Sergeant James Armstrong Snr. MBE

{ Jim }

05 Oct 1924 - 15 Jun 2017

The below account has kindly been supplied by Airborne Forces Association Western Australia.

"James Armstrong Snr went to sea as cabin boy at 13 and served two years in the merchant navy and then enlisted in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders (under age)

The Airborne Forces were formed and he joined the 5th Battalion and served in North Africa , Italy (Monte Cassino), Greece, Germany and Palestine.

He was wounded twice and he still has a piece of shrapnel in his back.

 An interesting tale is that during WWII he saved the life of (Reuters journalist) Claire Hollingsworth. James (Jim) Armstrong and his company were in Sicily during WWII and they were trying to pinpoint a sniper who had their Para company pinned down in a position. Whilst trying to locate Jim’s company Claire walked in to the room where they were held up and Jim turned around and instinctively pulled her to the ground just as the wall was sprayed by rounds from the sniper. Jim’s action saved Claire’s life. Claire is now 104 years old.

James Armstrong’s MBE was presented to him for his services to the British Army.

After the war with he joined Charlie company, 15th voluntary Parachute Battalion, Edinburgh based. His last jump ended with a broken leg, arm and neck (jumping in high winds, overshooting the DZ (American pilots, were the transport on that occasion)"

Additional research undertaken has revealed that Jim was on parachute training course 10 at RAF Ringway. The course lasted from the 16th March 1942 until the 27th March 1942. It was also found that during his time with 5th Battalion, he served with 13 Platoon, C Company. 

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James Armstrong Snr.

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  • Sgt Jim Armstrong talks to Field Marshall Montgomery. Date unknown.

    Sgt Jim Armstrong talks to Field Marshall Montgomery. Date unknown.

    1 Image

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