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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn A to M] [Norman H Armstrong DFC RCAF and crew  103 Sqn]

F/L Norman Henry Armstrong DFC RCAF and crew 103 Squadron – 1944/45 – J 22801

Armstrong was born in Vancouver, 30 January 1921. He attended Vancouver Technical High School and was provincial Senior Boys high jump champion. Educated UBC (COTC) for two years and became truck driver. He enlisted enlisted Vancouver 27 August 1941. No.3 Manning Depot, date uncertain and to No.36 SFTS (guard duty), 10 October 1941.

To No.4 ITS, date uncertain; graduated and promoted LAC, 24 January 1942 when posted to No.5 EFTS; may have graduated 27 March 1942 but not posted to No.12 SFTS until 11 April 1942. He then graduated and and was commissioned on 31 July 1942. Posted to No.2 Flying Instructor School, 28 August 1942 and to No.7 SFTS, 25 October 1942.

Promoted Flying Officer, 31 January 1943. Posted overseas to UK 30 November 1943 and then to No.3 PRC, 20 January 1944. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 31 July 1944

Armstrong and his crew were eventually posted to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds on the 18 November 1944 from 1 LFS

The Armstrong crew was as follows :-

F/L N H Armstrong RCAF

P/O W Rollason

F/O H Bowes RCAF

F/O S E Barnes RCAF

Sgt H Woad

F/S W N Elliott RCAF

F/S D J Jaffary RCAF

……….

Armstrong captained his crew on the following operations :-

17-Dec-44 - Ulm - Point of Aim - Lancaster - LM295 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

22-Dec-44 - Koblenz - Railway yards - Lancaster -  JA857 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF - Bad weather at base. All aircraft diverted to Langham.

28-Dec-44 - Munchengladbach - Railway yards - Lancaster - NF909 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

29-Dec-44 - Scholven Buer - Oil - Lancaster - PD281 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

31-Dec-44 - Osterfeld  - Railway yards - Lancaster - PD287 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

02-Jan-45 - Nuremberg - Point of Aim - Lancaster - PD272 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

05-Jan-45 - Hannover  - Point of Aim - Lancaster -  LM682 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

07-Jan-45 - Munich - Point of Aim - Lancaster - LM295 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

01-Feb-45 - Ludwigshafen - Point of Aim - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

02-Feb-45 - Wiesbaden - Point of Aim - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

04-Feb-45 - Elbe Estuary - Mine laying - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

07-Feb-45 - Kleve - Army support - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

08-Feb-45 - Politz - Oil - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

13-Feb-45 - Dresden - Operation Thunderclap - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

14-Feb-45 - Kadet Channel - Mine laying - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

18-Feb-45 - Elbe Estuary - Mine laying - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

01-Mar-45 - Mannheim - Point of Aim - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

11-Mar-45 - Essen - Point of Aim - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

12-Mar-45 - Dortmund - Point of Aim - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

13-Mar-45 - Herne - Benzol - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

15-Mar-45 - Misburg - Oil - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

16-Mar-45 - Nuremberg - Point of Aim - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF – Combats. Attacked six times going in to bomb Nuremburg and twice on their way out.

19-Mar-45 - Hanau - Point of Aim - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF – Combat. Attacked 3 times by twin engined night fighter. Gunners replied and claimed some hits

21-Mar-45 - Bremen - Oil - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

24-Mar-45 - Harpenerweg - Benzol - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

27-Mar-45 - Paderborn - Army support - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

04-Apr-45 - Kullen Sound/Kattegat - Mine laying - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

13-Apr-45 - Kiel Bay - Mine laying - Lancaster - NG173 - F/L NH Armstrong RCAF

………

Armstrong was awarded a DFC on completion of his tour gazetted 6 November 1945. See detailed citation below

ARMSTRONG, Norman Henry Flight Lieutenant, No. 103 Squadron, J22801 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949

 

ARMSTRONG, F/L Norman Henry (J22801) - Distinguished Flying Cross -No.103 Squadron - Award effective 30 October 1945 as per London Gazette dated 6 November 1945 and AFRO 155/46 dated 15 February 1946. Born in Vancouver, 30 January 1921, home there. Attended Vancouver Technical High School and was provincial Senior Boys high jump champion. Educated UBC (COTC) for two years, truck driver; enlisted Vancouver 27 August 1941. Granted Leave Without Pay until posted to No.3 Manning Depot, date uncertain. To No.36 SFTS (guard duty), 10 October 1941. To No.4 ITS, date uncertain; graduated and promoted LAC, 24 January 1942 when posted to No.5 EFTS; may have graduated 27 March 1942 but not posted to No.12 SFTS until 11 April 1942; graduated and commissioned on 31 July 1942. To No.2 Flying Instructor School, 28 August 1942; to No.7 SFTS, 25 October 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 31 January 1943. To “Yâ€ Depot, 30 November 1943; taken on strength of No.3 PRC, 20 January 1944. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 31 July 1944. Repatriated 18 June 1945. To No.8 OTU, 19 June 1945. To Greenwood for Tiger Force, 31 July 1945. To Release Centre, 6 September 1945. Retired 10 September 1945. Following the war he became a TCA pilot, retiring from Air Canada in 1980. Died July 2006 in Vancouver. Medal sent by registered mail 16 May 1950. No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty." Public Records Office Air 2/9131 has recommendation dated 24 April 1945 when he had flown 30 sorties (197 hours 30 minutes), 21 November 1944 to 13 April 1945. // 21 November 1944 - Aschaffenburg // 17 December 1944 - Ulm // 22 December 1944 - Koblenz // 28 December 1944 - Munchen Gladbach // 29 December 1944 - Scholven Buer // 31 December 1944 - Osterfeld // 2 January 1945 - Nuremburg // 5 January 1945 - Hanover // 7 January 1945 - Munich // 28 January 1945 - Zussenhausen // 1 February 1945 - Ludwigshaven // 2 February 1945 - Wiesbaden // 4 February 1945 - GARDENING // 7 February 1945 - Cleve // 8 February 1945 - Politz // 13 February 1945 - Dresden // 14 February 1945 - GARDENING // 18 February 1945 - GARDENING // 1 March 1945 - Mannheim // 11 March 1945 - Essen // 12 March 1945 - Dortmund // 13 March 1945 - Herne // 15 March 1945 - Misburg // 16 March 1945 - Nuremburg // 19 March 1945 - Hanau // 21 March 1945 - Bremen // 24 March 1945 - Dortmund // 27 March 1945 - Paderborn // 4 April 1945 - GARDENING // 13 April 1945 - GARDENING // Flight Lieutenant Armstrong was posted to No.103 Squadron on 18th November, 1944. Since then he has completed 30 sorties on Lancaster aircraft with a total of 197.30 hours operational flying. // In the course of these numerous sorties extending over a period of six months, this Canadian officer has taken part in attacks on a wide variety of targets including oil plants such as Misburg, Politz and Ludwigshaven, important industrial centres, e.g. Nuremburg, Essen, Dortmund, Bremen. The majority of these raids have taken place at night and on most of them strong enemy opposition was encountered. // In addition to the bomber raids referred to, Flight Lieutenant Armstrong has proved himself to be an outstanding minelayer in a squadron very experienced in this sphere of operations. // Throughout his tour Flight Lieutenant Armstrong has displayed notable skill and determination in attacking his targets. He is an excellent pilot who has shown himself to be a fine leader of his crews, the accuracy and precision of whose work has been revealed in the many excellent bombing photographs they have obtained. He has never allowed enemy opposition, no matter how strong, to deter him from pressing home his attack and his devotion to duty and fine offensive spirit have been am inspiration to his crew. // I strongly recommend that his excellent work as captain of aircraft in this squadron be recognized by the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Post war Armstrong worked for Trans Canada Air Line and later Air Canada. He passed away 9 July 2006 in Vancouver, Canada

Compiled by David Fell

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