Thomas Carlyle Anderson was born in Sheffield, Iowa, on 2 October 1886. He attended Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa, one year, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa, in 1908, and his degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Michigan Medical College, Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1914. Appointed Lieutenant (jg) in the Medical Corps of the US Naval Reserve Force on 13 February 1917, he was transferred to the regular Navy in that rank in June 1917. He received temporary promotion to Lieutenant during the World War, was commissioned in that rank on 30 July 1919, and subsequently attained the rank of Rear Admiral 8 January 1946, to date from 18 September 1942. He was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy on 1 November 1948.
Following his appointment as Lieutenant (jg) in the Medical Corps of the US Naval Reserve Force in February 1917, he had instruction the Naval Medical School, Washington, DC, until 31 March 1917. In April 1917, following the entry of the United States in World War I he reported for duty as Medical Officer at the Naval Training Station, San Francisco, California, and served in that assignment until June 1917. The succeeding two years he was attached to the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, T H.
Returning to the United States in June 1919, he was stationed at the Naval Hospital, Puget Sound, Washington, until June 1922, when he joined the USS New Mexico. He served as Medical Officer in that battleship until June 1924. From July of that year until November 1927, he was attached to the Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California. The next year he had duty with the Third Brigade, US Marines, in China after which he served at the Naval Hospital, Canacao, Philippine Islands, until April 1930.
He was on duty at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, from July 1930 until June 1933 when he joined the USS Relief. Detached from that hospital ship in March 1935, he reported the following month for duty at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, serving in that assignment until June 1936. After a tour of duty in the Naval Hospital Chelsea, Massachusetts, he served from June 1938 until October 1939 at the Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Following an assignment at the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from November 1939 until February 1942, he reported to the Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, Virginia, for duty in connection with the construction and fitting out of the Naval Hospital then in process of erection, and later was assigned duty as Medical Officer in Command of that Hospital. Detached from that assignment in August 194 he reported 7 September 1943, for duty as Fleet Medical Officer on the staff of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, serving in that assignment until 8 January 1946.
For exceptionally meritorious service in the staff of the Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, during the period September 1943 to September 1945, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, with citation in part as follows: "For exceptionally meritorious conduct...as Fleet Medical Officer and Chief of the Medical Station, Logistics Division, on the Staff of the Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, from September 1943 to September 1945. Demonstrating outstanding professional ability (he) supervised and activated plans for the medical care of combat and garrison forces, including forces afloat, for the evacuation of casualties, for hospitalization of sick and wounded and for the medical, sanitation and hospital installations at bases. During this period, he was directly instrumental in providing whole blood to the wounded in combat areas, air evacuation for the wounded and the destruction of disease bearing insects by spraying large areas by aircraft..."
He served as District Medical Officer of the First Naval District Boston, Massachusetts, from 21 January to 30 May 1946. On 4 June l946, he assumed duty as Medical Officer in Command, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. He was transferred on 26 July l948, to duty in the Medical Division of the National Security Resources Board, Washington, DC, where he continued to serve after his retirement on 1 November 1948, until 30 June 1950, when he was relieved of all active duty.
In addition to the Legion of Merit, Rear Admiral Anderson has the Victory Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
He is a member of the American Medical Association and the Association of Military Surgeons. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.