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Frank Alton Armstrong Jr


Commanded 97th BG from 31 July 1942 to 27 September 1942.
Commanded 306th BG 4 January 1943 to 17 February 1943.
Commanded 101st (Provisional) Combat Wing 8 February 1943 to 14 June 1943.
Commanded 1st Bomb Division 15 June 1943 to 31 July 1943.

Generally believed to be the primary inspriation for the character of 'Brigadier General Frank Savage' in Beirne Lay's book Twelve O'Clock High.

He commanded the first raid to Germany, bombing Wilhelmshaven 27 Jan 1943. Assigned to to 8th HQ on 17 Feb 1943.

AM w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster, DFC, DSC, DSM w/1 OLC, SS, British DFC,



  • Peter Beasley

    Military | Colonel | Chief of Supply
    Beasley was one of 6 staff officers to accompany General Eaker to England in February 1942. He was commissioned into the military after working as an executive of Lockheed Aircraft Company. ...

  • James Brown

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was an original crew member. He was the 31st Officer to complete tour on 28 Jul 1943. He transferred out on 30 Jul 1943. AM 2OLC, DFC,

  • Frederick Castle

    Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer; Air Leader, Pilot | 487th Bomb Group
    Commanding Officer of 94th Bomb Group at Bury St. Edmunds from 19-Jun-43 to 16-Apr-44. Overseas with General Eaker's staff to organize 8th AF, February 1942. ...

  • William Cowart

    Military | Major | B-24 Command Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    On March 8, 1943, the B-24D, named, Thar She Blows, 41-23658, crash landed at Gibraltar Farms in Kent, U.K. The plane was returning from a mission to Rouen, France, with battle damage. The pilot, Major William Cowart, Bombardier Thomas Dick, returned...

  • William Cowart

    Military | Colonel | Tactician
    Cowart was one of 6 staff officers to accompany Eaker to England in February 1942. ...

  • Ira Eaker

    Military | Lieutenant General | Commanding General, 8th Air Force
    Commanding General of 8th AF 1 December 1942 to 5 January 1944. Following that, Eaker was given command of all Allied air forces in the MTO, and in April 1945 became Deputy CG of the USAAF. Retired July 1947. ...

  • Harris Hull

    Military | Brigadier General | Combat Intelligence Officer
    Hull was one of 6 Staff Officers to accompany General Eaker to England in February 1942. ...

  • Beirne Lay

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Group commander | 100th Bomb Group
    Beirne Lay assumed command of the 487th Bomb Group at Alamogordo Army Air Base, New Mexico on February 28, 1944, his wife was Philippa Ludwell Lee. ...

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Units served with

  • VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command was constituted and activated in 1942. It oversaw heavy bombardment operations until February 1944, when it was redesginated as the 8th Air Force.

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...



  • VIII Bomber Command 1

    17 August 1942
    The US 8AF launches its first strategic bombing raid of the war, sending 12 Boeing B-17Es of the 97BG on a strike against the railyards of Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France, while another six fly a diversionary route. The attacking force is split into two...


Event Location Date
Born Hamilton, NC, USA 24 May 1902
Commissioned 28 February 1929
Arrived in UK Hendon 20 February 1942

Arrived in the UK with General Eaker

Died 20 August 1969


Date Contributor Update
02 January 2020 18:25:30 jmoore43 Changes to mission associations

Added a connection to the first 8th AF mission.

Date Contributor Update
08 July 2017 16:29:06 bombercommand Changes to events


Date Contributor Update
04 November 2014 02:20:35 jmchristel Changes to highest rank and awards

Date Contributor Update
13 October 2014 11:21:04 Emily Changes to middlename, suffix, biography, events and place associations

Data Update, National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, 15 September 2014

Date Contributor Update
02 October 2014 00:32:12 Paul Bellamy Changes to biography and unit associations

1st Air Division records (1AD HQ Historical Society)

Date Contributor Update
02 October 2014 00:23:22 Paul Bellamy Changes to highest rank

1st Air Division records (1AD HQ Historical Society)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:57 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / R. Manning Ancell, The Biographical Dictionary Of World War II Generals And Flag OfficersRoger A. Freeman, The Mighty Eighth, First Over Germany pgs. 62,64-66, 71, 80, 83, 112, 139, 280 & 322, /