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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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611 Squadron crest
05.02.1943 No. 611 Squadron Spitfire IX BS435 FY-F Sq/Ldr. Hugo T. Armstrong D.F.C. Bar

Operation: Scramble

Date: 5th February 1943

Unit: 611 Squadron RAF

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: BS435

Coded: FY-F

Location: English Channel off Boulogne, France

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Hugo Throssell Armstrong DFC and Bar. AUS/406022 RAAF Age 26. Missing


Sq/Ldr. Armsrtong was the Commanding Officer of 611 Squadron, which took-off on a scramble to intercept an FW190 raid, but was shot down by one of the FW190s from 5/JG26 in the sea off Boulogne. The German pilot credited with this was Ofz Heinz Gomann.

Hugo Armstrong (Nicknamed "Sinker") was credited with 12 kills during WW2, all of them whilst flying Spitfires and all with RAF squadrons. Of those, the last 3 were while flying Spitfire Mk IXs with No 611 Squadron. at Biggin Hill. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in early part of 1941. He then served with 129 and 72 Squadron's until July 1942 when he was then posted as O.C. 611 Sn. In the meantime his tally had reached 9 kills.

Pictured here in the centre with W/C Richard Maxwell Milne, RAF on the left and Adj. Robert G. Goulby Free French Air Force on the right. Taken at Tangmere, just weeks before he was killed. (Picture kindly supplied by the Australian War memorial.)

The first occurring on the 21st September 1941 when he shot down a Bf 109E over Le Torquet whilst escorting Blenheims in a 129 Sqn Mk VB. The move to 611 Squadron gave him the opportunity to fly the Spitfire Mk 1X and all of the other 3 victories using this mark plus a further 2 probables, were scored in his aircraft BS435/FY-F. The first of these were scored on the 2nd November 1942 when he claimed a FW 190 destroyed and a Bf 109E was noted as a probable.

He claimed another FW 190 probable on the 9th November over Calais. 2 further kills followed on the 20th January 1943, this time a pair of Bf 109F's south of Pevensey Bay. These aircraft had been part of a raid on Biggin Hill. During this battle the squadron shot down a total of 6 aircraft. Whilst serving with 72 squadron during April 1942 the Spitfire he was flying (BM384) developed engine problems and he was forced to crash land at Gravesend, the aircraft suffered a Cat B damage - repaired and returned to service and "Sinker" was injured.

Left: Sq/Ldr. Hugo Armstrong RAAF DFC and Bar. Right: Ofz Heinz Gomann (courtesy Ivan Nitelescu)

Armstrong centre, left is Sq/Ldr. Slater AFC Killed on the 14th March 1943 with right Gp/Cpt. Sailor Malan

Burial Details:

Sq/Ldr. Hugo Throssell Armstrong DFC and Bar. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 187. Son of Percivil William and Grace Ethel Armstrong, of Travancore, Victoria, Australia.

Left: One of the panel areas at Runnymede Memorial (Aircrew Remembered Archives)

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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