M.101  Commander Oliver Eric 'Paddy' Armstrong 

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b. 19 Mar 1903, Dublin  27 May 1940 to 30 Nov 1945 

    Irish Free Press    ATAM    

 

Father: Samuel Reid Armstrong (d. 1936), Mother: Charlotte Matilda [Sheircliffe]

Ed. Diocesan School, Dublin

prev. RAF Sgt Pilot 1919-31, but "it was not until the last four years of his service that he became a pilot."

"Isle of Man Airways pilot before the war and later Officer Commanding the Belfast Ferry Pool; one of the best-known characters in the ATA - and in many a corner of his native Ireland." - BG

"It was the glamour of the first Atlantic flight by Alcock and Brown in 1919 which overcome his father's objections to Paddy joining the Royal Air Force as a pilot. This portion of his career lasted to 1931, taking him to Egypt, Iraq, India, 6:lrmo and South Africa. In 1931 he obtained his commercial flying licence arid joined lona National Airways in his native Ireland.

Captain Armstrong's next venture was on air service of his own which performed the essential function for the Irish —of flying evening newspapers with the racing results from Dublin to Then came a spell with West Coast Air Services until he joined Aer Lingus in 1936, piloting that company's very first flight, five passengers from Dublin to Bristol in a de Havilland Dragon." - Birmingham Weekly Post

 

m. 1938 in Kensington, London, Vera Alice [Long]

Address in 1940: 31 Upper Bagot St., Dublin


 Postings: 3FPP, 1FPP, 6FPP, 8FPP (As CO), 4FPP, 3FPP

Suspended without pay for a month on 3 Aug 1941, for 'neglect of flying duty"

 

4 accidents, 2 his fault:

31 Jan 1940, an incident involving Hempden AD746

-  1 Jan 1941, Commended for incident involving Manchester L7292

- 21 Mar 1941, an incident in Wellington W2749 caused by the the aerodrome being in an unserviceable state

- 8 Mar 1941, the emergency parachute exit of his Stirling N6011 was accidentally opened by the Air Gunner after landing

- 19 Aug 1941, forced landing near Jurby, IoM, after the starboard engine failed in his Blenheim V5374. See the account by James O'Halloran (who, along with John Milne Greaves and Peter Twiss, was injured)

- 22 Jan 1944, whilst taxying 'without due care', the starboard propeller of his Wellington X HE755 struck a petrol bowser.

 

 "I am very pleased with the way in which Cmdr Armstrong has always run this remote and difficult Pool (8FPP, Belfast).  - MWS Boucher


   1957

" When he cut the cake at the Aer Lingus 21st birthday party at Elmdon last week it was said of Captain Oliver Eric Armstrong that few men have done more for aviation in Britain. He hos done it quietly and unostentatiously, but the facts prove the contention - 15,000 hours, or nearly two years of his life, spent in the air piloting more than 100 different types of aircraft, while his log book during and following the Second World War shows daily flights to destinaions all over Europe, with a journey to South Africa by way of variety.

"Paddy" Armstrong is now mainly chairborne, as commercial manager of Don Everall (Aviation) Ltd., but as the hum of aircraft penetrates his office at Elmdon Airport what memories it wings of life in the clouds.

After the war he was with various air services at Bristol before corning to Don Everall (Aviation) Ltd. in Birmingham for whom together with charter flights and services to the Isle of Wight, Jersey, Palma and Perpignan, Captain Armstrong has done as many as 40 short pleasure flips in a day. Now, from his desk, he remains in touch with the flights he once piloted and with such unexpected cargoes as pigs from Glasgow to Paris, and corpses from Birmingham to Ireland. Still aviation is Captain Armstrong's life for, asked about his other interests, he will reply, " If you fly, all your time is involved." " -  Birmingham Weekly Post

 

d. 26 Dec 1959 - Birmingham

"OBITUARY Capt. Oliver Eric Armstrong

Capt. Oliver Eric ("Paddy") Armstrong, one of the best-known aviators in the Midlands, died on Boxing Day in a Birmingham hospital. He was 58. 

As soon as he was out of uniform he joined lona National Airways in Ireland as a pilot, and then started an airline of his own. BAN: newspapers from Dublin to Galway. After a period with West Coast Air Services he joined Aer Lingua in 1939.

When the Second World War broke out, Captain Armstrong, being too old for the RA.F.. joined the Air Transport Auxiliary. " Paddy* and his men at Belfast ferried aircraft in all kinds of weather. He flew nearly 100 different types.

After the war he returned to civil aviation, flying for Morton Air Services and Cambrian Airways. He came to Birmingham to fly for Don Everall (Aviation), Ltd., and piloted charter flights and scheduled services to such places as the Isle of Wight, Jersey, Palma and Perpignan. He also took many Midlanders for "joy flights" round Elmdon Airport. Later he was appointed commercial manager of Don Everall at Elmdon, and left the airline early in 1968.

He leaves a daughter. Patricia. aged 11. The funeral will be at Yardley Cemetery on Thursday." Birmingham Daily Post, 28 Dec 1959

  


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