Russell Paul Armstrong – Captain, United States Marine Corps

19 October 2007:

Fallon, Nevada, resident and retired U. S. Marine Captain Russell Paul Armstrong 64, died from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle/vehicle accident on Sunday, October 14, 2007 in Fallon, Nevada.

Russ was born in Omaha, Nebraska on December 29, 1942 to Paul and Cleo Armstrong. He has lived in Fallon for the past 20 years moving here from California.

He joined the U.S. Marine Corp when he was 17 years old, a career that lasted 20 plus years. Protecting our country, taking him through the Vietnam era. he was part of Battalion 26 Marine Division. Russ was a hero, decorated on several occassions for his bravery and leadership in Viet Nam. He was wounded in Vietnam and had to be medivaced back to the States.

Russ received a Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Combat Action Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallentry and several more.

Russ was a member of the Legion of Valor; Mustang Marine Association; Purple Heart Association and the VFW.

Russ did under-graduate studies at Chaminada Unversity of Hawaii and was valedictorian of the class. He attended Pepperdine University where he received a master's degree. He attended UNR for a master's and was a PHD candidate.

Russ enjoyed horseback riding, writing and was an old West Historian who loved traveling and exploring historical places.

Russ was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife Connie of Fallon; sons and daughters-in-law William and Laura Armstrong of Sacramento, California, Thomas and Valerie Armstrong of San Climente, California.; stepson and wife, Gerald and Jessie Ogle of Reno; daughters-and sons-in-law, Sheri Armstrong and Ron Sholley of San Antonio, Texas, Maureen and Pat Brooks of Ohio, Kimberly Hoisington of Fallon; grandchildren, William, Dane, Alley, Savanah, Lauryn, Elesabeth, Thomas, Patrick, Shalena, Sarah, Jerry, Christine, Jestin and Tawnie; brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert and Carol Armstrong, Frank and Cindy Armstrong, all of Omaha.

A Celebration of Russ's life will be held Monday, October 22 at 1 p.m. at The Gardens Funeral Home. Visitation begins at 11 a.m.

Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery on December 3, at 9 a.m. with full military honors.

The family suggests donations be made to Wounded Warriors, 1719 N 60th St., Omaha, Nebraska 68104.


  • Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Company I, 3d Battalion, 26th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein.) FMF
  • Date of Action: September 7 & 8, 1967


The Navy Cross is presented to Russell P. Armstrong, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 7 and 8 September 1967.

While moving toward the battalion perimeter near Con Thien, Company I came under a heavy volume of rocket, mortar and artillery fire supporting an attack by a reinforced North Vietnamese Army company which caused numerous casualties and separated the friendly unit into two groups.

Rapidly assessing the situation, Staff Sergeant Armstrong fearlessly raced across the fire-swept terrain as he consolidated his position and organized a defensive perimeter. Shouting words of encouragement to his men and directing their suppressive fire against the enemy, he was supervising the movement of the more seriously wounded Marines to the center of the position when he was severely injured in both legs by a hostile mortar round impacting nearby. Unable to walk, he dragged himself across the hazardous area by the use of his arms alone and resolutely directed his platoon in successfully joining with the main body of the company.

Although in great pain, Staff Sergeant Armstrong steadfastly refused medical evacuation and skillfully began coordinating artillery and mortar fire against the enemy soldiers, frequently adjusting the rounds to within 50 meters of friendly lines. Although periodically lapsing into unconsciousness, he continued his determined efforts throughout the night, crawling among his men to encourage them and ensure that every possible avenue of enemy approach was effectively covered by firepower.

Upon the arrival of a relief force in the early hours of the following morning, he permitted himself to be evacuated only after ascertaining that all of his Marines were accounted for and the more seriously injured had been removed. His heroic and decisive actions were instrumental in his unit's accounting for over 60 of the enemy killed. By his courage, aggressive leadership and selfless devotion to duty, Staff Sergeant Armstrong upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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