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Anton Bennett Anderson

28 October 1888 - 7 February 1974

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Anton Bennett Anderson was born in Stanhope, New Jersey, on 28 October 1888, son of Martin and Louise J. (Benson) Anderson. He attended Dover (New Jersey) High School, prior to entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment by Congressman Charles N. Fowler of the Fifth District of New Jersey in 1908. While at the Academy, he was an Expert Rifleman and played on the baseball squad. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on 8 June 1912, he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from 1 November 1939. On 1 January 1947 he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy and was advanced to the rank of Rear Admiral on the basis of a combat award.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1912, he joined USS Idaho and three months later transferred to USS Wyoming, flagship of the Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet. Detached from that battleship in March 1914, he was next assigned as an Instructor at the US Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois. In November 1914 he reported on board USS Nashville and while attached to that cruiser participated, in 1915, in landing force operations at Cape Haitian Port de Paix and Caracol, Haiti. During the period March 1916 to August 1918 he continued duty afloat in USS New Hampshire and was a member of a force landed at San Pedro de Macoris, Santo Domingo in January 1917. He remained on board that battleship following the United States entry into World War I and until August 1918. During the remaining part of the War he served as Flag Lieutenant to Commander Battleship Force ONE, Atlantic Fleet, USS Minnesota, later USS Pennsylvania, flagship. He performed meritorious service in that assignment and received a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.

Ordered to the Fore River Shipbuilding Company, Quincy, Massachusetts, he had fitting out duty in USS Belknap in April 1919, and when that vessel was commissioned, 25 April, he joined her as Executive Officer and served in that destroyer, operating with Naval Forces in the Eastern Mediterranean, until November 1919. After brief duty in the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department, Washington, DC, he reported in December 1919, as Recruiting Officer at Columbia, South Carolina. He remained there until November 1921, then served as Flag Secretary to Commander Train, United States Fleet. From July 1924 until June 1926 he was an Instructor of Midshipman in the Department of Seamanship at the Naval Academy.

In July 1926 he assumed command of USS Mervine, station ship at Cape Gracias a Dios and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. The Mervine, under his command, operated off the coast of Nicaragua protecting United States Nationals and United States interests. Detached from command of the Mervine in April 1929, he was Officer in Charge of the Aviation Mechanics School at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, until May 1931 and the next month joined USS Lexington as Gunnery Officer. Returning to the Naval Academy, he served from May 1933 to May 1936 as an Instructor of Midshipman in the Department of English and History and also had duty as Secretary-Treasurer of the United States Naval Institute and Editor of the US Naval Institute Proceedings.

In July 1936 he became Commander Destroyer Division FOURTEEN of the Asiatic Fleet. During the period August to December 1937 that division operated in the Shanghai area. Between July 1938 and December 1942 he was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, serving as Chief of the War Procurement Planning Section, interspersed with instruction, September 1938- June 1939, at the Army Industrial College, Washington, D.C. He reported in February 1943 as Chief of Staff to Commander THIRD Amphibious Force, South Pacific and in August of that year became Commander Transport Division TWO, USS President Jackson flagship. "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as Commander of a Task Unit carrying reinforcements to the American-held positions in the Empress Augusta Bay Area on Bougainville Island, 8 November 1943..." he was awarded the Silver Star Medal. The citation further states in part:

"When his force was subjected to a coordinated attack by approximately one hundred Japanese torpedo and fighter planes, Captain Anderson disposed his vessels with brilliant tactical skill, enabling his command to destroy seven enemy aircraft and repel the assault with only slight damage to his ship..."

He is also entitled to the Ribbon for the Navy Unit Commendation awarded the USS President Jackson.

He returned to the United States in April 1944 and after several months’ hospitalization, reported in July 1944 as President of the Board of Review, Discharges and Dismissals, Navy Department. He remained there until relieved of all active duty pending his retirement, effective 1 January 1947.

In addition to the Silver Star Medal and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Rear Admiral Anderson has the Navy Expeditionary Medal; Haitian Campaign Medal;Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp (World War I); Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal; China Service Medal; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal. He was also awarded the Order of the British Empire, rank of Commander, upon recommendation of the New Zealand Government for services with the SECOND New Zealand Expeditionary Force in World War II.

END

Published: Wed Mar 14 07:15:45 EDT 2018