Lt. Col. (Retired U.S. Air Force Reserves) Robert (Bob) Armstrong, 92, of Topeka and formerly of Hutchinson, KS, passed away in Topeka on October 14, 2013. Bob was born in Salina, KS on April 3, 1921 the son of Roy D. and Loretta (Harrington) Armstrong of Scott City, KS. He was raised in Scott City and graduated from Scott Community High School. He is survived by his wife of 68 years Mary C. (Ruth); daughter Elizabeth Rider of Houston, TX and granddaughter Nicole Schulte of Chicago, IL; son James R. Armstrong (Debbie), granddaughter Jessica and grandson Mitchell; son Robert D. Armstrong of Topeka, KS; and daughter Jane Webb (Louis) of Kennewick, WA.
During WWII, Bob served in the U. S. 8th Army Air Force as a B-17 bomber pilot assigned to the 381st Heavy Bomb Group, 532nd Squadron stationed in Ridgewell, England. During his tour, he flew 32 combat missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, five air medals and six battle stars. After completing his bombing tour, he was assigned to the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron at Halesworth, England. He later wrote a book based on a diary he kept while serving in WW II entitled, Friendly and Enemy Skies. After WWII, Armstrong joined the Air Force Reserves and was called back to active duty in 1948 during the Cold War, assigned as a B-29 co-pilot for the 28th Bomb Group, 718th Squadron. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserves after 32 years of commissioned service.
Bob remained involved in aviation in civilian life, and operated air services in Scott City and Hutchinson. While in Hutchinson, he also earned entry into the 1984 edition of the Guinness Book of Aircraft Facts and Feats for what is believed to be the longest period of consecutive days of flying – least once every day between June 1, 1965 and January 15, 1969, a period of 3 years, 7 months and 15 days (1,315 consecutive days). He received the 2007 Kansas Governor’s Aviation Honor Award and he served on the Hutchinson Airport Board and as a volunteers tour guide for the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.
Funeral Services will be held at the Price & Sons Funeral Home in Scott City at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 19, 2013 with Rev. Scott Wagner presiding.
Memorials may be given to the First Christian Church, Hutchinson Public Library or Wesley Towers care of Price & Sons Funeral Home in Scott City, Kansas.
Burial will be in the Scott County Cemetery in Scott City, Kansas.
Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m until 8:00 p.m. Friday at Price & Sons Funeral Home in Scott City, Kansas.