2-war vet became teacher at Iolani
Peter Armstrong / Marine, educator
Peter Forbes Campbell Armstrong considered himself a fortunate man to have served as a Marine Corps officer in two wars and as a teacher at Iolani School for nearly two decades.
Armstrong, who died Thursday, was commissioned through the Naval Cadet Program in 1946 and chose the Marine Corps because he preferred the "sharp appearance and fitness" of the Marines, according to his longtime friend, retired Navy Capt. Chuck Swanson.
He served in combat in two wars, as a platoon commander in Korea and as a combat intelligence officer in Vietnam. As a major, he commanded a battalion and served two tours as an intelligence officer with CINCPAC and then with the Defense Intelligence Agency and on the staff of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C.
Armstrong, 78, graduated from Princeton University in 1950 and received his master's degree in history from American University in 1968.
After he retired as a colonel in 1979, Armstrong joined the Iolani faculty as a history teacher and spent the next 23 years teaching and mentoring students. He was instrumental in building up the advanced placement program in United States and European history. In remembering his years at the private school, Armstrong once said: "My students were a delight to me -- a number of them brilliant. A few of them went on to receive Ph.D.s in history."
Carl Ackerman, who started at Iolani School at the same time as Armstrong, said his demanding teaching style and in-depth world knowledge stimulated not only his students but also his colleagues.
Armstrong is survived by his wife, Margaret; his two children, Elizabeth Armstrong Downing of London, and Peter Forbes Campbell Armstrong Jr. of Denver; his sisters Rhoda E. A. Hackler of Honolulu, Jean Forbes Kanstein of Berkeley, Calif., and Alexandra Armstrong of Washington, D.C.; two stepchildren, Gretchen Scott of New York and Geoffrey Scott of San Francisco; and five grandchildren.
Services will be held at St. Alban's Chapel at Iolani School on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The family requests that donations be made to the Peter F. C. Armstrong Endowment Fund to provide financial aid to deserving students at Iolani School.
Contributions to the Peter F.C. Armstrong Endowment Fund may be sent to the Office of Institutional Development, Iolani School, 563 Kamoku St., Honolulu 96826.