (Viet Cong) insur-
gents, the United States gradually increased its forces. From January
2 to 5, 1962, for example, the USAF moved a tactical air control
system to South Vietnam and landed equipment and personnel at Tan
Son Nhut Air Base (AB) in Saigon; Bien Hoa AB, I5 miles north of
Saigon; Da Nang AB, 375 miles northeast of Saigon; Pleiku AB, in
the Central Highlands 230 miles northeast of Saigon; and Nha Trang
AB, on the coast, a little less than 200 miles northeast of Saigon.
Shortly afterwards, on January 7, a flight of C-l23s equipped for
aerial spray missions arrived at Tan Son Nhut. Code-named RANCH
HAND, this USAF detachment 3 days later began defoliation operations
that continued for 9 years.

To manage U.S. forces in Vietnam, the Commander in Chief, Pacific
Command, at the direction of President John F. Kennedy and the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, created Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
(MACV) on February 8, 1962. Army Gen. Paul D. Harkins was
named the first Commander of MACV. The 2d ADVON became the
air component of the new command. A few months later, on October
8, the USAF activated the 2d Air Division, which replaced the 2d
ADVON. In spite of increased U.S. aid, the Viet Cong insurgency
grew, and the government of South Vietnam faced growing civil
disorder. A year later, on November 1, 1963, a group of South
Vietnamese military officers deposed President Ngo Dinh Diem in a
coup détat, and not until June 1965 would the South Vietnamese
establish a reasonably stable government. Meanwhile, on June 20,
1964, Anny Gen. William C. Westmoreland became Commander of
MACV.
Communist insurgents also operated actively in Laos, and in May
1964 United States involvement in Southeast Asia expanded to in-
clude military aid to that country. On June 9, F-100s flying from
Takhli Air Base, Thailand, about 110 miles north of Bangkok, made
the first USAF strike in Laos. Air Force pilots bombed an antiaircraft
installation at Xiangkhoang, on the Plain of Jars, about 100 miles
northeast of Vientiane, the Laotian capital. In December 1964 the
USAF launched an air interdiction campaign against the Ho Chi Minh
Trail, a network of roads, trails, and waterways in the southern
Laotian panhandle.

The nature of the conflict in Southeast Asia changed dramatically in
late 1964. On August 2 and 4 torpedo boats from North Vietnam
(Democratic Republic of Vietnam) attacked U.S. naval vessels in the
Gulf of Tonkin- On the 5th, U.S. naval aircraft launched retaliatory
air strikes against coastal targets in North Vietnam. That same day
the USAF deployed B-57s to Bien Hoa AB and F-100s to Da Nang
AB. Then in December 1964 the Viet Cong used conventional field
rather than hit-and-run tactics to drive South Vietnamese forces
temporarily from Binh Gia, near the coast, only 40 miles southeast of
Saigon. For both North and South Vietnam governmental authorities
this battle marked an escalation of the conflict. As the war rapidly
intensified, on February 7, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson or-
dered American dependents evacuated from South Vietnam. The
same day the Viet Cong shelled Pleiku Air Base. In retaliation, the
USAF conducted its first raid against North Vietnam on the 8th,
hitting a target just north of the 17th parallel.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1961
To Year
1964
 
Last Updated:
Mar 7, 2017
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  125 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abrom, Robert, MSgt, (1963-1986)
  • Breault, Robert, MSgt, (1963-1987)
  • Donovan, William, Lt Col, (1959-1980)
  • Gould, Richard, A2C, (1962-1966)
  • Kea, Larry, A1C, (1962-1966)
  • Kniss, George, A1C, (1961-1965)
  • Mann, William A., Lt Col
  • Mcfalls, Philip, A1C, (1960-1964)
  • McMillen, James, SSgt, (1961-1964)
  • Rhodes, Donald, MSgt, (1955-1977)
  • Rice, Robert, A2C, (1961-1965)
  • Salazar, Roy, TSgt, (1955-1978)
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