EARL E. ANDERSON

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  • "Gen. Anderson was a wonderful friend to the Flynn family,..."
    - Mary Gutshall
  • "Sorry for your loss."
    - Michelle Paugh
  • "It was an Honor to meet you and talk to you when you were..."
    - Frankie Sines
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    - Joseph Roszkowski
  • "Our deepest sympathy to you, Jane, and all of your family...."
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ANDERSON EARL E. ANDERSON General, USMC (Ret.) On November 12, 2015, General Anderson died at the age of 96 of a cerebral hemorrhage at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. General Anderson was a former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, and when promoted to four-star rank in 1972, he was the youngest Marine promoted to that rank and the first active duty aviator. He had multiple combat tours in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam and was the recipient of twenty U.S. personal decorations and seven foreign personal decorations, plus many unit, campaign, and service medals with battle stars. In WW II, General Anderson participated in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands Campaign, the Lae-Salamaua Raid, and the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. He was aboard the USS Yorktown (CV-5) when it was sunk during the Battle of Midway. He was awarded the Purple Heart for burns received during that battle and the Combat Action Ribbon. Later in the war, he flew B-25 Mitchell bombers in the Pacific campaign as Commanding Officer of Marine Bomber Squadron (VMB) 443. He also served as the Executive Officer of Marine Aircraft Group 61 in the consolidation of the Northern Solomons and in the Philippines. For his service as a pilot in command of VMB-443, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with one gold star in lieu of a second award, and the Air Medal with one silver star in lieu of second through the sixth awards. In the Korean War, General Anderson served as the Commanding Officer of Marine Observation Squadron (VMO) 6, and later became the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. For his service as Commanding Officer of VMO-6, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V." General Anderson served two tours during the Vietnam War. In 1963, he became the Chief of Staff, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam. For his service with the MAAG, he was awarded a Legion of Merit with Combat "V," and for his participation as a pilot in more than 40 combat missions against the Viet Cong, he was awarded gold stars in lieu of his seventh and eighth Air Medals. In 1967, he returned to Vietnam as the Chief of Staff, III Marine Amphibious Force. The Battles of Khe Sanh and Hue City were waged during his tenure. For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Following retirement from the Marine Corps after 35 years of service, General Anderson served as the Director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance in the U.S. Agency for International Development in the State Department. He then became the Director of the United Nations Disaster Relief Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Upon his return to the United States from Geneva in the early 1980s, General Anderson began a leadership role in the American Bar Association (ABA) when he became the Director of its General Practice Section's General Practice Division. For the next 30 years, General Anderson held a variety of key leadership roles within the ABA, to include serving as a member of its Board of Governors, a member of its House of Delegates, the Chair of its Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, a member of its Standing Committee on Law and National Security, and the Chair of its Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel. For his service to the ABA, General Anderson received the Difference Maker Award, the Nelson Award, and the ABA's top honor, the ABA Medal. General Anderson was a member of the District of Columbia and California Bars, and several other Federal Bars, including the U.S. Supreme Court. General Anderson held B.S. and M.A. degrees, with honors, from West Virginia University (WVU). He was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the National Education Honor Society, and was designated by WVU's President as an honors graduate from its ROTC program. While at WVU, he lettered for three years in baseball and was captain in his senior year. He was a member of WVU's Order of Vandalia and the Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Also, he held an honorary doctor of laws degree from Thiel College. He had a Juris Doctor degree with highest honors from George Washington University Law School, and was editor-in-chief of the law review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He was a recipient of the law school's Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 1971, General Anderson was appointed to the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee. General Anderson also served as the Chairman of WVU's Loyalty Permanent Endowment Fund, and was a member of WVU's Alumni Council from 1971 to 1978. He served as President of WVU's Alumni Association from 1976 to 1977. He was West Virginia's Son of the Year in 1973. Earlier this year, General Anderson was awarded the Gold Good Citizenship Medal by the Sons of the American Revolution. General Anderson traced his roots to Scotland, England, and Germany. He was a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. His forefathers were some of the earliest settlers of six of the original 13 British Colonies. His ancestors later moved west to settle Ohio before it even became a state. During the American Revolution, his 4th great-grandfather, Randall Wells, was an officer in the Rhode Island militia. During the Civil War, one of his great-grandfathers, Asa Anderson, served in the U.S. Navy as a noncommissioned officer aboard the gunboat USS Colossus. Another great-grandfather, Jacob Whitehead, served as a private in the 63rd Ohio Infantry Regiment, and fought for the Union in twelve battles. General Anderson was the son of James F. Anderson and Elizabeth Somers of Morgantown, West Virginia, and he was one of six children. His siblings, Virginia, Kenneth, Harry, James, and Donald, have all predeceased him. General Anderson is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jane, who resides in Vienna, Virginia; and three children, Susan and her spouse, Peter O'Brien, David and his spouse, Darla, and Mark and his spouse, Katherine Ksen, who also reside in Northern Virginia. In addition, General Anderson is survived by four grandchildren, Samantha Williamson, Bowen Rose and his spouse, Suzanne, Ashley Rose, and James Anderson; and seven great-grandchildren. Relatives and friends are invited to Money and King Funeral Home, 171 W. Maple Ave., Vienna, VA on Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 2 to 5 p.m. A funeral service and interment with full military honors will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The USO or The Marine Corp. Heritage Foundation. Online condolences and fond memories of General Anderson may be offered to the family at: www.moneyandking.com www.moneyandking.com

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Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 15, 2015
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