Frederick L. Anderson 1928

1928 Class Crest

Cullum No. 8328 • Mar 02, 1969 • Died in Houston, TX

Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

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Fred had fought gallantly for almost two years the illness which caused his death. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday 6 March following an 11 a.m. service at the Fort Myer Chapel.

Frederick L. Anderson was born 4 October 1905 in Kingston, New York, was graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on 9 June 1928 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Cavalry. However, he had already determined that his future was in flying. Accordingly, he entered the Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, in September 1928 and was graduated from the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas on 15 Octobcr 1929.

While a cadet at West Point, Fred’s enterprise and fighting spirit, which were so evident in lacrosse and football, earned him the title of "Ball Hawk." He won his major “A” in the years 3-2-1. He was a Cadet Lieutenant and a member of the Honor Committee as a First Classman.

The fighting spirit he had as a Cadet stayed with Fred until his last breath.

After graduation from the Advanced Flying School, Fred’s assignments were those normal for a Junior Officer of the Army Air Corps. One incident was an outstanding example of the courage evident throughout his life. In 1934, while flying in formation over San Francisco, his airplane, an 0-19, caught fire. Rather than eject immediately with consequent hazard to people below, he flew out over the bay and then ejected. The airplane went into the water, and so did Fred. A stiff wind was blowing, and he could not collapse his parachute. He was consequently dragged submerged until pulled from the water by personnel from a U. S. Navy vessel. Fortunately, they had a pullmotor, and Fred was revived after four hours of unconsciousness. For this he was awarded one of the very few Distinguished Flying Crosses awarded in peace time and the first to be awarded to a member of the Class of 1928.

Although, as I have stated, Fred’s assignments in the early days of his career were those normal to a Junior Air Force Officer, he early developed an interest in the then relatively uncharted area of aerial bombardment. This led to his assignment as Director of Bombardier instruction at the Air Corps Tactical School following his graduation from that school in 1940. In 1941, he was assigned as Director of Bombardment in the Training and Operations Division of the office of the Chief of the Air Corps in Washington, D.C. In 1943, he was appointed Commander of the 8th Bomber Command in the European Theatre of operations. In this capacity, he both flew with, and directed, his B17 fortress crews during their crucial attacks on German industries in 1943. The book and movie, “Command Decision,’’ were based on the exploits of Fred and his fortress crews during this period. His leadership was recognized by his being promoted to Brigadier General (temporary) 7 February 1943 and to Major General (temporary) 4 November 1943, making him, at the age of 37, the Nation’s youngest Major General. At the end of the war, he was Deputy Commanding General for Operations, U. S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe.

After the war, Fred was assigned to the Pentagon as Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Personnel and occupied this position until his retirement in 1947. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with two Clusters, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Commander of Bath (U.K.), Suvurov 3rd degree (U.S.S.R.), Croix de Guerre (France), and Order of Polonia Restitute, Commander's Cross (Poland).

That Fred was a man of many facets is demonstrated by his career as a diplomat and as a businessman both during and after World War II, During the war, he was selected for sensitive diplomatic missions to Britain, Russia, and Sweden. He was also General Eisenhower’s representative at the Yalta Conference. Later, in 1952, his business activities were put aside for a time when he was selected by President Truman to serve as Deputy Special Representative, with the rank of Ambassador, to Europe, with the responsibility for the mutual security program, and representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In 1955, at the request of President Eisenhower, he headed a panel to study and report on the psychological aspects of U.S. strategy. In 1956 he served on the Rockefeller Brothers' Fund Special Studies Project Panel on U.S. International Objectives and Strategy. He also served on the Hoover Committee on reorganization of the Federal Government.

Fred began his business ventures as President and Director of Hodges Research and Development Company of Redwood City, California (1947-1950), then was President of Three States Natural Gas Company, Dallas, Texas (1950-1952). Following the NATO period, he engaged in individual private investment banking from 1953 to August 1959. During this time, with several associates in various parts of the U.S., Fred began to offer financial and other assistance to promising young business leaders during the critical, early-development periods of their business. He felt that providing such aid was vital to the growth of our national economy. His group participated in the financing of several corporations, including Lear Siegler, Inc., and Royal Industries, Inc., of Los Angeles; U.S. Leasing Corp. of San Francisco; and Raychem Corporation of Menlo Park, California.

In 1959 Fred joined William H. Draper Jr., Laurence G. Duerig, and the late Rowan Gaither Jr. in establishing Draper, Gaither & Anderson—a private investment organization located in Palo Alto, California. This partnership was formed to continue the type of venture capital investment activity already in process, and some of the companies developed under the firm are Mark Systems, Inc., Cupertino, California; Federal Petroleum, Inc., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Tracor, Inc., Austin, Texas. Fred served as director of most of these companies, as well as several others, including American Bakeries Company, Chicago, Illinois. In addition, he was a trustee of the HAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and of the Menlo School and College, Menlo Park, California. He was a member of the Menlo Country Club, the Cypress Point Club, The San Francisco Golf Club, the Pacific Union Club, the Palo Alto Club, and The Links. He also was a member of the Institute of International Education, the Atlantic Council, the World Affairs Council of California, and the National Planning Association.

We could recall Fred’s many acts of courage, many displays of true patriotism, of sacrifice for his country, his friends, and his family. He was generous to a fault. We could recount many other unique achievements of his career in the Air Force, in diplomacy, and in the business world. We could call to mind his contribution to final victory in World War II, where he persisted in his concept of high-altitude precision daylight bombardment through the dreadful days of 1943 and was to see his decision justified. We could relate more of his success in representing his country in diplomatic circles and of his charm and ability which won for him personal friendships with presidents, prime ministers, and rulers. We could list with satisfaction other of his business ventures which would have died a-borning but for Fred with his financial insight and courage.

But Fred would not be willing to have these things paraded. He would prefer to discuss, over a much loved cigar, and possibly a favorite drink, his struggle with the golf course at Mauna Kea or Cypress, or to speculate on what the duck season would be like in California next year. He would be eager to discuss his program for centralizing available information and individual research in cancer treatment. His eyes would soften and his voice grow warm and eager as he spoke of changes Elizabeth planned in the beautiful home they both so loved, or of the grandchildren and children who were so dear to him. Any talk of trout fishing would reveal that Fred Anderson was a dedicated and talented purist in dry fly stream fishing, and he would be utterly contemptuous of any mention of bait or hardware fishing. I think Fred would say that the weather was never too bad to play golf, or to fish, or to hunt. He enjoyed the good things of life, including his magnificent taste in wine and his unabashed joy in family, home, clubs, and his Colorado ranch.

If he were to choose one facet of his personality which he himself felt to be the greatest virtue, it would be loyalty. Fred was unswervingly loyal. He never recognized the absence of this in others, because to him, loyalty to his country, his family and friends, to his business associates, and to the code by which he lived, was the one way of life.

From all this, it is obvious that Fred Anderson was a man of many talents, adaptable to any circumstance, unflinching in adversity, gentle in victory. Like so many others we are proud to be able to say he was our friend.

—S. E. A.

—D. L. P.

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