William Anthony was born on 27 October 1853 in Albany, New York. He served in the U.S. Army in 1875-1885, and in July of the latter year enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. During the next dozen years he had both shore and sea service and, in May 1897, became a member of the Marine Guard of the second-class battleship Maine. When that ship exploded on 15 February 1898, Private Anthony went below decks in the sinking ship to report to her Commanding Officer. For this act of bravery, he was promoted to Sergeant in April 1898. During the Spanish-American War, he served in the cruiser Detroit. His final assignment was at the New York Navy Yard's Marine Barracks. William Anthony was honorably discharged in June 1899, with the rank of Sergeant Major, and died in New York City on 24 November of that year.
The U.S. Navy has named two ships in honor of William Anthony: USS Anthony (Destroyer # 172, later DD-172) of 1919-1937; and USS Anthony (DD-515) of 1943-1958.
This page features the only view we have of Sergeant Major William Anthony, USMC.