Cecil L. Andrews was born in Greenfield, Indiana, on 1 July l905, the son of Lenzora and Jennie C. Andrews. After graduation from Greenfield High School in 1923, he attended Butler University in Indianapolis, transferring in 1926 to Indiana University, also located in Indianapolis. He was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University, the latter in 1930.
On 21 June 1930 he was appointed Lieutenant (jg) in the Medical Corps of the US Navy, and was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1936; to Lieutenant Commander 1 January 1942; Commander 22 June 1938; Captain to date from 30 March 1945; and Rear Admiral to date from 17 August 1959.
After his appointment in the Medical Corps of the Navy, he served his internship at the Naval Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, during the period June 1930 to September 1932. In December of that year he reported to the Naval Hospital, Guam, Marianas Islands, where he served as Ward Medical Officer until 20 November 1934. He then returned to the United States and from 6 March 1935 until 16 July 1936, he had similar duty at the Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California. During the two years following, he served at sea as Division Medical Officer on the Staff of Commander Destroyer Division ONE, Scouting Force.
From September 1939 to June 1940 he was a graduate student (Internal Medicine) at the Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, and for a year thereafter served as a Medical Officer at the Naval Hospital, San Diego California. During the early period of World War II, he served successively as Medical Officer, Sick Officer's Quarters, at the Naval Hospitals, Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland. On 18 February 1943 he joined the USS South Dakota as Senior Medical Officer.
Dr. Andrews was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received, and the Bronze Star Medal, with Combat "V," "for meritorious achievement while serving as Medical Officer on board the USS South Dakota, during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War Combat Area, 19 June 1944..." The citation states that "Although wounded by shrapnel and stunned by bomb blast, Captain (then Commander) Andrews worked tirelessly in the care and evacuation of the wounded and, although most of his first aid party was wounded, contributed greatly to the speed and efficiency with which the numerous casualties were cared for..."
He returned to the Naval Hospital, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, to serve as Assistant Chief of Medicine and Chief of Medicine, from 30 July 1944 to 24 February 1947, and for three years thereafter, he had similar duty at the Naval Hospital, Long Beach, California. He was Chief of Medicine at the Naval Hospital, Newport, Rhode Island, from 15 July 1950 to 4 April 1952, and from 25 April 1952, he was on duty in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, DC, first as Head of the Training Branch, and secondly, as Director of the Professional Division.
On 23 May 1958 he became Commanding Officer of the US Naval Hospital, St. Albans, Long Island, New York, relieving Captain Herman A. Gross, Medical Corps, US Navy. He remained there until October 1959, after which he served as Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery for Personnel and Professional Operations, Navy Department. In June 1963 he assumed command of the Naval Hospital, Oakland, California, with additional duty as District Medical Officer of the Twelfth Naval District and Director and Advisor on Medical Matters to the Commander Western Sea Frontier. In January 1965 he reported as Commanding Officer of the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland and for "exceptionally meritorious service from January 1965 to June 1966..." in that capacity, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. The citation further states in part:
"During this period, Rear Admiral Andrews has distinguished himself and brought credit to the Navy through all aspects of his functions of command, most especially in the care of outpatients, the number of whom has steadily increased while the quality of care has improved. He has established the highest standards of medical care and has utilized outstanding management techniques, obtaining maximum results with available resources. He has also instituted a major program of rehabilitation of building and grounds which has been of such magnitude and character as to greatly improve the level of patient care, to increase the morale of the staff and to provide long range economy through the medium of preventative maintenance, as well as enhance the beauty of the Navy's Medical Center..."
Relieved of active duty, he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy on 1 July 1966.
In addition to the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, with Combat "V," and the Purple Heart Medal, Rear Admiral Andrews has the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; EuropeanAfrican-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.