John B. Anderson (general)

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John Benjamin Anderson
John B. Anderson.jpg
Born March 10, 1891
Parkersburg, Iowa, United States
Died September 1, 1976 (aged 85)
Washington, D.C., United States
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1914–1946
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Service number 0-3686
Unit USA - Army Field Artillery Insignia.png Field Artillery Branch
Commands held 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment
2nd Battalion, 24th Field Artillery Regiment
102nd Infantry Division
XVI Corps
Battles/wars Pancho Villa Expedition
World War I
World War II
Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star

Major General John Benjamin Anderson (March 10, 1891 – September 1, 1976)[1] was a senior American Army officer, who commanded XVI Corps during World War II.[2]

Biography[edit]

Early life and military career[edit]

John Benjamin Anderson was born on March 10, 1891 as a son of Danish immigrants, Carl Christian Anderson and his wife Louisa Simonsen Anderson. Anderson attended the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York and graduated on June 12, 1914.[3][4] He was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Field Artillery Branch of the United States Army on that date. Many of his classmates later became general officers during World War II. For example: Carl A. Spaatz, Brehon B. Somervell, Frank W. Milburn, Harold R. Bull, Vicente Lim, Harry C. Ingles, Jens A. Doe, Robert W. Crawford, Ralph Royce, Orlando Ward and James L. Bradley.[5]

Anderson was subsequently assigned to the 6th Field Artillery Regiment and transferred to El Paso, Texas with his unit, where he served on the Mexican border during the Pancho Villa Expedition.

During World War I, Anderson was sent with the 6th Field Artillery Regiment, part of the 1st Infantry Division, to the Western Front, where he served as a regimental adjutant in the Somme sector, scene of much bitter fighting the year before, in France in October and November 1917. In the spring of 1918, Anderson served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) at Ypres, Belgium and subsequently he was appointed adjutant of the 1st Artillery Brigade. Later, Anderson was transferred back to his 6th Artillery Regiment, where he served as battery commander and commanded a battalion of the 6th Field Artillery Regiment during the Battle of Cantigny.[6] He served in this capacity for the remainder of the war, which came to an end on November 11, 1918.

Between the wars[edit]

After brief occupation duties, Anderson returned to the United States in 1919 and was posted to the Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he was appointed instructor at the local U.S. Army Field Artillery School. He also attended the Advanced Course at this institution during the years 1922 and 1923.[7]

Anderson attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in June 1925 and subsequently served as a battalion commander of the 24th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Stotsenburg, Philippines until July 1927.

From September 1927 to June 1928 Anderson studied at the U.S. Army War College in Washington, D.C. and then he was assigned to the personal division of the War Department General Staff.[8] In this capacity, he was sent to the Geneva, Switzerland in 1929 as one of the U.S. Army representatives to the conference regarding the treatment of prisoners of war.

He was transferred to the 13th Field Artillery Regiment stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and served there until September 1934. He was subsequently appointed the instructor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in this capacity.[9][10]

In July 1938, towards the end of the interwar period, Anderson was transferred to the staff of the Office of the Chief of Artillery in Washington, D.C., where he was appointed Chief of Personnel Section. In this capacity, Anderson was promoted to the one-star general officer rank of brigadier general at the end of October 1941, shortly before the United States entered World War II.[11]

World War II[edit]

A month later, he was appointed Chief Artillery officer of the 2nd Infantry Division (Indianhead), which was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The division was then under the command of Major General John C. H. Lee. On August 4, 1942, eighth months after the American entry into World War II, Anderson was promoted to the two-star general officer rank of major general.[12][13]

On September 15, the 102nd Infantry Division was activated at Camp Maxey, Texas and recently promoted Major General John Anderson was appointed as the division's first Commanding General (CG).[14][15] Anderson participated in the training with his division and served with it until December 1943, before handing over command of the 102nd to Major General Frank Keating.

In December 1943, XVI Corps was activated at Fort Riley, Kansas and Anderson assumed command in early January 1944.[16][17] XVI Corps participated in the winter training exercises at Watersmeet Township, Michigan and subsequently it was later deployed in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).

Anderson commanded the XVI Corps on the Western Front as part of the U.S. Ninth Army in the Rhineland Campaign and also in the Central Europe Campaign. XVI Corps under Anderson's command liberated the Dutch city of Roermond and participated in the combats in the Ruhr Pocket.

Anderson was decorated for his leadership with the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star by the United States government.[18] Major general Anderson also received some foreign decorations (see below).[19]

Postwar[edit]

Major General Anderson was succeeded in the command of XVI Corps by Major General Thomas D. Finley in October 1945 and he subsequently returned to the United States. He retired from the army the following year, on June 30, 1946, after a 33-year military career, due to a disability.

Major General John Benjamin Anderson died on September 1, 1976 at the age of 85 in Washington, D.C. and is buried, together with his wife, Sue Palmer Anderson (1901–1991), at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.[20]

Decorations[edit]

Major General John Anderson´s ribbon bar:[21][22][23]

Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Army Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal
2nd Row Mexican Service Medal World War I Victory Medal with two battle clasps Army of Occupation of Germany Medal American Defense Service Medal
3rd Row American Campaign Medal European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four service stars World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal
4th Row Officer of the Legion of Honor (France) French Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with Palm Grand officer of the Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau Belgian Croix de guerre 1940-1945 with Palm

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Benjamin Anderson (1891 - 1976) - Find a Grave Memorial". findagrave.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  2. ^ "Biography of Major-General John Benjamin Anderson (1891 - 1976), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  3. ^ "Officers of the US Army, 1939-1945". unithistories.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  4. ^ "John Benjamin Anderson, Major General, United States Army". arlingtoncemetery.net. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  5. ^ "United States Military Academy, Class of 1914" (PDF). digital-library.usma.edu. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  6. ^ "Major General John B. Anderson (Verenigte Staten) - Dutch". roermond1939-1945.nl. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  7. ^ "Major General John B. Anderson (Verenigte Staten) - Dutch". roermond1939-1945.nl. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  8. ^ "John Benjamin Anderson, Major General, United States Army". arlingtoncemetery.net. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  9. ^ "Biography of Major-General John Benjamin Anderson (1891 - 1976), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  10. ^ "John Benjamin Anderson, Major General, United States Army". arlingtoncemetery.net. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  11. ^ "Major General John B. Anderson (Verenigte Staten) - Dutch". roermond1939-1945.nl. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  12. ^ "Officers of the US Army, 1939-1945". unithistories.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  13. ^ "John Benjamin Anderson, Major General, United States Army". arlingtoncemetery.net. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  14. ^ "Officers of the US Army, 1939-1945". unithistories.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  15. ^ "Biography of Major-General John Benjamin Anderson (1891 - 1976), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  16. ^ "Officers of the US Army, 1939-1945". unithistories.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  17. ^ "Biography of Major-General John Benjamin Anderson (1891 - 1976), USA". generals.dk. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  18. ^ "Valor awards for John B. Anderson". militarytimes.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  19. ^ "Major General John B. Anderson (Verenigte Staten) - Dutch". roermond1939-1945.nl. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  20. ^ "John Benjamin Anderson (1891 - 1976) - Find a Grave Memorial". findagrave.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  21. ^ "Valor awards for John B. Anderson". militarytimes.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  22. ^ "Officers of the US Army, 1939-1945". unithistories.com. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  23. ^ "Major General John B. Anderson (Verenigte Staten) - Dutch". roermond1939-1945.nl. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 


Military offices
Preceded by
Newly activated post
Commanding General 102nd Infantry Division
1942–1944
Succeeded by
Frank A. Keating
Preceded by
Newly activated post
Commanding General XVI Corps
1944–1945
Succeeded by
Thomas D. Finley