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Philip McCutcheon Armstrong , Jr.

Date of birth: 4-Jul-29
Date of death: June 8, 1967
Place of Birth: Michigan, Detroit
Home of record: Detroit Michigan
Status: KIA

Philip Armstrong graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1953.


Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the U.S.S. Liberty Incident

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Philip McCutcheon Armstrong, Jr. (NSN: 0-569825/1100), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in connection with an armed attack on the U.S.S. LIBERTY (AGTR-5) in the Eastern Mediterranean, on 8 June 1967. During the early afternoon hours, the U.S.S. LIBERTY was attacked without warning by jet fighter aircraft and three motor torpedo boats. Subjected to intense incendiary, machine-gun, and rocket fire, and placed in extreme jeopardy by a torpedo hit below the waterline on the starboard side, the U.S.S. LIBERTY sustained numerous personnel casualties and severe structural damage. Serving as Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Armstrong was on the bridge when the first strafing attack occurred. A large fire erupted in the vicinity of two 55-gallon gasoline drums, creating the grave danger that the drums might explode and cause a widespread conflagration. Lieutenant Commander Armstrong fearlessly exposed himself to overwhelmingly accurate rocket and machine-gun fire while proceeding to jettison the gasoline drums and organizing a party of men to extinguish the blazing lifeboats nearby. At this time, he received multiple injuries which proved to be fatal a few hours after the attack terminated. By his aggressiveness, composure under fire, and inspiring leadership, Lieutenant Commander Armstrong upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

Action Date: 8-Jun-67

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Company: Executive Officer

Division: U.S.S. Liberty (ATGR-5)