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Triumph and Tragedy: Maj. John "Jack" L. Armstrong

On Sept. 3, 1954, Maj. John "Jack" L. Armstrong, an Air Force test pilot at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, flew an F-86H to set a new speed record of 649.302 mph for the 500-km course. For this feat, Maj. Armstrong was awarded the General Electric Trophy, but sadly, he was unable to accept it. Two days later, while simulating the record flight to the crowd at the National Aircraft Show, Maj. Armstrong died when his F-86H suddenly broke up in mid-air.

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