Augustine T. Ledwidge Jr.

  • Colonel
  • Vietnam


Augustine “Gus” Ledwidge was born in 1932, in Providence, Rhode Island.  He entered the University of Rhode Island, graduating in 1954. Gus was commissioned from ROTC.  While at URI he was a member of Phi Mu Delta fraternity. After attending the Officer Basic Course, he attended flight school and became a Transportation Corps officer.

He had a distinguished and honorable 26-year career in the United States Army including tours in Korea, Germany, and two tours in Vietnam, first as Company Commander, then as a Battalion Commander. In Vietnam, in the 339th Transportation Company, Captain Ledwidge experienced a “wild ride” on a Huey helicopter that surely could have killed all five soldiers aboard.  While performing a routine ground run-up and hovering check, the servo cylinder pivot broke causing the aircraft to begin a rapid uncontrolled climb.  “It was like a gas balloon being cut loose. The nose of the ship pointed down in a tail first ascent.  Once we reached 1200 feet, we were able to reduce the pitch, stopping the turning of the helicopter.”  Captain Ledwidge with the help of the crew was able to control the helicopter and safely bring it to ground.

During his career, he had multiple assignments including a variety of aviation tours flying both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. He was assigned as a Weapons System Analyst in the Office of the Army Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and was then selected to attend the National War College, after which he served on the staff of the Secretary of Defense. Following that, he assumed command of the 7th Transportation Group at Ft. Eustis, Virginia.

His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Medals, Senior Army Aviator Badge, Department of the Army and Secretary of Defense Staff Badges.

After his military retirement, Gus worked in telecommunications for many years and retired from General Electric. He was a contributor to the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association and Phi Mu Delta for many years.

He was survived by his wife of 62 years, Joanne Ledwidge, who died in 2021. They had three daughters: Mary Kay Jarrett, Beth Shotwell, and Pam Orsi.   Also surviving them are their seven grandchildren.  Though his career was defined by success, leadership and courage, his true love was his family. His greatest joy was his wife, Joanne, raising their daughters and continuing to be involved in the lives of his children and grandchildren.