b. 06/07/1922 Eagle, Wisconsin. d. 07/11/1996 Salinas, California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 13/04/1945 Kakazu Ridge, Okinawa, Japan.
Anderson was born on July 6, 1922 in Eagle, Wisconsin, and moved to nearby Soldiers Grove before joining the Army. Enlisting in the United States Army in 1942, Anderson was sent to the South West Pacific theater in July 1944. He earned the Bronze Star while serving on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. By April 13, 1945, he was participating in the Battle of Okinawa as a technical sergeant in the 381st Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division. His Medal was awarded to him by President Harry S Truman on Memorial Day, May 27, 1946.
Anderson served in the United States Army Reserve after the war, eventually gaining a commission as a second lieutenant. He left the military on September 30, 1952, after ten years of service. After returning from the war, Anderson lived in Beloit, Wisconsin, and later spent time in Mackinac Island, Michigan. Ultimately, he relocated to Monterey County, California, where he served as mayor and city councilman of Seaside and as a Monterey County Supervisor. He lived on a cattle ranch near Hunter Liggett and spent the last years of his life in Salinas. Anderson died on November 7, 1996. His wife of 50 years, Phyllis, died the next month, on December 23rd 1996. They are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery.
He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. When a powerfully conducted predawn Japanese counterattack struck his unit’s flank, he ordered his men to take cover in an old tomb, and then, armed only with a carbine, faced the onslaught alone. After emptying 1 magazine at pointblank range into the screaming attackers, he seized an enemy mortar dud and threw it back among the charging enemy Japanese soldiers, killing several as it burst. Securing a box of mortar shells, he extracted the safety pins, banged the bases upon a rock to arm them and proceeded alternately to hurl shells and fire his piece among the fanatical foe, finally forcing them to withdraw. Despite the protests of his comrades, and bleeding profusely from a severe shrapnel wound, he made his way to his company commander to report the action. T/Sgt. Anderson’s intrepid conduct in the face of overwhelming odds accounted for 25 enemy killed and several machineguns and knee mortars destroyed, thus single-handedly removing a serious threat to the company’s flank.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
SECTION 44, GRAVE 292.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: WISCONSIN VETERANS MUSEUM, MADISON, WISCONSIN.