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Last remaining member of Camp Rimini during WWII to be recognized before Congress

dave armstrong
Posted at 10:19 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 12:19:26-04

HELENA — Camp Rimini veteran and Race to the Sky sled dog race founder Dave Armstrong is receiving an official Congressional Record from Sen. Steve Daines on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. local time.

Armstrong is being recognized for his service to his country during World War II and as the last living member of the War Dogs For Defense program that occurred in Montana and only four similar sites throughout the Nation.

Camp Rimini veteran and Race To The Sky co-founder celebrates 100th birthday

On January 4, 2021, Armstrong celebrated his 100th birthday.

Armstrong came to Montana in 1943 in a train car full of sled dogs bound for Camp Rimini.

The soldiers of Camp Rimini trained the sled dogs to take part in ground operations in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe during World War II.

The dog teams ended up being used to rescue downed pilots and planes in winter conditions.

In 1986, the retired Armstrong helped found Montana's Governor's Cup Sled Dog Race to honor the dogs and soldiers of Camp Rimini. That race would later become the annual Race To The Sky.

Armstrong competed in the race into his 80s and remained a mentor for many mushers in the decades following.

More about the legacy of Camp Rimini can be found at the Montana Military Museum at Fort Harrison.