William Thomas Armstrong
William Thomas “Tom” Armstrong was born 2-FEB 1916 in Stotesbury, MO. Stotesbury is a village in northwest Vernon County, Missouri about two miles from the Kansas state line. The population of Stotesbury was 120 people in 1920. His father was James Bryant Armstrong (1872–1936). His mother was Lillia Bernice Mastin (1881–1925). Tom attended Stotesbury High School.
When Tom registered for the draft, he indicated that he had completed four years of high school education. Tom listed his occupation as a farmer. He had five sisters: Leatha Alma, Irene, James, Blanch, Thelma, and Lora; and brothers: James and Richard.
Tom enlisted 18-FEB 1942 in the Army at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, at the age of 26. He later served in the Air Force.
He has the distinction of having served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It is likely he was 50 when he served in Vietnam.
Tom was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). The DFC is our nation’s highest award for extraordinary aerial achievement. As a valor decoration, it ranks fourth in order of precedence, and is awarded to recipients for heroism while participating in an aerial flight. Tom was also awarded an Air Medal. The Air Medal is awarded to U.S. and civilian personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight and foreign military personnel in actual combat in support of operations.
Tom was later awarded a Military Merit Medal. Medal for Merit is a civilian decoration established in 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to award civilians of the United States and its allies for exceptionally meritorious service or courageous acts in the furtherance of the war effort.
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