ARMSTRONG, Eric Norman, Flight Lieutenant (126555) – No. 9 Squadron – Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 June 1944, with no citation. Spink auction catalogue gives the following: The recommendation states:

“Flight Lieutenant Armstrong is Squadron Gunnery Leader; and in that capacity he has maintained a very efficient section. His work on the ground has been complemented by his eagerness to fly on operations. He has completed twenty-six sorties and has set a high example of quiet determination”.

Flight Lieutenant Eric Norman Armstrong, DFC, qualified as an Air Gunner, 1942; joined 9 Squadron (Lancasters), February, 1943; Operations that year include: “Lorient, very good prang… flak intense; Bremen, hit by flak… perspex splinters in left optic; Cologne, Oxygen pipe M/U – passed out; Duisberg, very good prang; Dortmund, fired guns in anger for first time; Krefeld, very good prang, hit by incendiaries; Berlin, attacked by Ju88 (CI probable); Berlin, hit by flak over Amsterdam on way back…”; served with 617, “Dam Buster”, Squadron as Mid-Upper Gunner, from September 1944; operations that year include: “Dortmund Emms Viaduct/ 1 x 12,000 lbs; Kembs Dam; Urft Dam/ 1 x 12,000 lb/target obscured by cloud/did not bomb; operations/”Politz”/1 x 12,000 lb/aiming point/ good prang; E. Boat Pens/Rotterdam/1 x 12,000 lb – good bombing; E. Boat Pens/Imjuiden/low cloud over target; Cruisers “Kohn” and “Emden”/Oslo Fiord – failed to get a run – did not bomb”.

Prisoner of War - On the 12th January, 1945, during an attack on the U-Boat Pens at Bergen, Armstrong’s Lancaster was “attacked over target by two Fw190s.” After a running fight lasting 37 minutes, during which time the Lancaster was badly damaged, Armstrong baled out at 1100 feet over a small island, North West of Bergen and was captured within a few hours. He spent only four months as a prisoner of war and by May, 1945 had been repatriated.