b. 16/04/1948 Washington D.C. d. 24/08/1969 Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 24/08/1969 Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.
Anderson was born on 16 April 1948, in Washington, D.C. At an early age, he moved with his parents to Houston, Texas, gaining the nickname “Tex”. He graduated from M.B. Smiley High School there in May 1966, then attended San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas, for a year and a half.
Anderson enlisted in the Marine Corps in Houston on 8 April 1968. Upon completion of recruit training with the 2d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, he received individual combat training with the 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, and returned to San Diego to attend Sea School. He was promoted to Private First Class (PFC) effective 1 July 1968.
PFC Anderson completed his training in October 1968, and was ordered to the Far East, where he joined Sub Unit #1, Provisional Service Battalion, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. In November 1968, he was reassigned duty with the 3rd Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam, and served initially as a rifleman with Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. In January 1969, he assumed duty as a scout and, later, Assistant Fire Team Leader with Company E, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. He was promoted to Lance Corporal effective 1 June 1969.
On 24 August 1969, while participating in combat approximately 12 miles northwest of Vandegrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province, he was mortally wounded when he smothered a grenade which had landed between himself and another Marine. His Medal was posthumously awarded to his family at the White House by Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew on July 15, 1971. His name can be found on Panel 19W, Line 110 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.
“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Assistant Fire Team Leader with Company E, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. While conducting a patrol during the early morning hours of 24 August 1969, Lance Corporal Anderson’s reconnaissance team came under a heavy volume of automatic weapons and machine gun fire from a numerically superior and well-concealed enemy force. Although painfully wounded in both legs and knocked to the ground during the initial moments of the fierce fire fight, Lance Corporal Anderson assumed a prone position and continued to deliver intense suppressive fire in an attempt to repulse the attackers. Moments later he was wounded a second time by an enemy soldier who had approached to within eight feet of the team’s position. Undaunted, he continued to pour a relentless stream of fire at the assaulting unit, even while a companion was treating his legs wounds. Observing an enemy hand grenade land between himself and the other Marine, Lance Corporal Anderson immediately rolled over and covered the lethal weapon with his body, absorbing the full effects of the detonation.
BURIAL LOCATION: FOREST PARK CEMETERY, HOUSTON, TEXAS.
SECTION 33, LOT 257, SPACE 1.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.