Military Wiki
George W. Anderson
Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board

In office
May 1, 1970 – March 11, 1976
President Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Preceded by Maxwell D. Taylor
Succeeded by Leo Cherne
United States Ambassador to Portugal

In office
October 22, 1963 – June 1, 1966
President John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Charles Elbrick
Succeeded by Tapley Bennett
Chief of Naval Operations

In office
August 1, 1961 – August 1, 1963
President John F. Kennedy
Deputy Claude V. Ricketts
Preceded by Arleigh Burke
Succeeded by David L. McDonald
Personal details
Born (1906-12-15)December 15, 1906
New York City, U.S.
Died March 20, 1992(1992-03-20) (aged 85)
McLean, Virginia, U.S.
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1927–1963
Rank Admiral
Commands Chief of Naval Operations
United States Sixth Fleet
Carrier Division 6
Task Force 77
USS Franklin D. Roosevelt
USS Mindoro
Battles/wars World War II
Cold War

George Whelan Anderson Jr. (December 15, 1906 – March 20, 1992) was an admiral in the United States Navy and a diplomat. Serving as the Chief of Naval Operations between 1961 and 1963, he was in charge of the US blockade of Cuba during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Early life and career

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 15, 1906, Anderson entered the United States Naval Academy in 1923 and graduated with the class of 1927. Then, he became a Naval Aviator and served on cruisers and aircraft carriers, including the USS Cincinnati.

In World War II, Anderson served as the 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 Eisenhower at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Arthur W. Radford, and as chief of staff to the Commander in Chief Pacific.

Flag assignments

As a flag officer, Anderson commanded Task Force 77 between Taiwan and Mainland China, Carrier Division 6, in the Mediterranean during the 1958 Lebanon landing and, as a vice admiral, commanded the United States Sixth Fleet.

As Chief of Naval Operations in charge of the US quarantine of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Anderson distinguished himself in the Navy's conduct of those operations. Time magazine featured him on the cover[1] and called him "an aggressive blue-water sailor of unfaltering competence and uncommon flair." He had, however, a contentious relationship with Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. At one point during the crisis, Anderson ordered McNamara out of the Pentagon's Flag Plot when the Secretary inquired as to the Navy's intended procedures for stopping Soviet submarines;[2] McNamara viewed those actions as mutinous and forced Anderson to retire in 1963. Many senior naval officers had believed Anderson's next appointment would have been to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Later career

Anderson took early retirement, largely because of the ongoing conflict with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.[3]

President John F. Kennedy subsequently appointed Anderson 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.

After his retirement from the navy, Anderson was chairman of Lamar Advertising Company, an outdoor advertising company, and he was a director on the boards of Value Line, National Airlines and Crown Seal and Cork.

Family and death

Anderson's first wife was Muriel Buttling (1911–1947). His two sons were George W. Anderson III (1935–1986), who died of brain cancer, and Thomas Patrick Anderson (1942–1978), who flew more than 200 combat missions in Vietnam.

Anderson died on March 20, 1992 of congestive heart failure, at the age of 85, in McLean, Virginia. He was survived by his second wife of 44 years, the former Mary Lee Sample (née Anderson), the widow of William Sample; a daughter; a stepdaughter; twelve grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was buried on March 23, 1992, in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery. Muriel Buttling and both sons (George III and Thomas Patrick) are also buried at Arlington.


Naval Aviator Badge.jpg
Gold star
Combat Distinguishing Device.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Navy Distinguished Service Medal
w/1 award star
Legion of Merit
2nd row Bronze Star Medal Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
w/Combat "V" Valor device
Army Commendation Medal
3rd row Presidential Medal of Freedom
w/1 award star
American Defense Service Medal
w/1 service star
American Campaign Medal
4th row Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
w/2 service stars
World War II Victory Medal Navy Occupation Service Medal
5th row China Service Medal National Defense Service Medal Order of the British Empire
6th row Order of Precious Tripod with Special Rosette Unidentified Grand Cross of Royal Order of Phoenix
(Grand Cross)
7th row Cross of the Knight Commanders, Royal Order George I Military Order of Christ Great Star of Military Merit of Chile
8th row Order of Naval Merit (first class) of Venezuela Order of Naval Merit, Grand Officer Commander of the Legion of Honour
9th row Maltese Cross; the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal Grand Cross of Military Merit of Portugal Great Cross of the Order of Merit of Italy


External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Arleigh Burke
Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded by
David L. McDonald
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles Elbrick
United States Ambassador to Portugal
Succeeded by
Tapley Bennett
Government offices
Preceded by
Maxwell D. Taylor
Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board
Succeeded by
Leo Cherne

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