William A. Anderson

William A. Anderson, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Anderson, 724 Lee Street, is now enrolled as an Aviation Cadet in the pre-flight school at Maxwell Field, Alabama, an installation of the Army Air Forces Training Command. Here, the cadets are receiving nine weeks of intensive military, physical, and academic training.

Navy Ace, Victor Over Six Japs in One Battle, Killed in Plane Crash in Maryland
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.