Armand W. Page, 87, passed away at the Joan and Diana Hospice on Friday, April 19, 2013. He was born on Sept. 28, 1925 to Mark T. Page and Mildred F. (Mahler) Page at home in St. Louis, Mo. He had resided in Kingman for the last 11 years.
Page spent most of his younger life in the St. Louis area. He moved to Washington, D.C., to live with his father and attend high school. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943.
After his training, he was assigned as a pilot on a B-24 bomber and was sent to England. On his 27th mission, his plane was shot down over Germany. He suffered a "flak" wound in his right knee and he became a POW. After he was liberated by the U.S. Army, he was sent to a hospital in Washington, D.C. After being discharged from the hospital, Page was sent to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he "picked up" a C-45 aircraft and flew it solo to Midway Island, then to Guam. At Guam, he was assigned to fly a P-61 "night fighter" aircraft over the South China Sea in search of pirates. Apparently they were fairly common in that area after the end of World War II.
While stationed at Guam, he was assigned as a C-54 pilot and sent to England via Midway, Hawaii and the U.S. For one year, he flew C-54 aircraft from England to Rhine-Main, Germany, and back to England. This adventure was called the Berlin Airlift. After his one-year assignment for the airlift, he and his crew were sent back to Guam. They took the long route - via France, Italy, Greece, India, Malaya and finally Guam. He and his crew had circumnavigated the globe, compliments of the U.S. Army Air Corps.
He said his orders did not specify the return route to Guam, so he decided on the adventurous trip.
Page separated from the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1946. After a short time as a civilian, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1947 and was assigned to fly B-29s, which he flew until his discharge in 1950. His B-29 assignments often included training flights for practicing in-flight refueling. Those flights began in Georgia and continued to the tip of South America, then to Alaska and finally returning to Georgia. On these missions they would have only one take-off and one landing.
After his discharge in 1950, Page moved back to St. Louis and attended Harris College. He married Dorothy E. Llewellyn on Dec. 22, 1951, at Clayton, Mo. They moved to California in 1951. Page attended the University of California at Berkeley. With the assistance of the G.I. Bill, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees.
After graduation, Page went to work for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He retired from the sheriff's department as a sergeant after 25 years.
After his retirement, Page and Dorothy moved to Antigua in the West Indies and lived there until Dorothy's health deteriorated. They moved back to the U.S. and traveled around the country, finally settling in Florida, where Dorothy died.
Page then moved to Kingman, a town he had admired since passing through it many years before. Page loved trains and even had a tremendous model railroad layout that completely filled his garage. He and his friend, J.L., rode all the old railroad line they could find in the U.S. and Canada. They also attended many railroad shows. Page belonged to the Whistle Stop Railroad Club and the Friends of the Railroad, and he was also a member of the local Retired Police Officers Association and VFW Post 3516.
Page was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Dorothy. He is survived by his sisters, Patricia Page and Marlene McBrearty of Yuma, and his long-time friend and "Nagigator" 1st Class, J.L., who misses him always.
At Page's request, no services will be held. A celebration of his life will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Moose Lodge, 302 Monroe St., Kingman.