The Wall of Faces

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BILLY STANLEY ARMSTRONG


is honored on Panel 57W, Line 34 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Misadventure (Friendly Fire)

    Posted on 3/17/19 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    Just past midnight on June 16, 1968, the U.S. Navy Swift Boat PCF-19 from Coast Guard Division 12, Task Force 115, was attacked from the air, struck by two missiles and sunk. Four of her crew members were killed, and two others badly injured. A Vietnamese Navy (VNN) petty officer was also killed. The lost crewmen included GMC2 Billy S. Armstrong, QM2 Frank Bowman, BM2 Anthony G. Chandler, and EN2 Edward C. Cruz. Bowman’s remains were not recovered and he is still carried as Missing in Action. The boat had been patrolling with PCF-12 near the DMZ (17th parallel) when they were attacked by hovering aircraft. PCF-12 commenced a running gun battle, firing its .50 caliber machine guns and zig zagging at high speed for well over an hour. During this battle, PCF-12 continuously radioed that it was under attack by an unidentified hovering aircraft. Response from command was "no friendly aircraft in the area". In order to isolate the problem, U.S. Forces suspended all flying operations within PCF-12's area of operation. Despite this measure, PCF-12 continued to be engaged with the enemy. The following day, a friendly-fire incident occurred when U.S. jet aircraft accidentally attacked the Australian destroyer HMAS Hobart and the heavy cruiser Boston. U.S. rocket fire killed two Australian sailors and injured eleven others, while slightly damaging the Hobart and the Boston. Parts of the rockets were later recovered and were identified as American. After all reports had been submitted, the attacks on the two allied warships were attributed to friendly-fire from U.S. fixed-wing aircraft. The attacks on PCF-19 and PCF-12 were also attributed to friendly fire from these aircraft. A primary feature in the confusion was that the attack upon the Swift Boats and the unidentified hovering aircraft started between midnight and 1:00 AM on June 16th, and the attacks on the Boston and Hobart occurred during the same time the following day, June 17th. However, these were two separate dates, and two separate incidents. When the reports were completed these two events were conflated, and both were attributed to friendly fire. It has been theorized by both officers and men of the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy that the North Vietnamese Army were operating helicopters at Tiger Island, located just off the North Vietnamese coast. Hovering aircraft had been seen near the DMZ by U.S. Marines on shore. Declassified official reports note "enemy aircraft" did in fact operate in the area. Enough evidence is present to conclude that the loss of PCF-19 was due to fire from a helicopter aircraft operated by or for the North Vietnamese. As of 2006, the attack upon PCF-12 and PCF-19 is still regarded by the U.S. Navy as a friendly-fire incident. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and wikipedia.org]
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  • I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

    Posted on 5/28/18 - by Dennis Wriston
    Petty Officer Second Class Billy Stanley Armstrong, Served aboard Patrol Craft Fast 19 (PCF-19), Coastal Division 12, Task Force 115 (TF-115), United States Naval Forces Vietnam (USNAVFORV).
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  • Remembered

    Posted on 9/26/16 - by Lucy Conte Micik bennysgift@gmail.com
    DEAR GUNNER'S MATE ARMSTRONG,
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AS A NAVY GUNNER'S MATE. REST IN PEACE.
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  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 6/16/15 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net
    Dear GMC2 Billy Stanley Armstrong, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, Sir

    Curt Carter
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  • RIP buddy...You are missed and thought of often.

    Posted on 9/14/14 - by Gary Goudie
    Billy and I were getting to be good friends as we were both stationed out of Danang on Swift Boats. I was a Gunnersmate 2nd Class. Billy and I went to the Club at Camp Tensha the night before the 19 Boat went down... I have so often thought of our friendship and how I'm sure it would have lasted well after we got out of service. If there is any family that sees this... I have thought of you and your loss often. Such a nice guy!
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.