HELENA — Camp Rimini veteran and Race to the Sky sled dog race founder Dave Armstrong is celebrating his 100th birthday on Monday, January 4.
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.