ANDERSON Navy Fighter Pilot, Captain Paul A. Andy Anderson flew his final check ride west when his soul and spirit departed the earthly pattern at 1343, October 5, 2013. Born in Park River, North Dakota on Sept. 2, 1922 to Norwegian immigrants, Paul was one of 5 siblings. His aspiration to be an aviator started early in life. In the 1930s, when Paul was a boy, his grandfather acquired the wreck of a crashed airplane flown by the famous bush pilot and Antarctic explorer, Carl Ben Eielson. The plane was stored in his grandfather s machine shop where Paul would come and sit in it to dream of flight adventure. Eielson, a Hatton, North Dakota man, was legendary for aviation exploits and strong inspirational soup for the young Paul. As a consequence, a Naval Aviation career became the goal of his life. He got his Naval commission and received his Navy Wings of Gold at NAS Corpus Christie in July, 1944. In the years following, Paul became not only a great fighter pilot, but also an accomplished Naval Officer and courageous leader during some of the most turbulent and challenging times in our country and abroad. He lived up to the challenge of those times, graduating from Marquette University, furthering his education at George Washington University, obtaining a post graduate degree at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California and persevering to earn the distinguished rank of Captain. During this part of his life, he experienced many adventures as was his young wish, living the life he dreamed of as a boy. In the early times, during 1945, at the end of WWII, Paul flew the F6F Hellcat on the USS Yorktown, participating in air strikes during the amphibious campaigns at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He flew numerous sorties over mainland Japan. For aerial action, bravery and valor in that venue, Paul received the Distinguished Flying Cross and four air medals. Returning from the arduous duty that war time brought, Paul continued his demanding pace. He was assigned to several carrier based squadrons flying in the Atlantic Fleet. During this time, Paul became one of the earliest jet- qualified Naval pilots of his generation, training in the Shooting Star or F-80. After qualification, he went on to VF-41, one of the pioneer carrier- based jet squadrons in the U.S. Navy. Following the sea duty tour, Paul got a very unique assignment. He reported to the Naval Air Special Weapons Facility in New Mexico where he was part of a project to test nuclear weapons delivery platforms. His group of pilots flew dangerous missions in A4D Skyhawks where airplanes were in very close proximity to above ground nuclear blasting tests. This important research led to many of the modern systems used to save pilot lives today. Paul's long career took him to leadership roles in many places, including: Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron 64 aboard the USS Enterprise; Air Boss aboard the USS Enterprise; Action Officer at the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon; Operations and Plans Officer for Commander Fleet Air, Western Pacific. He was assigned to the staff of the CNO in Washington, D.C. as the Naval Technical Training Officer in 1969. In between learning, leading and managing, Paul continued to log in flight hours and carrier landings. By the end of his career, he accomplished 790 carrier landings and over 8000 flight hours. As Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Mars during the Vietnam War, Paul again demonstrated his competence and leadership, receiving the Bronze Star while in a combat post. Modestly, he always insisted that the combined character of his crew members earned him the medal. His last duty station before retirement was Commanding Officer of Naval Station Mayport, Florida where he served until 1974. This posting was the most satisfying of his life. At the time, 26 ships and two aircraft carriers made Mayport home Base . A stunning responsibility, but again safe in the hands and heart of the accomplished Captain. He reluctantly retired after the Navy allowed his command to uncharacteristically extend beyond the normal two year charge. After retirement, he made his home in Atlantic Beach with his wife, Rosina, Rosi. Together they built a very successful business in premier outdoor furniture, The Sandpiper of Jacksonville. Paul loved being a fighter pilot and served his country with honor, courage and commitment. He was grateful to live his life in service to others, generous and kind to those around him, never giving up the tradition of valor he learned so well in his long sojourn in the U.S. Navy. For those who knew him as a commander, Paul's aptitude as an outstanding and selfless leader will be remembered fondly. For those who knew him as a friend, his witty sense of humor and basic decency will be greatly missed. To all who knew him, he was an officer and a gentleman. Paul leaves behind his loving wife Rosi, his children: Pamela Takeshige (husband Takao), Paul (wife Sony), Phillip (wife Michelle), Nella, 4 grandchildren, brother Dave and a scattering of numerous nieces, nephews and their families. He will be deeply missed. A very special thank you goes to Dr. Petrucelli Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, her colleagues, nurses and the staff and nurses at the ICU Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. Where never lark, or even eagle flew, and, while with silent, lifting mind I ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God . (G. Magee, Aviator/Poet) Church Service will be held at the Naval Station Mayport Chapel, Friday, 25 October at 1000. Interment with full military honors at the Jacksonville National Cemetery following the church service at 1330. After the internment there will be a celebration of his life at Paul and Rosi s home, 1643 Beach Ave. Atlantic Beach. For Naval Station Mayport access please contact Quinn-Shalz Funeral Home, Phone 904-249-1100 or email the following information by October 18, 2013: Name as it appears on your picture ID , DOB, and phone number. Donations may be made to the Bald Eagle Squadron, P.O. Box 621, Orange Park, FL 32067-0621. Funds will be used to send local area High School students to the National Flight Academy s summer aviation program in Pensacola. Please visit our online Tribute at Services under the direction and care of: Please Sign the Guestbook @

Funeral Home

Quinn-Shalz - A Family Funeral Home
3600 Third Street South Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
(904) 249-1100

Published in the Florida Times-Union on Oct. 16, 2013