Richard B. Anderson

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Richard Beatty Anderson
Anderson RB USMC.jpg  A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.
Richard B. Anderson, Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1921-06-26)June 26, 1921
Tacoma, Washington
Died February 1, 1944(1944-02-01) (aged 22)
DOW at Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll
Buried at buried at sea
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942-1944
Rank Private First Class
Unit 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Richard Beatty Anderson (June 26, 1921 – February 1, 1944) was a United States Marine who sacrificed his life during World War II and received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroism.

Biography[edit]

Anderson was born in Tacoma, Washington on June 26, 1921 and was raised in Agnew, Washington. He attended Macleay School in Agnew before graduating from Sequim High School in the nearby city of Sequim.[1] He entered the Marine Corps on July 6, 1942 in Oakland, California, receiving his recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. Private Anderson then joined the Marine Barracks, Naval Receiving Station in San Diego in October 1942. Promoted to private first class on April 12, 1943, he was ordered to the Infantry Battalion, Training Center, Camp Elliott, San Diego, shortly afterwards.

He next joined his last unit, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines, and with his unit he departed from the United States in January 1944. The following month he landed in the Marshall Islands, on Roi Island. Roi Island was the first pre-war Japanese territory to fall to Marines.

PFC Anderson, a member of the invasion force, was hunting enemy snipers. He hurled himself on a live grenade in a shell hole to save the lives of three buddies though he knew death for himself was almost certain. Anderson was evacuated to a ship, where he died of his wounds on February 1, 1944. He is buried at Lot #5 Block C Section 1 #182 at the New Tacoma Cemetery, 9212 Chambers Creek Road West, Tacoma, Washington. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor — the nation's highest military decoration — and the Purple Heart.

Awards and honours[edit]

Decorations[edit]

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS RICHARD B. ANDERSON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Fourth Marine Division during action against enemy Japanese forces on Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, February 1, 1944. Entering a shell crater occupied by three other Marines, Private First Class Anderson was preparing to throw a grenade at an enemy position when it slipped from his hands and rolled toward the men at the bottom of the hole. With insufficient time to retrieve the armed weapon and throw it, Private First Class Anderson fearlessly chose to sacrifice himself and save his companions by hurling his body upon the grenade and taking the full impact of the explosion. His personal valor and exceptional spirit of loyalty in the face of almost certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

/S/ FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

Posthumous honors[edit]

In 1945, the United States Navy destroyer USS Richard B. Anderson (DD-786) was named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Anderson.[2] The Port Angeles Federal Building was renamed the "Richard B. Anderson Federal Building" in his honor on September 2, 2008. During the renaming ceremony, a letter written by Harry Pearce was read; Pearce was one of the three men that Anderson had saved.[1]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gottlieb, Paul (2008-09-02). "Port Angeles Federal Building gets a hero's name". Peninsula Daily News. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  2. ^ "Anderson", Dictionary of American Fighting Ships.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.