Congressional Medal of Honor


James Anderson, Jr.

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James Anderson, Jr.
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.

Source: Department of Defense.
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. (T-AK-3002), 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 expeditionary brigade.

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 Vietnam War.

Source: U.S. Navy. (1999) USNS PFC James Anderson, Jr. (T-AK-3002), 1985-___. Retrieved August 13, 2002 from the World Wide Web:


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.

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