34131, Major, 27th Mechanical Equipment Company, New Zealand Engineers, WW1

Distinguished Service Order
16 October 1945, Supp 37310, p5102
The work of Major Armstrong as OC 27 Mechanical Equipment Company has always been of a very high order.  He rendered particularly gallant and valuable service in the recent advance from the Senio to Trieste
In the assault on the Senio there were bulldozers from 27 Mechanical Equipment Company at all six bridge sites spread over a frontage of some 3000 yards.  Frequently under heavy shelling and mortaring Major Armstrong moved backwards and forwards across the front setting out and directing the work of his machines.  When a dozer was put out of action by shellfire from the right flank Major Armstrong was present and personally assisted in temporary repairs to get the machine in operation again.  When later in the night when another dozer was more seriously damaged he quickly collected and guided in a reserve machine.  The mortar fire was still concentrated on the area, but Major Armstrong remained for almost an hour encouraging the operator and guiding the dozer blade with an electric torch
During the day of 10 April 1945 there were again a number of machines pushing forward on the two axis for the Division. Major Armstrong made early reconnaissances and personally coordinated and directed the work of eight bulldozers.  On one occasion when moving up to examine the Lugu Canal he came under aimed small arms fire from close range, but this did not deter him.  Taking advantage of what small cover the ground provided he crawled forward and made an accurate reconnaissance of the site.  Since an ordinary bulldozer could not have worked under the machine gun fire, he made contact with the Assault Squadron and let a Sherman dozer in, which soon completed a temporary crossing for the passage of the tanks.
Our assault bridge depending as much upon bulldozing operations as upon actual bridge construction itself.  Therefore in the crossing of the Senio, Santerno, Sillaro and the Gaiana many bulldozers were deployed on the divisional front.  Frequently under heavy shelling Major Armstrong moved from site to site, offering advice here and a helping hand there, to ensure that his machines were operated at maximum efficiency.
Right through the Piave and beyond Major Armstrong kept his bulldozers up with the forward elements, preparing the way for the advance.  He never spared himself and worked long hours night and day, and by his inspired leadership kept his officers and men cheerfully giving of their best long after they might have been expected to be too tired and exhausted to continue.  The work of Major Armstrong was characterised by efficiency, dash and gallantry and the rapid crossing of the many obstacles between the Senio and Piave was in considerable measure due to his outstanding efforts

Military Cross
Gazetted 4 April 1944, Supp 36456, p1588

Mention in Despatches

Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
1939-45 Star
Africa Star
8th Army
Italy Star
War Medal
Mention in Despatches
New Zealand War Service Medal

Born 4 February 1915, Dunedin, New Zealand
Died 30 November 1982, Queenstown, New Zealand