ARMSTRONG, FRANK ALTON III
Name: Frank Alton Armstrong III
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 1st Air Commando Squadron
Date of Birth: 07 March 1930
Home City of Record: Shreveport LA
Date of Loss: 06 October 1967
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 143757N 1072758E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A1 Skyraider ("Spad") is a highly maneuverable,
propeller driven aircraft designed as a multipurpose attack bomber or
utility aircraft. The E model generally carried two crewmen. The A1 was
first used by the Air Force in its Tactical Air Command to equip the first
Air Commando Group engaged in counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam,
and later used in a variety of roles, ranging from multi-seat electronic
intelligence gathering to Navy antisubmarine warfare and rescue missions.
The venerable fighter aircraft was retired in the spring of 1968 and had
flown in more than twenty model variations, probably more than any other
U.S. combat aircraft.
Maj. Frank A. Armstrong III was the pilot of an A1E which was on an ordnance
delivery mission on October 6, 1967. Armstrong's was the lead aircraft in a
flight of two A1Es from the 1st Air Commando Squadron based at Pleiku, South
Armstrong's aircraft was struck by hostile ground fire as the flight was in
Attopeu Province, Laos, near the tri-border area of Laos, Cambodia and
Vietnam. According to other flight members, Maj. Armstrong did not have time
to parachute out of the aircraft as it crashed to the ground in an inverted
Frank A. Armstrong is listed among the missing because his remains were
never found to send home to the country he served. He died a tragically
ironic death in the midst of war. But, for his family, the case seems clear
that he died on that day. The fact that they have no body to bury with honor
is not of great significance.
For other who are missing, however, the evidence leads not to death, but to
survival. Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports received relating to
Americans still unaccounted for in Indochina have convinced experts that
hundreds of men are still alive, waiting for their country to rescue them.
The notion that Americans are dying without hope in the hands of a long-ago
enemy belies the idea that we left Vietnam with honor. It also signals that
tens of thousands of lost lives were a frivolous waste of our best men.
Subject: Bio of Maj Frank Alton Armstrong III
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 13:45:12 -0700
To whom it may concern
I am the wife of Major Frank Alton Armstrong III, an USAF pilot
He went to Viet Nam in early 1967, was shot down in late Spring of the same year and was wounded, was rescued, came home for a brief R&R, before returning to Viet Nam a couple of weeks later
He has been missing since October 6, 1967
My Father in Law, Lt Gen. Frank Alton Armstrong Jr. USAF, and I, were given several different versions as to WHERE, how and what has happened that day, by various Government Officials at that time, in the ensuing weeks and months and first few years. One thing has been consistent and clear from the beginning, however, in all of the early official accounts, namely, that "They let him go in there ALONE!"
My Father in Law died of a broken heart because of all this in 1969
At some point, MANY years later, the records were revised at least once more, to say, that my Husband's plane actually went down in LAOS on that day, during the Secret War there. In this version, for the first time, the mysterious unnamed "wingman" is being mentioned who supposedly was an eye witness to the incident
Never mind, that no one has ever officially notified us, his family, of that fact!!!
The Bio of MAJ. Frank A Armstrong III also says that his Bio is also based in part on interviews with his family members - Well no one has interviewed me, his wife!!!!
Before my Husband left for Viet Nam, he gave me a Standard Power of Attorney drawn up by the Judge Advocate Office at Hurlburt Field AFB. That Power of Attorney directs me that should he become a Prisoner of War or Missing in Action, to find him and/or cause him to be found!!!!
I tried to do that and continue to try and do just that, EVERY DAY, to the best of my ability, in spite of some extreme hardships my family and I had to endure as a result, details of which are available but which I will not go into here at this point Needless to say, as you can imagine, the past 40 yrs have been most difficult, and going on with our lives in a normal fashion has been all but impossible In spite of everything, I wll never give up, never have and never will
We, the ( remaining) Family of Major Frank A Armstrong III, we do love him and we do care, want him to be brought home, are still waiting....for we know that the REAL TRUTH shall set us free The book "AN ENORMOUS CRIME" by Bill Hendon and Elizabeth Stewart says it all!!!!
It IS a Definitive account of our ABANDONED Heroes!!!!
A.K.A. Vera Armstrong Cherry