Major General Andrew H. (Andy) Anderson (Ret.) and former Talbot County council member died on April 19, 2023. He was 94. After a more than 40-year military career, General Anderson moved to Talbot County, following retirement from the Army in 1986.
Son of immigrant parents, Hjalmar and Annie (Rjatah) Andreasson from Sweden and Finland respectively, he was born and raised in New York City. General Anderson's father was a steelworker and foreman who worked on major skyscraper construction including, the twin towers of the World Trade Center. His mother was a devoted wife, mother and homemaker. A brother Kenneth preceded him in death.
General Anderson's long and distinguished military career began during World War II. At the age of 16, he enlisted in the New York State Guard, 14th Infantry Regiment, and subsequently transitioned to the New York National Guard. He was serving as a tank platoon sergeant in the 101st Armored Cavalry Regiment during which time he received a commission to 2d Lieutenant. He was called to active duty as a 1st Lieutenant during the Korean Conflict in 1954. As an armor officer, he then embarked on the first of four tours in Germany.
During his first European tour, he met his wife Ellen Lee Miller of Arcadia, FL, while she was working abroad. After a very short courtship, they were married in Aschaffenburg, Germany in 1956. As commander of the Regimental Tank Company, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Infantry Division, Anderson utilized his soldiers and tanks in his wedding ceremony. He and his bride rode astride a tank with its cannon at max elevation, the turret stenciled 'TOO LATE', they proceeded thru the town of Aschaffenburg from chapel to the officers' club. When questioned about his "shotgun wedding" and "gross misuse of government equipment," he explained that this event came under the heading of the daily requirement of exercising equipment: all 22 tanks to be combat loaded and to be in readiness to repel Russian & East German forces. Anderson was one of 20 company commanders and was the lowest ranking officer, all others were captains with WWII & Korean combat experience. Shortly thereafter, he received a direct (competitive) commission in the Regular Army in 1957. Normal command, staff and school assignments followed including an unaccompanied tour in Korea.
In 1968, after completing a three-year assignment in the Pentagon, Anderson volunteered for Vietnam where he was to command the 1st Battalion (Mechanized) 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. It was during heavy fighting in the Michelin rubber plantation and the "Battle of Ben Cui" that his battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the Army's highest unit award. He was subsequently wounded by enemy launched, rocket propelled grenade fire and was evacuated to the United States. He was severely injured, requiring medical treatment for seven months at Valley Forge General Hospital. At this time his wife would dutifully visit him only on weekends as she was a teacher with the Fairfax school system.
Since retirement and moving to Talbot County in 1986, Anderson served more than thirty years as a commissioner of the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home (a Governor's appointment), was designated a MD Veteran of the Year and served as president of the MD Joint Veterans Committee. In addition, he served as board president of the Mid Atlantic Maritime Festival, photography committee chairman Waterfowl Festival, an election judge, AARP tax-preparer, and as a long-time director of the Talbot County Paramedic Foundation. Anderson was elected and served from 1990 -1998 as a member and vice-president of the Talbot County Council. He was the Council 'point man' in the establishment of both the local high school Naval JROTC program and the Talbot County community pool. These were but two of the numerous projects taken on during his two terms of service, as a County Councilman. During this time he also served on the board of the Talbot County Arts Council and again as member of the board of the Arts Council from 2001 through 2007-as vice president and then president. And, again served on the Arts Council from 2008-2014, as chairman of the Mini-Grant Committee, and the Nominating and Bylaws Committee. He was subsequently elected as president emeritus of the Talbot County Arts Council and also serves as president emeritus of the Military Officers Association of America Upper Eastern Shore Chapter and president of the state council, charter chapter and Maryland department commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Honorary Colonel of the 5th Infantry Regiment (a Secretary of the Army appointment) and past president of the 25th Infantry Division Association.
During the last decade his dear wife Lee endured failing health and died December 2, 2016. They were happily married for sixty years and are survived by three sons, James (Barbara) of Rock Hill, SC; Glenn (Catherine) of Florida, Steven (Julie) of Annapolis, MD; and granddaughter, Casey of New York, NY.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home in Easton MD. His service will be held at the funeral home on May 4 at 11 a.m. Interment, with general (flag) officer honors, will be in Arlington National Cemetery on August 18, 2023.