James Anderson, Jr.
Rank and Organization: Private
First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Platoon, Company F, 2d
Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division.
Place and Date:
Republic of Vietnam, 28 February 1967.
Entered Service At:
Los Angeles, Calif.
Born: 22 January 1947, Los Angeles, Calif.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of
his life above and beyond the call of duty. Company F was
advancing in dense jungle northwest of Cam Lo in an effort to
extract a heavily besieged reconnaissance patrol. Pfc.
Anderson's platoon was the lead element and had advanced
only about 200 meters when they were brought under
extremely intense enemy small-arms and automatic weapons
fire. The platoon reacted swiftly, getting on line as best they
could in the thick terrain, and began returning fire. Pfc.
Anderson found himself tightly bunched together with the other
members of the platoon only 20 meters from the enemy
positions. As the fire fight continued several of the men were
wounded by the deadly enemy assault. Suddenly, an enemy
grenade landed in the midst of the marines and rolled alongside
Pfc. Anderson's head. Unhesitatingly and with complete
disregard for his personal safety, he reached out, grasped the
grenade, pulled it to his chest and curled around it as it went
off. Although several marines received shrapnel from the
grenade, his body absorbed the major force of the explosion.
In this singularly heroic act, Pfc. Anderson saved his comrades
from serious injury and possible death. His personal heroism,
extraordinary valor, and inspirational supreme self-sacrifice
reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and
upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He
gallantly gave his life for his country.
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy.
Black Americans in Defense of Our Nation.
Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1985.
USNS PFC James Anderson, Jr., a 49,453-ton Cpl. Louis J. Hague, Jr. class maritime
prepositioning ship, was built in 1979 in Denmark as the merchant ship Emma Maersk.
Acquired by the Navy under a long-term charter in 1983, she was placed in service under the
direction of the Military Sealift Command. PFC James Anderson, Jr. has subsequently
been based at Diego Garcia, Indian Ocean. She carries equipment to support a U.S. Marine Corps
PFC James Anderson, Jr. was named in honor of Private First Class James Anderson, Jr.
USMC (1947-1967), who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the
Source: U.S. Navy. (1999) USNS PFC James Anderson, Jr. (T-AK-3002), 1985-___.
Retrieved August 13, 2002 from the World Wide Web: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-p/ak3002.htm
Farrell, William E. and Warren Weaver Jr. "4th Hero's Kin Found."
New York Times, April 21, 1984. P. 5.
Farrell, William E. and Warren Weaver Jr. "Marines Seeking Help."
New York Times, March 27, 1984. P. A26.
"Military Ship Named For Black Hero Of Vietnam War."
(April 8, 1985). Jet, p. 32.
"U.S. Gives First Medal of Honor to a Negro Marine."
New York Times, August 22, 1968. P. 3.