George Kent AWMM
Also known as
Medals and Awards
- Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
DSO: NZ Gazette, 30 April 1946. Citation: "The work of Major Armstrong as OC 27 Mechanical Equipment Company has always been of a very high order. He rendered particularly gallant and valuable service in the recent advance from the Senio to Trieste. In the assault on the Senio there were bulldozers from 27 Mechanical Equipment Company at all six bridge sites spread over a frontage of some three thousand yards. Frequently under heavy shelling and mortaring Major Armstrong moved backwards and forwards across the front setting out and directing the work of his machines. When a dozer was put out of action by shellfire from the right flank Major Armstrong was present and personally assisted in temporary repairs to get the machine in operation again. When later in the night another dozer was more seriously damaged he quickly collected and guided in a reserve machine. The mortar fire was still concentrated on the area, but Major Armstrong remained for almost an hour encouraging the operator and guiding the dozer blade with an electric torch. During the day of 10 April 1945 there were again a number of machines pushing forward on the two axis for the Division. Major Armstrong made early reconnaissances and personally co-ordinated and directed the work of eight bulldozers. On one occasion when moving up to examine the Lugu Canal he came under aimed small arms fire from close range but this did not deter him. Taking advantage of what small cover the ground provided he crawled forward and made an accurate reconnaissance of the site. Since an ordinary bulldozer could not have worked under the machine gun fire, he made contact with the Assault Squadron and led a Sherman dozer in, which soon completed a temporary crossing for the passage of tanks. Our assault bridging depended as much upon bulldozing operations as upon actual bridge construction itself. Therefore in the crossing of the Senio, Santerno, Sillaro and the Gaiana many bulldozers were deployed on the divisional front. Frequently under heavy shelling Major Armstrong moved from site to site, offering advice here and a helping hand there, to ensure that his machines were operated at maximum efficiency. Right through the Piave and beyond Major Armstrong kept his bulldozers up with the forward elements, preparing the way for the advance. He never spared himself and worked long hours night and day, and by his inspiring leadership kept his officers and men cheerfully giving of their best long after they might have been expected to be too tired and exhausted to continue. The work of Major Armstrong was characterised by efficiency, dash and gallantry and the rapid crossing of the many obstacles between the Senio and Piave was in considerable measure due to his outstanding efforts." AWMM
- Military Cross (MC) AWMM
4 April 1944 AWMM
The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Armstrong, George Kent. (Ref. WO 373/5/425). Military Cross. AWMM
- 1939-1945 Star AWMM
- Africa Star (8th Army clasp) AWMM
- Italy Star AWMM
- War Medal 1939-1945 with oak leaf AWMM
- New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Officer Commanding (OC) of 27 Mechanical Equipment Co., NZE, January - June 1945.
Served as Commander Royal Engineers (CRE) in Territorial Forces, 1955-57.
Maj G. K. Armstrong, DSO, MC, m.i.d.; Dunedin; born NZ 4 Feb 1915; civil engineer; OC 27 Mech Equip Coy Jan-Jun 1945. (Source: Cody, J.F. New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. p.485.)
'While the infantry were fighting in the streets of Orsogna, Captain Armstrong was waiting with two dozers behind the rear troop of support armour. The D6 was hit dead centre on the motor and had to be pushed out of the way. Upon the receipt of Hermans' message the D8, operated by Sapper Griffiths, was edged past the stationary tanks, accompanied by Captain Armstrong on foot, and began to bulldoze a track into the demolition and out the far side.
Technically the job was not a difficult one, but it required more than the average amount of nerve on the part of the operator as he was working an unprotected machine in the middle of a fierce conflict—and was perched about six feet above ground while everybody else, excluding his commander, was lying as flat as a pancake behind whatever cover could be found. Griffiths' subsequent MM was well merited, as was Captain Armstrong's MC for ‘gallantry and inspiring leadership’.' (Source: Cody, J.F. New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. p. 518.) AWMM
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George Kent Armstrong
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1942). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 5 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1941 to 30 September, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
- Cody, J.F. (1961). New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
pp.482, 485, 487, 502, 507n, 518, 538, 592, 662, 666, 682, 700. AWMM
- Kay, R. (1967). Italy. Volume 2. From Cassino to Trieste. Dept. of Internal Affairs, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
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