ARMSTEAD, ROCKY D
Rank / Branch:
101ST AIRBORNE DIVIS
Date of Birth:
NON-HOSTILE AIR CRASH
Awards & Decorations:
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ROCKY D. ARMSTEAD, WARRANT OFFICER, U.S. ARMY, MONAHANS, WARD COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Aviator Wings, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Rocky D. Armstead was born in Pampa, Texas to Vivian Lavern Hudson and Jake W. Armstead. He had an older brother, Darrell. His parents divorced and he and his brother were placed in the Methodist Home in Waco where they remained for four years. In 1956, his father was killed in a car accident near Monahans. He and his older brother, then went to live with his aunt and uncle, J.W. and Maxine Armstead. The family was living in Midland and they had children who Rocky came to consider to be his brothers and his sister. When Rocky started junior high the family moved to Eunice, New Mexico and then to Monahans where Rocky finished junior high and then finished Monahans High School in 1964.
After high school in 1965, he married Sandra Calloway of Monahans and they moved to Arlington, where Rocky was attending Arlington State College (now the University of Texas at Arlington) majorng in Engineering. He was also working at Texas Instruments. Their daughter, Ronda Dee was born in January 1966 in Arlington. Rocky and Sandra divorced in 1967 and Rocky dropped out of college to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1968.
He completed basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was accepted in the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Flight Program. He completed his primary helicopter flight training at Fort Wolters, Texas, Class 69-7 A-1 and his advanced Rotary Wing Flight Training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. At the conclusion of the flight training, he was commissioned as a Warrant Officer-WO1.
Warrant Officer Flight School, Ft. Wolters, Texas-1968
He began his tour in Vietnam on July 3, 1969. He was assigned to the 326th Medical Company, 101st Airborne Division as a medevac pilot. On October 5, 1969, he was the co-pilot of a UH-1H, tail number 69-19516. The aircraft was inbound to Mai Loc from an aborted medevac mission when the aircraft went IFR at night during bad weather. Both pilots possibly suffered vertigo. The aircraft crashed and the crew perished.
WO1 Armstead was buried with full military honors in Monahans City Cemetary in Monahans, Texas. He was survived by his daughter of Arlington, his adopted parents of Monahans and his brothers, Darrell, James and Kim and his sister, Randi.
His daughter used her survivor's VA benefits to help her complete her degree at the University of Texas. She is married to Louis Wood (Woody) Englander Jr., and are the parents to Rocky's grandchildren, Blair Elizabeth born March 10th, 1995 and Samuel Louis born May 25th, 1998 both in Waco, TX. They live in Austin, TX.
His adopted parents later moved to Big Spring, Texas to live closer to two of their sons, James and Kim. His older brother Darrell had been living in Medord, Oregon before he passed away. His adopted parents and his brothers, James Mac have since passed away. His adopted parents are buried next to him. His surviving brother, Kim, lives in Big Spring and his sister, Randi Turnan lives in Kennedale, Texas. His father, Jake W. is buried in Midland in the Fairview Cemetery and his mother Vivian Laverne Green is buried in Stinnett, Texas. She died in 1976 from breast cancer.
Monahans City Cemetery, Monahans, Texas