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Charles Anderson '38

Date of birth: October 17, 1914

Date of death: July 10, 1943

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


Charles was lost when his SOC-3A Seagull was shot down near Gela, Italy, on July 10, 1943 during the invasion of Sicily. He was flying from USS Savannah (CL 42) while that cruiser conducted shore bombardment.

His wife was listed as next of kin. He is buried in Illinois.


From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

  • NAS Pensacola designated NA # 7402, 4/3/1941
  • Date of rank LTJG from 1 Jul 1941 USN Register, 6/2/1941
  • Date of rank LT from 1 Jul 1942 USN Register, 6/15/1942
  • VCS-8 USS Savannah (CL-42) DFC PH KIA, 7/10/1943

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Charles Alden Anderson (NSN: 81237), United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight during the invasion of the Island of Sicily in July 1943, while attached to the U.S.S. SAVANNAH (CL-42). Lieutenant Anderson, as Pilot of a cruiser scouting plane, performed spotting and reconnaissance missions with great efficiency in the face of heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire and air opposition. His spotting, performed under extremely hazardous conditions, contributed greatly to the success of the bombardment of enemy positions. His reconnaissance flights, which carried him deep into the enemy territory, were of great value to the assaulting forces. The courageous service of Lieutenant Anderson in which he gave his life was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: July 1943
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Division: U.S.S. Savannah (CL-42)

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1938

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command:

January 1939

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command:

October 1939

Ensign, USS Worden

Others at this command:

June 1940

Ensign, USS Worden

November 1940

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command:

Class of 1938

Charles is one of 72 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.