Kenneth Leroy Anderson was born in Toledo, Iowa, on 6 August 1920, sea of Andrew and Sarah (Rasmussen) Anderson. He attended Coe College, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for two years prior to entering the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland on 25 July 1940. Graduated with the Class of 1944 and commissioned Ensign on 9 June 1943, (course of instruction shortened due to World War II) he subsequently advanced in rank, attaining that of Commander, to date from 1 April 1958.
After graduation he joined the USS Taylor (DD468) as Assistant Gunnery Officer and served on board that destroyer until December 1945. He had three months' instruction at the Gunnery and Ordnance Officers School, Washington, DC, after which from May 1946 to October 1947 he served on the USS Herbert J. Thomas (DDR-883) as Gunnery Officer. Reporting next to the USS Rodman (DMS-21) he served as Executive Officer on board that mine sweeper until detached in May 1950.
The next two years he had duty on the Staff of the Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, serving as Assistant Surface Operations Officer. Returning to the Naval Academy, he served in the Executive Department from August 1952 until August 1954 when he reported for instruction at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island (Command and Staff Course).
In July 1955 he assumed command of the USS Alvin C. Cockrell (DE-366) and after two years in command of that destroyer was ordered to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as Assistant Head of the Overseas Logistic Plans.
Commander Anderson is entitled to the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific, (2 silver and 1 bronze stars); the World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; China Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon (1 bronze star).