DEATH OF GENERAL EARL E. ANDERSON, FORMER ASSISTANT COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
Date Signed: 3/23/2016
ALMARS Number: 008/16
R 232000Z MAR 16
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC/DMCS//
SUBJ/DEATH OF GENERAL EARL E. ANDERSON, FORMER ASSISTANT COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS//
RMKS/ 1. It is with deep regret that I announce to the Marine Corps the death of General Earl E. Anderson, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired, who served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 31 March 1972 until 30 June 1975. General Anderson passed away on 12 November 2015 and funeral services will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on 31 March 2016.
2. General Anderson was born on 24 June 1919 in Morgantown, West Virginia. After graduating from Morgantown High School he entered West Virginia University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, in 1940. He also holds a Master of Arts degree, with honors, from West Virginia University and a Juris Doctor degree, with highest honors, from George Washington University Law School. General Anderson was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in June 1940. Upon completion of Basic School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in February 1941, he was ordered to Sea School at Marine Barracks, Portsmouth, Virginia, where he served as an instructor. In May 1941, he was assigned to USS Yorktown where he served with the Atlantic Patrol. At the outbreak of World War II, General Anderson and USS Yorktown were transferred to the Pacific Area and participated in the Marshall-Gilbert Campaign, the Salamaua-Lae Raid, and the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. General Anderson was promoted to First Lieutenant in December 1941, and to Captain in May 1942. He was serving aboard USS Yorktown when she was sunk during the Battle of Midway. After being rescued from USS Yorktown, he returned to the United States where he briefly served at Marine Corps Base, San Diego, and then with 2d Marine Division. General Anderson was ordered to flight training at Naval Air Station, Dallas, Texas in the spring of 1943. He was promoted to Major in May 1943 and earned his Wings of Gold as a Naval Aviator at Pensacola, Florida in October 1943. He was subsequently assigned as a flight instructor at Marine Corps Air Station, Edenton, North Carolina, serving there until December 1944. General Anderson then returned to the Pacific Area and assumed command of Marine Bomber Squadron (VMB) 443. After command, he was assigned as Executive Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 61 during the consolidation of the Northern Solomons and the Philippines. In November 1945, he returned to the United States and served in a variety of assignments, including service with 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, student at the Command and Staff School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia (semicolon) Superintendent, Military Training, Marine Aviation Technical Schools, Quantico, Virginia (semicolon) Administrative Officer, Division of Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps, and Administrative Assistant Commandant for Air, Headquarters Marine Corps. General Anderson was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in July 1949 and was assigned to the Office of the Judge Advocate where he served until the summer of 1952. He was then assigned to Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, where he served as Executive Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 16. In the spring of 1953, he was ordered to Korea for service as Commanding Officer, Marine Observation Squadron Six, and later as Assistant Chief of Staff G-1, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Upon his return to the United States, General Anderson served as Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 26. In May 1956, he was assigned to Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, serving as an instructor and Chief for the Air Section, Marine Corps Educational Center. He was promoted to Colonel in October 1957. During the summer of 1959, General Anderson was ordered to the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation in June 1960, he was assigned to 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and initially served as the Staff Legal Officer. In July 1961, General Anderson assumed command of Marine Aircraft Group 36, serving until June 1963. He was subsequently ordered to Vietnam for duty as Chief of Staff, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam. During this assignment, General Anderson flew over 40 combat missions against the Viet Cong. Returning to the United States in the summer of 1964, he was assigned as Marine Tactical Data System Program Coordinator, Headquarters Marine Corps. In January 1966, he was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Studies, Headquarters Marine Corps. General Anderson returned to the Far East in December 1967 for duty as Chief of Staff, III Marine Amphibious Force, Republic of Vietnam and was promoted to Major General during this assignment. He returned to the United States in January 1969 and served briefly as Special Assistant to the Marine Corps Chief of Staff. In March 1969, he was reassigned as Deputy Director of Personnel, Headquarters Marine Corps. In 1970, General Anderson was appointed as the Marine Corps member on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and in March 1971, the Secretary of Defense designated him as the U.S. member of the Executive Committee of the Conseil International du Sport Militaire. In June 1971, he was promoted to Lieutenant General and was subsequently assigned as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. On 31 March 1972, General Anderson was promoted to General and assumed duties as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. With his promotion, he became the youngest active duty Marine ever promoted to the rank of General, and the first Marine Corps Naval Aviator to be promoted to 4-star rank. General Anderson retired from the Marine Corps on 30 June 1975. Following his retirement from active duty, General Anderson served with the State Department’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and as Director of the United Nations Disaster Relief Office in Geneva, Switzerland. In the early 1980s, General Anderson joined the American Bar Association, holding a variety of ABA leadership roles over the next 30 years.
3. General Anderson’s medals and decorations include: Distinguished Service Medal with two gold stars in lieu of second and third awards, Legion of Merit with Combat “V” and two gold stars in lieu of second and third awards, Distinguished Flying Cross with one gold star in lieu of second award, Bronze Star with Combat “V”, Air Medal with one silver star and two gold stars in lieu of second through eighth award, Purple Heart Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star, Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze star, American Defense Service Medal with fleet clasp, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with four bronze stars, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, Korean Service Medal with one bronze star, Vietnam Service Medal with one silver star and one bronze star, National Order of Vietnam Medal (5th Class), Vietnamese Distinguished Service Order Medal (1st Class), Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, Korean Chungmu Medal, French Youth and Sports Medal, Zaire National Order of Merit-Order of Commander, United Nations Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnamese Meritorious Unit Citation, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with device.
4. Funeral services with full military honors for General Earl E. Anderson will be held at 0900 on Thursday 31 March 2016 at the Old Post Chapel aboard Fort Myer, followed by interment at Arlington National Cemetery. The uniform for active duty attendees is Dress Blue/White “B” with cloth belt (ribbons, no badges) or Service “A” with ribbons, badges, and barracks cover.
5. In honor of General Anderson’s service to the Marine Corps and to the Nation, all Marine Corps Bases and Stations are directed to display the National Ensign at half-staff beginning on the morning of Monday 28 March 2016 until sunset on Thursday 31 March 2016.
6. Robert B. Neller, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.//