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Adapted from "Commodore Carl Eric Anderson, United States Naval Reserve, Retired"  [biography, dated 4 August 1949] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War I 1917-1918
  • World War II 1939-1945
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Carl Eric Anderson

16 October 1887 - 

PDF Version [6.8MB]

Commodore Anderson, born in Jansberg, Sweden, on 16 October 1887, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Frederick (Charlot Holmes) Anderson came to the United States in 1909 after graduating from high school and attending the Naval School at Stockholm, Sweden, where he qualified as Master Mariner. He was naturalized in 1912, and was commissioned Ensign in the United States Reserve Force on 11 January 1918; Lieutenant 9 December 1918; Lieutenant Commander March, 1935; Commander, 15 December 1942; Captain, October, 1944; and Commodore for temporary service, dating from 2 November 1945. He was promoted to the permanent rank of Commodore when placed on the Retired List of the Naval Reserve, effective 29 June 1948.

Commodore Anderson's World War I service included duty with the Naval Auxiliary Reserve, West Coast, March-April, 1918, and aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter UNALGA from 12 April 1918 to 6 January 1920. He then reported to the Receiving Ship, Puget Sound, Washington and was released from active duty on 6 February 1920.

In civilian life, Commodore Anderson, a Master Mariner in command of vessels in Alaskan Waters, was a licensed pilot in all ports of the Pacific Coast and Southeast and Southwest Alaska, including the Aleutian lslands. He was President of the Kodiak Island Fishing and Packing Company, operating a salmon cannery at Seldovia, Alaska.

Upon his return to active duty in October, 1940, Commodore Anderson reported to the Thirteenth Naval District, Seattle, Washington later being transferred to duty as Commander, Aleutian Patrol, Naval Air Station, Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in which assignment he served until September, 1943. For his service in the Aleutians, he received a Letter of Commendation from the Commander, Northern Pacific Force with authorization to wear the Commendation Ribbon, as follows:

"For outstanding performance of duty. Commander Carl E. Anderson, United States Naval Reserve, was on active duty with United States Naval forces in the Aleutians from December, 1941 to September, 1943. His long previous experience in Arctic waters and along the Aleutian Chain coupled with great energy,skill and loyalty made his services an important factor in the successful west ward movement of American forces along the Chain. His able seamanship and courage made his services of highest value in establishing the Naval Base at Adak, in operations during the battle for Attu, and in the occupation of Kiska. For his varied services as officer-in­charge at Adak, as pilot, beach master, and Captain of the Port, he deserved high praise. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service."

Commodore Anderson served, as Convoy Commodore, Western Sea Frontier, San Francisco, California for the month of October, 1943, then transferred to similar duty, Hawaiian Sea Frontier, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. For outstanding service in that assignment he received second and third Letters of Commendation from the Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, for which he is entitled to wear two bronze stars on his Commendation Ribbon. The citations follow:

Letter of Commendation--Apamamn Atoll

"For distinguishing himself by meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services. He volunteered as beach master, in charge of beaches and the unloading of boats and landing ships during the occupation phase, after the capture of enemy-hold Apamama Atoll. By his exceptional ability in the unloading of ships, and by his fine personal leadership, he made possible the extremely difficult task of unloading heavy equipment and supplies over dangerous coral reefs without docks or unloading facilities of any kind. He personally improvised, from the few materials at hand, efficient methods for unloading rapidly the great quantities of heavy equipment and supplies necessary to maintain the Apamama Garrison and to build the air strip. His tireless energy and skill in this work were responsible for the comparatively rapid accomplishment of an otherwise slow and most difficult job, and contributed materially to the establishment of an efficient and self-sufficient American air base. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Letter of Commendation - Eniwetok Atoll

"For distinguished service in the line of his profession. He was assigned duties in charge of unloading cargo equipment after the assault and capture of Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, 17-23 February 1944. By his exceptional ability and leadership, his vigorous personal supervision of the work, and his tireless energy and skill, he accomplished this task in a rapid and highly efficient manner, thereby contributing materially to the establishment of this advanced base. He is authorized to wear the Commendation Ribbon. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service."

He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for services during the raids on Saipan and Tinian Islands, and cited as follows:

BRONZE STAR MEDAL (with Combat "V")

"For meritorious achievement as Commander Beach master Group TWO during the assault and capture of enemy-held Saipan Island from 15 June to 6 July 1944, and enemy held Tinian Island from 24 July to 8 August 1944. Skilled in the performance of duty, Commodore (then Commander) Anderson coordinated the unloading of supplies and equipment at the beaches during the initial landings and, by his aggressive fighting spirit in the face of intensive enemy gunfire, contributed materially to the success of these campaigns. His leadership and devotion to duty throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

From October, 1944 to April, 1945 Commodore Anderson served as Beach master on the staff of Commander Amphibious Group TWO, and continued to serve on his staff as Force Beach master when Vice Admiral Hill took command of the Fifth Amphibious Force in April, 1945. He was awarded the Gold Star in lieu of the second Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device "V", and following citation:

GOLD STAR in lieu of second Bronze Star Medal

"For meritorious achievement as Commander Beach Party Group during the amphibious assault against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from 19 February to 9 March 1945. A resourceful officer and capable leader, Commodore (then Captain) Anderson cleared the landing beach approaches of underwater obstacles, mines and wreckage and generally prepared the beaches for unloading. Despite heavy enemy gun and mortar fire, he maintained direct contact with beach parties and effectively coordinated their activities on all beaches. By a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of his field, Commodore Anderson as able to furnish effective assistance to the beach masters and to handle promptly and efficiently many difficult problems and unusual situations. In addition to keeping responsible persons afloat and ashore well informed of the conditions and suitability of the various beaches, he also advised them of the most practicable and expeditious means of evacuating casualties and providing troops ashore with necessary supplies, ammunition and equipment. Commodore Anderson's initiative and courageous devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

On 18 August 1945, Commodore Anderson reported to Headquarters, Thirteenth Naval District, Seattle, Washington, and was ordered in October, 1945 to duty with the Office of Port Director there, with the temporary rank of Commodore. His assignment from 7 March to 11 July 1946, when relieved of active duty, was Officer in Charge of demobilized shipping on the staff of Commandant, Thirteenth Naval District. He was then on inactive duty in the rank of Captain until his retirement became effective, 29 June 1948, when he was advanced to the permanent rank of Commodore.

In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star and the Commendation Ribbon, with two bronze stars, Commodore Anderson has the Victory Medal (World War I) and is entitled to the American Defense Service Medal (Fleet Clasp); Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with six bronze engagement stars; World War I Victory Medal, and the Naval Reserve Medal and bronze star for length of service.

Commodore Anderson is a member of the Naval Reserve Officers Association, American Legion, and fraternal organizations.


Published: Mon May 13 11:19:57 EDT 2019