Lee R. Anderson, Jr.

Photo uploaded to FindAGrave by Dennis Deel.
Lee Roy Anderson, Jr.
Irving, TX
Wife, Mrs. Myrtle Ansley Anderson
5/6/1941 – 10/5/1945
DUTCH HARBOR Marine Detachment PFC  
NAMUR D/1/24 505 Corporal  
SAIPAN A/1/24 653 Corporal WIA
TINIAN Hospital Hospital Hospital
IWO JIMA A/1/24 737 Corporal WIA
Purple Heart with Gold Star

Lee Anderson was born and raised in Texas. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in May, 1941, and was stationed at a remote post in Dutch Harbor, Alaska when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Although his duty station felt remote at first, PFC Anderson did experience some excitement when the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands; Dutch Harbor was attacked by Japanese aircraft on June 3 and 4, 1942, though Anderson’s role in the fighting is unknown.

Marines at Dutch Harbor during the Japanese attack, June 3 1942. Note the soft covers worn and the M1917 helmets – the entire scene reminiscent of the Great War. Marines sitting on trench wall at rear seem unconcerned about burning buildings in the background.

Anderson remained at Dutch Harbor until the winter of 1942, when the Japanese finally withdrew from the Alaskan islands. With the threat of imminent invasion past, the Marine force in Alaska reorganized. PFC Anderson was transferred back to the continental United States. He stopped over at Naval Air Station Seattle before continuing on to California; after several months serving at the naval operating base at Terminal Island, Anderson was promoted to corporal and given a combat assignment with Company D, 24th Marines.

With Dog Company:
D (Dog) Company was the heavy weapons outfit of First Battalion, 24th Marines, and was armed with heavy mortars and machine guns. Anderson served as a company ammunition NCO, meaning he was responsible for supplying boxes of .30 caliber machine gun ammo and rounds for the 81mm mortars. Although this was a headquarters position, it is likely that Anderson did double duty with one of the machine-gun squads – he was one of the few members of the battalion who had been under fire before. Corporal Anderson saw his first ground combat with Company D in February, 1944, when his battalion invaded the island of Namur in the Marshall Islands.

With Able Company:
When the weapons companies were dissolved in spring of 1944, Anderson was reassigned to a rifle squad in Able Company, under Sergeant Mike Frihauf – he led a fire team, controlling the work of three other Marines. Frihauf’s squad – the third squad of First Platoon – was designated as a demolitions unit, and underwent special training at Camp Maui before sailing for Saipan.

Sergeant Frihauf's squad, 1944. Anderson is at the right in the front row.
Sergeant Frihauf’s squad, 1944. Anderson is at the right in the front row. Photo by Alva Perry.

Corporal Anderson was wounded within hours of landing on Saipan on June 15, 1944; a hospital ship returned him to Hawaii, where he was hospitalized at Aiea Heights. Several weeks of recuperation were necessary before Anderson could return to duty with Company A; he resumed his position as a fire team leader with First Platoon that fall and  made the landing on Iwo Jima.

Anderson was wounded a second time in March, 1945, but recovered quickly and was back with the company by April. With two Purple Hearts to his name and the end of his four year enlistment approaching, Anderson was removed from his combat unit and stationed with the Marine barracks at Great Lakes, Illinois. He spent some additional time in the hospital there before his honorable discharge on October 5, 1945.

Anderson died in 2008, and is buried in Oak Grove Memorial Cemetery, Irving, Texas.

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