Edwin M. Aldrich 1944

1944 Class Crest

Cullum No. 14382 • Sep 14, 1988 • Died in Woodbury, TN

Interred in West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY


EDWIN MORIEL ALDRICH was a man of great persistence, a dedicated leader and a devoted husband and father who inspired all with whom he shared his life—his wife, his children, his fellow soldiers, and his associates in civilian life—all of us who called him “friend.”

Ed was born 29 April 1922 in Charleston, West Virginia, the son of Colonel M. S. and Marguerite Mahan Aldrich. Known as “Rojo” to many of his classmates because of his red hair, Ed grew up in Charleston and attended Augusta Military Academy (AMA) in Fort Defiance, Virginia for four years. At AMA Ed was treasurer of the Student Body and chairman of the Honor Committee. He was identified by his fellow cadets as possessing outstanding executive ability with a great sense of justice and fair play-attributes which he displayed throughout his life.

Ed entered West Point in July 1940 with what later became the Class of June 1943. Because of difficulty with math, he spent 1941 studying for re-entrance to the Academy. His persistence paid dividends, and he was readmitted in January 1942.

Ed was a natural leader who early in his cadetship earned the respect and admiration of his companymates and the Tactical Department. Therefore, it came as no surprise when the “Make List” announced Rojo’s appointment as cadet company commander of Company Gl. He was held in great esteem by his classmates and, because of the interest he displayed in their lives and careers, they appointed him leader for West Point Affairs the remainder of his life.

Ed graduated on 6 June 1944, a member of the “D-Day Class,” and was commissioned in the Infantry. On 10 June 1944 in Flint, Michigan, he married Marge Ann Taylor, better known to her friends as “Sugar.” The couple honeymooned en route to the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Fort Benning, Georgia.

Upon graduation from the basic course Ed was assigned as a rifle platoon leader in Company E, 264th Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division at Camp Rucker, Alabama. The division was deployed to the European Theater of Operations on 14 November 1944. After a short training period in England, en route to Cherbourg in France, the ship {TheLeopoldville) transporting Ed’s regiment was torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel on Christmas Eve 1944. Ed’s determination and training served him well; he survived the ordeal, floating for hours before being picked up without major harm and returned to duty with his division.

Upon regrouping, the division was tasked with sealing off the Cherbourg Peninsula. For the remainder of the war, Ed was engaged in blocking German efforts to break out of the perimeter at Lorient and St. Nazaire.

Following VE Day he was reassigned as commanding officer, Company A, Headquarters Regiment, Berlin Command, OMGUS. Sugar and their first child. Marguerite Ann (bom 25 March 1945), joined Rojo in Berlin where they lived for two years. Ed was promoted to captain in July 1946 and returned to the United States with this family in late summer 1947. He was assigned to Fort Myer, Virginia as the commanding officer of the Cavalry Detachment, 3rd Infantry.

Ed had all the attributes necessary for a brilliant career in the Army, but was retired for a physical disability in February 1948.

Rojo and Sugar’s first son, Joseph Edwin (USMA 1970), was bom in March of 1948. Rojo was recalled to active duty in September 1948 and assigned as assistant PMS&T, Augusta Military Academy, where he served for almost two years. Because of a change in policy pertaining to officers retired for physical disability, Ed returned to retired status in July 1950. In September 1950 their second son, Michael Morial (USMA 1972), joined the family.

Ed spent six months in the insurance business with his father in Charleston, West Virginia before joining General Motors Corporation in February 1952. He served as their divisional representative at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, coordinating GM’s production of the F-84F used in the Korean War. Rojo and Sug’s second daughter, Laura Gail, was bom 21 June 1954.

In February 1955 Ed was appointed director of Building Services for the Fisher Body Division of General Motors at their Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. In May 1962 son Robert Taylor joined the family, now living in nearby Rochester, Michigan where Rojo served as a village councilman.

Ed retired from Fisher Body in May 1978. He and Sugar moved to Woodbury, Tennessee, where the pace was slow, the climate mild and the people friendly. The children, living all over the world, kept them busy welcoming 10 grandchildren.

There was never a person more loyal to West Point, his family and his many friends than Ed Aldrich. His devotion to Duty, commitment to Honor and dedication to his Country were unmatched. He is missed and his memory is cherished.

Well done, Ed. Be thou at peace.

His family and classmates