|Birth: ||Jul. 7, 1917|
|Death: ||May 14, 1987|
He was a career Army man. He had enlisted in the US Army in 1941 and served in World War II and the Korean War. He had been selected for Officer Candidate School and was commissioned. He contracted tuberculosis in the Philippine Islands following the Korean War and remained under medical care of the Army for the rest of his life, although he was medically retired in 1956 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1942, he was assigned to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) of the 82nd Airborne Division. After training at Fort Benning, Georgia and Fort Bragg North Carolina, the unit was sent to North Africa for battle staging and on 9 July 1943, the 3rd Battalion of the 504th PIR helped spearhead the invasion of Sicily in the first airborne military offensive in the history of the United States of America. He was the first American paratrooper to set foot on Sicily.
Lieutenant Colonel Aldridge was awarded the Silver Star during World War II for heroism in Italy. He was cited for having gathered 32 men from the remnants of his unit, organizing a platoon and leading them in an attack through a mined area and "thereby materially aiding in the capture of a hill."
In 1944, following the Battle of Anzio, his unit (3rd Battalion) was the first in the European Theater of Operations to receive the Presidential Unit Citation Award.
Following the action in Italy, The 504 PIR fought in France, Belgium, The Battle of the Bulge and was among the first American solders to enter and capture Berlin.
In other action, he was also awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart Metals.
In one letter to his mother, Lieutenant Aldridge wrote that he had been living in a foxhole for a long time, "but believe it or not, I have a typewriter."
Plot: Section 5 – Lot 20 – Block 35
Created by: Richard Aldridge
Record added: Nov 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 80683412
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