56th Armored Engineer Battalion  Back to Member Photos

Left to right are: Richard Gildow, Sidney Friedl, Vera Zanardelli, Harry Bullock, and Daniel O'Brien at the 2002 Convention, Columbus, OH

Vera Zanardelli
Executive Vice President

Olindo Zanardelli
Past Vice President

Capt. Edward R. Ardery,
Commanding Company A, 56th Armored Engineer Battalion

In Memoriam

Col. Edward R. (Ted) Ardery
United States Army, Retired

Immediate Past President Ted Ardery A56ENG passed away on Friday, June 9, 2006 at the age of 85, following a lengthy illness. He was born on October 2, 1920 in Washington D.C., the son of a US Army Engineer. After attending Quaker and Military High Schools, he entered the US Military Academy at West Point in 1939. Upon graduation in January 1943, he was assigned to the 11th Armored Division as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 56th Armored Engineer Battalion. During combat in the European Theater of Operations, he assumed command of Company A, 56th Armored Engineer Battalion, with the rank of Captain. He was twice wounded, and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star (twice in addition to the "V" for valor). Captain Ardery earned and enjoyed the respect of all who served in his command.

Upon liberation of Konzentrationslager Mauthausen in 1945, he provided troops and equipment to prepare graves for the thousands of unburied dead.. Even though still recovering from wounds, he participated in the removal of explosives from the underground factory known as Bergkristall, where the Messerschmidt ME 262 jet fighter planes were assembled.

Following WWII, then Major Ardery remained in Germany where he managed the construction of US Army facilities, and guided restoration of the German infrastructure. In 1947 he joined an inter-service team in Antarctica, to study the feasibility of developing aircraft landing sites on the ice cap. 

During the Korean war, Lt. Col. Ardery served as an advisor to the Korean Army. He returned to Germany during the Berlin crisis, where as a full Colonel, he commanded Engineer combat units. He later served on the steering committee that developed specifications for the M-1 Abrams tank.

During the Vietnam War, he managed the operation of US Army facilities.

After his retirement from the US Army in 1973, Ted supervised the construction of portions of the Washington D.C. subway system. He later served as Construction Manager for the Potomac Electric Power Company, retiring in 1994. For several ensuing years, he chaired the Construction Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

In 1951, Ted married US Air Force Major Muriel Moran. Together they raised five children. Edward is an attorney and Administrative Law judge with the Equal Opportunity Commission; Ann is an Architect; Richard is a Hospital Administrator; Joan is an Attorney in private practice; and Lisa is an Investment Banker. Muriel preceded her husband in death. She died of cancer in 1999.

The membership of the 11th Armored Division Association extends sincere sympathy to the family of Edward R. (Ted) Ardery. We honor and respect him as a professional engineer and soldier, a great leader, an exemplary role model, and a patriot a who devoted a lifetime of service to our country.

He will have a funeral service with full military honors on August 7, 2006, at 11:00 am at Ft. Myer Chapel, Ft. Myer, VA.  Interment will follow in Arlington National Cemetery.

Polish concentration camp survivors presenting medal to Col. Edward R. Ardery at KZ Gusen Memorial Ceremony, May 7, 2005


Dallas L. Dennis, long-time Lake Oswego, Oregon resident and partner in the former G. D. Dennis & Sons Construction Company, Inc., of Portland, Oregon, passed away Wednesday, March 7, 2007, at Elmhurst, Illinois. He was 87 years old.

Mr. Dennis was born in Walla Walla, Washington, February 2, 1920, and grew up in Lake Grove, Oregon. He was graduated from nearby West Linn High School.

After marrying the former Rheta Moreland of Lake Grove, Oregon, on June 11, 1942, Mr. Dennis joined the U.S. Army. Following basic training, he was assigned to Company A, 56th Armored Engineer Battalion 11th Armored Division at Camp Polk, Louisiana. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, and served as Company A Motor Sergeant during stateside training and throughout the period of combat in the European Theater of Operations. 

After the end of World War II, Dallas joined his father, the late Glenn Dale Dennis, and two brothers the late Don Dennis of Portland, and Dale Dennis of Wilsonville, in the construction business. The company built homes in the Portland area, and constructed elements of the ALCOA aluminum plant at Wenatchee, Washington.

Beginning in 1951, the company began a distinguished run in construction of jetties along the Oregon coast. Projects included major construction of a jetty at Gold Beach, Oregon. They also restored jetties at Reedsport and Astoria, Oregon.

The firm constructed numerous highway improvement projects in Oregon, Washington, Nevada and California. Major highway projects included those at Mary’s Peak, Smith River, Diamond Lake and the Alsea Mountains in Oregon. In the Portland area, the company was responsible for the Interstate 5 Terwilliger curve project and the Cedar Hills Interchange. They also constructed the Terminal 6 access on the Columbia River. A very challenging project was the Donner Pass widening project on Interstate Highway 80 in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. 

Along with philanthropic projects, Dennis & Sons Construction broke ground and donated all preparation work for the building of the Agnes Flanagan Chapel on the campus Lewis & Clark College in southwest Portland. During an early retirement, Dallas continued to utilize his expertise as a highway construction consultant. 

Mr. Dennis was a lifetime member of the Elks Club and Masonic Temple (32nd degree Mason), where at one-time, along with his father and brothers comprised the largest family membership in the area. He was a long-time member of the Associated General Contractors.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Rheta, of 60 years; his parents; brother, Don; and his sister Illyne Schmitt. He is survived by his brother, Dale, of Wilsonville, and a sister, Sally Miller of Bonsall, Calif.; three daughters, Bonnie Silver of Houston; Beckie Hahn of Lakeland, Florida; and Debbie Johnson of Oak Brook, Illinois. He had four grandchildren. He was buried with military honors in the Willamette National Cemetery in Oregon.

John F. Brand, First Sergeant of Company A, 56th Armored Engineer Battalion,
 at Camp Cooke, California in 1944

On the back of the photo is a typed piece of paper that reads:

"Gmunden, Austria 1945 - Horseback riding stands high on the list of favorite sports at the army's rest center at Gmunden, Austria. Photographed in front of the center - the old Castle of Orth used by the Nazis as a forestry school - are, left to right, Sgt. Clarence Kennedy, Alexandria, La.; Helen Elliott, American Red Cross staff assistant, N??? (it might be Neola) Iowa; Pvt. Johnnie O'Leary, Stillwater, Ok; Cpl. Burdette Baxter, Sioux City, Iowa."

Also, handwritten on the typed paper is:
"D-1446" and "Woodbury". 

FYI-Sioux City, Iowa is in Woodbury County

Rick Baxter

Pfcs Michael O'Donnell and Fritz Nagel A56ENG at Hollywood CA 1944. 

T/5 Daniel O'Brien A56ENG" July 1945

56th Armored Engineer Battalion Headquarters Staff Camp Cooke, California, March 1944

Rear Row left to right: 1st LT Lorenzo Francisco, S-1; 1st LT Edward R. Ardery, Ass't Div Engr.;
Capt Donald W. Lainson, S-4; Capt Richard C. Shannon, Medical Officer; Capt Harry V. Douglas, S-2 

Front Row left to right: Major Owen T. Allen, Exec; Lt Col Andrew V. Inge, CO; Major William E. Mitchell, S-3 (KIA)

I have 2 wonderful photos…the first one is of my father (Chet Rohn, C Company, 56th Armored Engineers, on the right) and his assistant gunner (Roger Kussie, on the left) sitting on the pier of the Strandbad on the Traunsee in Gemünden, Austria in the summer of 1945. They were stationed there running motor boats at an 11th Armored Division rest camp. On the 11th AD Battle Tour this spring, we returned to the same site and took another photo, this time with my father and my 17 year old son, his grandson, Christian Baum. Obviously, the Strandbad has changed quite a bit in the last 65 years, but we feel we are quite close to the original location.

Mally Baum, Associate Pastor
Trinity Presbyterian Church
5871 Virginia Pkwy
McKinney, TX 75071