George Whelan Anderson Jr.
George Whelan Anderson Jr. (December 15, 1906 – March 20, 1992) was an admiral in the United States Navy and a diplomat. He served as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) between 1961 and 1963, and was in charge of the U.S. blockade of Cuba during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Early life and career
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Anderson entered the United States Naval Academy in 1923 and graduated with the class of 1927. After graduation he became a Naval Aviator and served on cruisers and aircraft carriers, including the USS Cincinnati.
In World War II he served as the navigator on the fourth USS Yorktown. After the war he served as the Commanding Officer of the escort carrier USS Mindoro and of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. He also served tours as an assistant to General Dwight D. Eisenhower at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Radford and as chief of staff to the Commander in Chief Pacific.
As a flag officer he commanded Task Force 77 between Taiwan and mainland China, Carrier Div 6 in the Mediterranean during the 1958 Lebanon landing and as a vice admiral, commanded the United States Sixth Fleet.
As Chief of Naval Operations in charge of the United States' quarantine of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Admiral Anderson distinguished himself in the Navy's conduct of those operations; Time magazine featured him on the cover and called him "an aggressive blue-water sailor of unfaltering competence and uncommon flair." He had, however, a contentious relationship with Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. At one point during the crisis, Anderson ordered McNamara out of the Pentagon's Flag Plot when the Secretary inquired as to the Navy's intended procedures for stopping Soviet submarines; McNamara viewed Anderson's actions as mutinous and forced the Chief of Naval Operations to retire in 1963. Many senior naval officers had believed Anderson's next appointment would have been to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President John F. Kennedy subsequently appointed Admiral Anderson Ambassador to Portugal, where he served for three years and encouraged plans for the peaceful transition of Portugal's African colonies to independence. He later returned to Government service from 1973 to 1977 as member and later chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Family and last years
His first wife was Muriel Buttling (November 9, 1911 – October 20, 1947). His two sons, George W. Anderson III (April 21, 1935 – January 11, 1986) died of brain cancer and Thomas Patrick Anderson (April 3, 1942 – June 24, 1978, who flew more than 200 combat missions in Vietnam). Admiral Anderson died March 20, 1992, of congestive heart failure at the age of 85, in McLean, Virginia. He was survived by his second wife of 44 years, the former Mary Lee Sample; a daughter, a stepdaughter, 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He was buried on March 23, 1992, in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.
George Jr, Muriel Buttling, sons George III and Thomas Patrick are all buried at Arlington.
- Navy Distinguished Service Medal with gold star
- Legion of Merit
- Bronze Star Medal
- Navy Commendation Medal with "V" device
- Army Commendation Medal
- Presidential Unit Citation with bronze star
- American Defense Service Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two battle stars
- World War II Victory Medal
- Navy Occupation Medal
- China Service Medal
- National Defense Service Medal with star
- "George Whelan Anderson Jr., Admiral, United States Navy". ArlingtonCemetery.net. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Dallek, Robert (2003). An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-17238-7.
- "Robert McNamara's Feud with Admiral George Anderson". jfk14thday.com. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
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- George Whelan Anderson Jr. at ArlingtonCemetery.net
|Chief of Naval Operations
|United States Ambassador to Portugal
|Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board