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First Name: George

Last Name: Anderson

Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY, U.S

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Whelan

Date of Birth: 15 December 1906

Date of Death: 20 March 1992

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1930-1963
George Whelan Anderson, Jr.

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1930

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


George Whelan Anderson, Jr.

Admiral, U.S. Navy

George Whelan Anderson, Jr. was born on 15 December 1906 in Brooklyn, NY. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1927 and graduated with the class of 1930. After graduation he became a Naval Aviator and served on cruisers and aircraft carriers, including the USS Cincinnati.

In World War II, he served as Navigator on the fourth USS Yorktown. After the war he served as the Commanding Officer of the escort carrier USS Mindoro and of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. He also served tours as an Assistant to General Dwight D. Eisenhower at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Radford and as Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief Pacific.

Assignments as Flag Officer

He commanded Task Force 77 between Taiwan and mainland China, Carrier Div 6 in the Mediterranean during the 1958 Lebanon landing and as a Vice Admiral, Commanded the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

On 1 August 1961 Anderson was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and became Chief of Naval Operations. As CNO, he was in charge of the U.S. quarantine of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and Admiral Anderson distinguished himself in the Navy's conduct of those operations. Time magazine featured him on the cover and called him "an aggressive blue-water sailor of unfaltering competence and uncommon flair." However, he had a contentious relationship with Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, who viewed Anderson's behavior as mutiny. McNamara sabotaged Anderson's 36-year Navy career and cut his service as Chief of Naval Operations short in 1963. Accordingly, Anderson retired from the Navy in 1963. Many had believed Anderson's next appointment would have been to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In Retirement

After his early retirement due to conflict with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara during the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy appointed Admiral Anderson as Ambassador to Portugal, where he served for three years and encouraged plans for the peaceful transition of Portugal's African colonies to independence.

He later returned to Government service from 1973 to 1977 as Member, and later Chairman, of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

He later served as Chairman of Lamar Corporation, an outdoor advertising company, and was a director on the boards of Value Line, National Airlines and Crown Cork & Seal.


His first wife, Muriel Buttling Anderson, died in 1947. His two sons, George W. Anderson III and Thomas Patrick Anderson (who flew more than 200 combat missions in Vietnam) are also deceased.

Death and Burial

Admiral George Whelan Anderson, Jr. died on 20 March 1992 of congestive heart failure at the age of 85. He was survived by his second wife of 44 years, Mary Lee Lamar Anderson; a daughter, a stepdaughter, 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He is buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 452   Created by: MHOH




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