Edward Abel Anderson was born in Kellogg, Iowa, on 3 June 1913, son of Clifford F. and Ethel L. (Doty) Anderson. He attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1931-1932, was graduated from the University of Iowa with the degree of Bachelor of Science (Liberal Arts) in 1933, and during the next four years studied Medicine at the University of Iowa School of Medicine, receiving the degree of Doctor of Medicine on graduation in 1937. He interned at Methodist Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin, and on 16 July 1938, was commissioned Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Medical Corps of the US Navy. By subsequent advancement he attained the rank of Captain, to date from 1 June 1954.
Reporting in August 1938 to the US Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, he remained there as Assistant in Surgery until October 1939, then had similar duty at the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, T H. In April 1941 he was assigned to USS Oklahoma, in which he was serving as Junior Medical Officer at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941. That battleship was sunk by the enemy, and he was assigned temporary duty at the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, December 1941-February 1942, then for eight months thereafter served as Junior Medical Officer and Station Surgeon at the US Naval Air Station, Palmyra Island, in the Pacific.
Captain Anderson is entitled to the Ribbon for the Navy Unit Commendation awarded the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, as follows: "For extremely meritorious service in support of military operations during the enemy Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941. Alert and prompt in preparing for any emergency after approximately twenty Japanese planes appeared over the buildings in route to attack Pacific Fleet ships and shore installations, the Staff of the United States Naval Hospital immediately manned fire-fighting and battle dressing stations, thereby making possible the rapid extinguishing of flames when a blazing hostile plane crashed and ignited the hospital shortly after the attack began. As a heavy stream of casualties began flowing in, this gallant organization expended every effort in utilizing all available facilities and worked without thought of rest for the relief of the hundreds of injured, rendering further efficient service by maintaining complete records. The courage, initiative and valiant devotion to duty displayed by the personnel attached to the Naval Hospital throughout this period of extreme emergency were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
From November 1942 until March 1943 he had f1ight training and attended the School of Aviation Medicine at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, and after six months' duty as Assistant Medical Officer at the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island, he was assigned duty as Medical Officer on the Staff of Commander Fleet Air Wing 15, based at Port Lyautey, French Morocco. He left there for similar duty with Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 24 at Wildwood, New Jersey, during the period July 1944 to July 1945, after which he was attached to Fleet Air Wing 14 at San Diego, California, for one month, as Medical Officer.
During the period following the cessation of hostilities from August 1945 until April 1947, he had successive service as Medical Officer of the Naval Air Station, Mojave, California, and the Naval Air Base, Samar, Philippine Islands. He then served as Medical Officer on the Staff of Commander Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron 117, based at Kaneohe, Oahu, T H, until July 1948, when he was transferred to duty as Medical Officer of the Naval Air Station, Whidboy Island, Washington.
At sea as Medical Officer of USS Coral Sea from October 1951 to July 1953, he had seven months' service as Senior Assistant Medical Officer and in February 1954 reported as Medical Officer of the Naval Air Station, Anacostia, DC. Under orders of 11 February 1955, he was transferred to the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, and on 15 June 1959, was ordered to return to duty at the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island. While serving there as senior Medical Officer, he was ordered to temporary additional duty with the International Cooperation Administration, US Government.
"For outstanding performance of duty while assigned to the International Cooperation Administration, under direction of the Government of the United States, from December 1959 to February 1960..." he was awarded a Letter of Commendation, with Ribbon and Metal Pendant, by the Secretary of the Navy, which continues:
"Fighting to halt a yellow fever epidemic in Sudan, Africa, and Captain Anderson was responsible for saving the lives of numerous Sudanese by his mass inoculation program. Through his effectiveness in organizing and operating the inoculation units, he provided the necessary leadership to the professional medical people of the Sudan so that they could carry on with their own program. Captain Anderson's marked professional ability and inspiring devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
He continued to serve as Senior Assistant Medical Officer of the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island, until February 1954, when he reported as Medical Officer at the Naval Air Station, Anacostia, DC. In May 1955 he transferred, in a similar capacity to the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, and in August 1959 returned to the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, to serve as Medical Officer. In July 1962 he reported as Medical Officer at the Naval Air Station, Key West, Florida, and in March 1964 was assigned to the Naval Air Station, Sanford, Florida.
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon and the Ribbon for the Unit Commendation awarded the US Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, T H, Captain Anderson has the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with one operation star; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Europe Clasp; and the National Defense Service Medal. He has also been awarded the Rhode Island Star by the State Of Rhode Island and the Gold Medal of Honor by the National Volunteer Lifesaving Association.
He is a member of the American Medical Association and the Aero Medical Association; his hobbies, ceramics, fishing and fly-tying.