Lieutenant Commander Philip McCutcheon Armstrong
July 4, 1929 - June 8, 1967
Philip McCutcheon Armstrong was a 1953 graduate of the United States Military Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
His service included tours in USS Betelgeuse AKA-260 and USS Liberty AGTR-5 as the ship's executive officer. He was killed in the Israeli attack on USS Liberty when he was hit with aircraft fire while attempting to jettison flaming drums of gasoline. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for this heroic act.
Lieutenant Commander Philip Armstrong
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 stored near the bridge and there was a grave danger that the drums might explode and cause a wide-spread uncontrollable conflagration. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, he fearlessly exposed himself to overwhelmingly accurate rocket and machine gun fire while proceeding to jettison the gasoline drums and organize a party of men to extinguish the blazing lifeboats. At this time he received multiple injuries which proved to be fatal . . . . "
- Memorial stone at Military & Space Museum, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
- Memorial display highlighting Philp Armstrong, Frankenmuth, Michigan.
- The USS Betelgeuse Association dedicated a memorial to Phil Armstrong at Greater Charleston (SC) Memorial Park on 24 or 25 April, 2009, consisting of an 8 foot Japanese Maple and plaque. The dedication was attended by members of the Armstrong family and representatives of the USS Liberty Veterans Association.
- Memorial nameplates for Phil Armstrong and Steve Toth at Hall of Heroes, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis.
LCDR Philip McCutcheon Armstrong, Jr., USN, 569825/1100
Born 4 July 1929, Detroit, Michigan
Active duty since 5 June 1953
US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Class of 1953
Wife: Marie Kearney "Weetie" Armstrong, Virginia Beach, VA
Father: Philip M.C. Armstrong, Detroit, Michigan
Mortally wounded near the bridge attempting to extinguish large fire
Died about 4 hours later in battle dressing station
Received Navy Cross for heroism during battle
Buried: Arlington National Cemetery grave 2096X, Section 3
His wife died in 1988 of cancer.
Remembrance: Memorial display: Hall of Heroes, US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
Memorial display: Military and Space Museum,
Frankenmuth, Michigan, dedicated November, 1990, contains
his Navy Cross, uniform, story of attack, copy of Ennes' book.