Robert H. Anderson

Lieutenant (junior grade) Robert Anderson of the Naval Air Force  is here on a 10-day leave, visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Anderson, 724 Lee Street, his wife, and his wife's parents, Mr. and Mrs O. J. Lofthus, of Chip-[**data missing**]

Battle Described in Which City Pilot Got 5 Jap Planes
LT. ROBERT ANDERSON
Lieutenant Robert H. Anderson, United States Naval Reserve, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Anderson. 724 Lee Street, whose wife, the former Virginia Loftus, resides at 226 West Columbia Street in Chippewa Falls, shot down five Japanese planes and assisted in the destruction of another pair recently, when his Navy fighter squadron accounted for 19 enemy aircraft in one engagement without losing one of its own planes, according to a dispatch released by the Navy Department Public Relations Office at Washington, DC. 

"Lieutenant Anderson was leading one of two Hellcat fighter divisions on a search for an enemy destroyer in the Philippines area, when a formation of Jap Oscar and Zeke fighters was sighted. The Navy pilots jettisoned their bombs and rockets and sped in for the attack.

"On their first run, the Hellcat flyers knocked down nine Japs, before the enemy pilots could fire a shot.

"Several additional Japanese fighters joined the enemy group, before the Navy pilots could come around for a second clash. Although they were outnumbered, the Hellcats resumed the action and a general dogfight ensued.

"Lieutenant Anderson and his wingman were attacked by three Japs, coming in from different directions. The Navy airmen turned against their attackers and sent one down, before seeking safety in a cloud. Pulling out of the protective cover, Lieutenant Anderson got two more Japs in his gun sights and shot them down by extreme maneuvering.

"He then joined up with another Hellcat pilot to knock down a Jap who was fleeing for his base.

"When the squadron returned to its carrier, the destruction of 19 Japs had been confirmed. Not a single bullet hole was found in any of the Navy aircraft."


Pilot Who Bagged 5 Japs in One Battle, on Way Home
LT. ROBERT ANDERSON
Lieutenant Robert H. Anderson, United States Naval Reserve, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Anderson, 724 Lee Street, arrived in San Francisco, CA Sunday on his way to Eau Claire on leave of absence, after a tour of duty in the Pacific that brought him high honors as a fighter pilot for outstanding success in combat against the Japanese.

Lieutenant Anderson's wife, the former Virginia Loftus, resides at 226 West Columbia Street, Chippewa Falls.

Recently, Lieutenant Anderson was awarded the Navy Cross for shooting down five Jap planes and possibly a sixth in a single encounter with the enemy. 

His citation, accompanying the Navy Cross Award, follows:

"For distinguishing himself by extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while participating in an aerial flight against enemy forces of 14 December 1944 in the vicinity of the Philippine Islands.

"He led a division of planes in an eight-plane formation and, when an enemy formation of twenty-seven planes was encountered, he led the attack on the enemy formation despite the numerical odds and, during the ensuing engagement, shot down five enemy planes and probably shot down another enemy plane.

"When his wingman was under attack by an enemy plane, and while he was almost out of ammunition, he dove on the enemy plane and forced the enemy plane to break off the attack.

"His courage and skill were, at all times, inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Lieutenant Anderson has also been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

The citation given when he was awarded the Air Medal follows:

"For distinguishing himself by meritorious acts while participating in an aerial flight over enemy-held territory in the Philippine Islands on 14 November 1944. While escorting a photographic plane, his formation was attacked by two enemy planes. He so maneuvered his escorting division, as to overcome an altitude disadvantage and himself shot down one of the enemy planes, permitting the successful completion of the mission and a safe return to base. His skill, daring, and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."


Navy Ace, Victor Over Six Japs in One Battle, Killed in Plane Crash in Maryland
LT. ROBERT H. ANDERSON
Lieutenant Robert H. Anderson, United States Naval Reserve, hero of many Pacific air battles and an outstanding American fighter ace, was killed in a plane crash at Snow Hill, Maryland, about 11 o'clock Tuesday morning, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Anderson, 724 Lee Street, have been notified.

Lieutenant Anderson returned from the Pacific War Zone, on leave, early in April and reported to Norfolk, Virginia Navy Station May 16, after spending a month, at home, for reassignment. 

He had not been flying while at Norfolk and it is believed his fatal crash, Tuesday, may have been his first time in the air since returning from the Pacific.

Details of his accident have not been received, but he is believed to have been flying a new Navy fighter plane at the time.

Lieutenant Anderson's wife, the former Virginia Loftus, of 226 West Columbia Street, Chippewa Falls, and their 20-month-old daughter accompanied the Lieutenant east when he completed his leave here and were with him at Snow Hill. Mrs. Anderson telephoned news of the disaster. She is expected to arrive home tonight.

Lieutenant Anderson was a fighter pilot on an aircraft carrier participating in some of the most bitter fighting in the Pacific Theater. His outstanding feat, however, was shooting down six Japanese Zeros in a single encounter with the enemy. For this, he was awarded the Navy Cross. He also held the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters.

He had participated in the bombing of Tokyo and other Japanese homeland cities on several occasions and once, while over Tokyo, mistook a formation of Zeros for friendly and joined the formation. He fought his way out, in only one of his narrow escapes in combat.

His victory over six Japanese airmen in one battle occurred last December 14 in the vicinity of the Philippine Islands. He was officially credited with shooting down five planes, with a sixth possible, but Navy men have since conceded the sixth as also a victim of Anderson's marksmanship.

When awarded the Air Medal, he shot down one Jap plane, drove off another, and permitted successful completion of a mission by a photographic plane he was escorting.

His citation accompanying the Navy Cross award follows:

"For distinguishing himself by extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy, while participating in an aerial flight against enemy forces on 14 December 1944 in the vicinity of the Philippine Islands.

"He led a division of planes in an eight-plane formation and, when an enemy formation of twenty-seven planes was encountered, he led the attack, despite the numerical odds and, during the ensuing engagement, shot down five enemy planes and probably shot down another enemy plane.

"When his wingman was under attack by an enemy plane, and while he was almost out of ammunition, he dove on the enemy plane and forced the enemy plane to break off the attack.

His courage and skill were, at all times, inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Besides his parents, his wife and daughter, Lieutenant Anderson is survived by one brother, Private William Anderson, with the Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, NJ, who is now on his way home; a sister, Joan, employed at Minneapolis, who arrived home last night; and a grandmother, Mrs. H. A. Morrison, who resides at the Anderson home here.