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First Name: James

Last Name: Anderson

Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Date of Birth: 22 January 1947

Date of Death: 28 February 1967

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1966-1967
James Anderson, Jr.

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


James Anderson, Jr.
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. (22 January 1947 - 28 February 1967) was a Private First Class in the U.S. Marine Corps who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while serving in Vietnam in February 1967. When his Medal of Honor was awarded on 21 August 1968, he became the first African-American U.S. Marine to receive the Medal of Honor.

James Anderson, Jr. was born on 22 January 1947, in Los Angeles, CA. After graduating from senior high school, he attended Los Angeles Harbor Junior College for a year and a half.

Anderson left college to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps on 17 February 1966 and received recruit training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, CA. He was promoted to private first class upon graduation from recruit training in August 1966. He then transferred to Camp Pendleton, CA where he received further training with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment.

In December 1966, Private Anderson arrived in the Republic of Vietnam, where he served as a rifleman with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division in Quang Tri Province. On 28 February 1967 he was mortally wounded in the action that earned him the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a rifleman, Second Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division, in Vietnam on 28 February 1967. Company F was advancing in dense jungle northwest of Cam Lo in an effort to extract a heavily besieged reconnaissance patrol. Private First Class 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. Private First Class 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 Private First Class Anderson's head. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own 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, Private First Class 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 United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


On 21 August 1968, the Medal of Honor awarded to Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. was presented to his family at the US Marine Barracks in Washington, DC, by Secretary of the Navy Paul R. Ignatius.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Bronze Star
Vietnamese Military Merit Medal
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name James Anderson, Jr. is inscribed on Panel 15E - Row 112.


The United States Navy prepositioning ship, USNS PFC James Anderson, Jr. (T-AK 3002) is named in his honor.

James Anderson, Jr. Memorial Park in Carson, CA, at the corner of Wilmington and University, was named in his honor.

Death and Burial

Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. was killed in action on 28 February 1967. He is buried at Lincoln Memorial Park in Carson, Los Angeles County, CA.

Honoree ID: 880   Created by: MHOH




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