Summary

After being killed in action, Anderson became the first African American Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Branch:
Marine Corps 1
Rank:
Private First Class 1
Birth:
22 Jan 1947 1
Los Angeles, California 2
Death:
28 Feb 1967 1
Quang Tri Province, Vietnam 3
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
James Anderson, Jr 1
Birth:
22 Jan 1947 1
Los Angeles, California 2
Male 1
Death:
28 Feb 1967 1
Quang Tri Province, Vietnam 2
Cause: Gun, Small Arms Fire 1
Age at Death: 20 1
Body Recovered: Recovered 1
Casualty Date: 28 Feb 1967 1
Casualty Location: 5km NW of Cam Lo 1
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died 1
Burial:
Lincoln Memorial Park, Carson, California 2
Residence:
Hometown: Compton, CA 1
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Birth:
Mother: Aggiethine Anderson 3
Marriage:
Marital Status: Single 1
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Vietnam War 1

Branch:
Marine Corps 1
Rank:
Private First Class 1
Battalion:
2nd Bn 1
Company:
F Co 1
Enlistment Type:
Regular 1
Grade:
E2 1
Major Command:
3rd Mar Div 1
Posthumous Decoration:
Medal of Honor 1
Regiment:
3rd Marines 1
Service:
Marine Corps 1
Specialty:
Rifleman (USMC) 1
Years Served:
0 1
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Religion:
Protestant - No Denominational Preference 1
Race or Ethnicity:
African-American 1
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 112 1
Panel: 15E 1

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Stories

MedalThere is a ship named after him  MV PFC James Anderson Jr

Thank you Marine for your service to this great nation and to our Corps....

THE WALL

Standing here in front of the Wall
silently reading your name
solemnly I thank you one and all
Each of you different, yet the same

The list seems forever endless
but I remember your faces
you made the supreme sacrifice, I confess
as I walk slowly with measured paces

Each one of you answered the call
willingly or not, you gave your lives
Rest easy, my Brothers - heroes all
The Nation still survives


"War drew us from our homeland

In the sunlit springtime of our youth.

Those who did not come back alive remain

in perpetual springtime -- forever young --

And a part of them is with us always."

--- Author Unknown ---

God Bless  You

 

 

First African American Marine to receive Medal of Honor

For his "personal heroism, extraordinary valor, and inspirational supreme self-sacrifice" on 28 February 1967 (which led to his death), Anderson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on 21 August 1968, making him the first African American in the Marine Corps to receive that honor. Later, the Navy ship USNS PFC James Anderson, Jr. (T-AK 3002) was named in his honor.

Medal of Honor Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a rifleman, Second Platoon, Company F, Second Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division, in Vietnam on 28 February 1967. Company F was advancing in dense jungle northwest of Cam L? in an effort to extract a heavily besieged reconnaissance patrol. Private First Class Anderson's platoon was the lead element and had advanced only about 200 meters when they were brought under extremely intense enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire. The platoon reacted swiftly, getting on line as best they could in the thick terrain, and began returning fire. Private First Class Anderson found himself tightly bunched together with the other members of the platoon only 20 meters from the enemy positions. As the fire fight continued several of the men were wounded by the deadly enemy assault. Suddenly, an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the Marines and rolled alongside Private First Class Anderson's head. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, he reached out, grasped the grenade, pulled it to his chest and curled around it as it went off. Although several Marines received shrapnel from the grenade, his body absorbed the major force of the explosion. In this singularly heroic act, Private First Class Anderson saved his comrades from serious injury and possible death. His personal heroism, extraordinary valor, and inspirational supreme self-sacrifice reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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