Arma E. Andon
Full name:Captain and Company Commander Arma E. Andon
Award:Honoring Our Veterans
Arma E. Andon embodies the life, character and abilities of a generation of leaders who exemplify the great American spirit. Mr. Andon, also referred to as “Ham”, faced nearly insurmountable odds against him from the moment he enlisted in the military during time of war. His courage and capabilities were tested far beyond most individuals’, and he truly deserves the recognition as a New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame member.
Mr. Andon was born on January 4, 1919 in New York City. He graduated from Boston University, and although he was accepted and began to attend Fordham Law School, he did not finish; instead, he chose to enlist in the United States Army to represent and fight for our country during World War II.
After basic training, Officer Candidate School and Combat Infantry Training stateside, Mr. Andon and the rest of the 26th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach in Normandy in 1944. He was Captain and Company Commander of the 328th Infantry Combat Team when General George S. Patton addressed the troops. Mr. Andon’s unit was sent to the front lines in October; immediately, they came under fire. This was a no-holds-barred battle, as the tanks that were supposed to support Mr. Andon’s men became stuck in the mud and the company lost their covering fire. The unit lost many men, but Mr. Andon took over a machine gun to return fire after a lieutenant was mortally wounded.
In March 1945 in Germany, Mr. Andon was in a foxhole and under heavy enemy bombardment. He was badly wounded, sustaining injuries to his abdomen and shattering his left knee and leg. Despite the open gash in his stomach, he continued to fight and lead his men. For this, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Cluster, two Purple Hearts with Cluster and a Presidential Unit Citation. In 2005, Mr. Andon was honored with the Austrian Medal of Honor, and in 2006, with the French President’s Legion of Honor Medal. Mr. Andon retired a Major of the United States Army Reserve.
After the war, Mr. Andon became an active member of the community for many decades, serving in numerous leadership positions in government and with various retired veterans’ organizations. Mr. Andon, with his unyielding love for his country, serves as an incredible role model.