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Orvil A. Anderson
Nickname(s) "Andy"
Born (1895-05-02)May 2, 1895
Springfield, Utah
Died August 22, 1965(1965-08-22) (aged 70)
Montgomery, Alabama
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Service
Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps
Years of service 1917–1950
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General

Major General Orvil Arson Anderson (May 2, 1895 - August 24, 1965) was a pioneer balloonist. In 1935 he and Albert William Stevens won the Mackay Trophy when they set a record of 72,395 feet in their balloon.[1]


Born Orvil Orson Anderson, on May 2, 1895 in Springfeild,Utah. An Army clerical error changed it to Orvil Arson Anderson when he joined the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in August 1917. In 1935 he and Albert William Stevens won the Mackay Trophy, the Harmon Trophy and the National Geographic Society Hubbard Medal[2][3] when they set a record of 72,395 feet in their balloon.[1] He died on August 22, 1965 of lung cancer at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery,Alabama.[4]

In 1950 Anderson was the Commandant of the USAF's Air War College. He was one of many Americans frustrated by the limitations placed upon American conduct of the Korean War. It was no secret that the North Koreans were acting on behalf of their sponsor, the Soviet Union, but as the Truman administration did not want the war to expand into a global conflict, fighting was limited to the Korean peninsula. When, in September, Anderson told a newspaper interviewer, “Give me the order to do it and I can break up Russia’s five A-bomb nests in a week! And when I went up to Christ, I think I could explain to him why I wanted to do it—now—before it is too late. I think I could explain to him that had saved civilization,” the president suspended him. He retired shortly thereafter.

Honors and awards[edit]

Military honors[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Gondola Steamed 73,000 Feet In Air. Captains Stevens and Anderson, Arriving in Chicago, Say They Were Mystified. Stratosphere Balloonists, With Capt. Williams, Ground Officer, Will Reach Capital Today". New York Times. November 13, 1935. Retrieved 2011-05-26. Captain Orvil A. Anderson and Captain Albert W. Stevens declared here today that they are willing to take another trip into the stratosphere at any time, and are confident that on the next endeavor they will surpass their record fourteen-mile ascent. 
  2. ^ First High-Altitude Photo, [1]
  3. ^ National Geographic Society Hubbard Medal, Captain Orvil Anderson, [2]
  4. ^ "General Anderson of Air War School. High-Altitude Balloonist Dies". New York Times. August 25, 1965. Retrieved 2011-05-26. Orvil Anderson died at Maxwell Air Force Base Hospital Monday after an extended illness. He was 70 years old. General Anderson, a former commandant of ... 

{{Persondata <!-- Metadata: see [[Wikipedia:Persondata]]. --> | NAME = Anderson, Orvil Orson | ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Anderson, Orvil Arson | SHORT DESCRIPTION = | DATE OF BIRTH = May 2, 1895 | PLACE OF BIRTH = Springfield, Utah | DATE OF DEATH = August 22, 1965 | PLACE OF DEATH = Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama {{di-no license|date=22 February 2012}} }}

Category:1895 births Category:1965 deaths Category:United States Army officers Category:American balloonists Category:Mackay Trophy winners Category:American photographers