In Memoriam: William A. Armstrong

This was sent to me today by Charles Armstrong’s daughter. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 91 ~ Julianne

Charles A. Armstron

Korean War Period: 1951-1955

After graduating Boston College, I was accepted into the OCS program in Newport, Rhode Island.

I was  selected to be a member of the second class. Upon successful completion of a very intense 90-day program I was assigned to the USS Los Angeles. With my background and studies in science and physics I was assigned to the gunnery department and focused on fire control electronics and optical systems. Upon arriving in Korea, I was designated the Main Battery (8”/55 guns) Fire Control Director Officer. I remained in this position for the full tour of combat duty in Korea, approximately 2 ½ years. 

Upon returning to Long Beach, California, I received orders to leave the USS Los Angeles and report to instructors’ school at Norfolk, Virginia and then to Fleet Air Defense (and Guided Missile), Center at Dam Neck, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 The final two years of my service was spent as the Range Officer and Fire Control Director. There were additional duties as the Ammunition Officer, legal support, to enlisted personnel, and providing support to the future assigned members of SEAL Team Six.

 I completed a full and exciting term of service for the Navy in February 1955.

Hughes Aircraft 1962- 1987

I started with Hughes Aircraft in their Naval Programs (DPRD). I participated in several Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) projects. I quickly advanced to become Project Manager in the Systems Division (SD) for new programs on command control, communications (C3), and intelligence studies. A focus in this division were the operational requirement, and design guidelines for the U.S. Navy Advances surface Missile Systems (ASMS) and the Army Surface Missile Defense (SAM-D). These programs produced the Navy’s Aegis missile weapon system and the Army’s Patriot Weapon System for Army units in the field. The next endeavor was the DX Program which evolved into the Spruance Class guided missile destroyer which are currently operating in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.  I spent the next 17 years in the Strategic Missile Division. My work in the Navy’s Special Project included the electronic and guidance systems for the Fleet Ballistic program (Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident submarines). Other projects included Air Force navigation systems, and portable calibration equipment for on -site destroyer electrical equipment. The following projects involved the development of the Star Tracker, and to study the signal processing technology that could be implemented in future guidance and control systems. I retired after 25 years of service at Hughes Aircraft and went on to another 24 years in Aerospace. I took with me a lifetime of friendships and memories.

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