Henry Lafayette Anderton, Jr., was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on 28 February 1919, son of Henry L and Elizabeth (Chew) Anderton. He attended Ramsay High School and Howard College, both in Birmingham, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts from the latter in 1939. In October of that year he enlisted in the US Naval Reserve and during October and November 1939 had elimination flight training at the Naval Reserve Aviation Base, Opa Locka, Florida. He was appointed Aviation Cadet and had flight training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. Designated Naval Aviator 1 August 1940, he was commissioned Ensign, US Naval Reserve, to date from 15 August that year. Advancing progressively in rank, he attained that of Captain, to date from 1 July 1959, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the Regular Navy on 20 January 1943.
After receiving his "Wings" in 1940, he remained at the Pensacola Naval Air Station until February 1942, serving as a Flight Instructor. He next had duty as Executive Officer of Scouting Squadron THIRTY-NINE on antisubmarine patrol in the Atlantic area and in August 1943 transferred to Scouting Squadron SIXTY-FOUR, which he commanded until October 1944. That squadron participated in antisubmarine patrol in the Pacific (Solomon’s Islands area) and took part in strikes on Japanese islands. He was awarded the Air Medal and a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Air Medal with the following citation:
Air Medal: "For meritorious achievement...as Pilot of a Scouting Bombing Plane in Scouting Squadron SIXTY-FOUR during operations against enemy Japanese forces on Choiseul Island from 11 February to 18 March 1944. Completing his fifth mission during this period, (he) pressed home bombing attacks against hostile installations thereby contributing materially to the success of his squadron in the infliction of damage on the enemy..."
Gold Star in lieu of the Second Air Medal: "For meritorious achievement...during operations against enemy Japanese forces on Choiseul Island and Kahili Airfield from 18 March to 21 April 1944. Completing his tenth mission during this period, (he) pressed home bombing attacks against a hostile airstrip on Kahili and other installations, thereby contributing materially to the success of his squadron in the infliction of damage on the enemy..."
Returning to the United States in October 1944, he had instruction at the Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland, from which he received the degree of Master of Science in Electronics Engineering in June 1947. He next had duty in connection with missile test at the Naval Air Missile Test Center, Point Mugu, California, and in July 1949 was assigned to the Electronics Division, Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, DC. During the period July 1952 to July 1955 he was Navigational Aids Officer in the Electronics Test Division, Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, after which he was a Department Director at the Aviation Electronics Engineering Laboratory, Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville, Pennsylvania.
In July 1958 he reported as Regulus Project Officer and Electronics Division Comptroller, Bureau of Aeronautics. That Bureau and the Bureau of Ordnance were combined in January 1960 and designated the Bureau of Naval Weapons. He subsequently served as Deputy Director in the Antisubmarine Warfare Division. In July 1961 he joined the Staff of Commander Naval Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet as Deputy Force Material officer. A year later he reported as Assistant for Fleet Support in the Office of the Bureau of Naval Weapons, Fleet Readiness Representative, Atlantic, with headquarters at the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia and in April 1965 was ordered to duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
In addition to the Air Medal and Gold Star, Captain Anderton has the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; AsiaticPacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.