Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Force Veteran Claude Anderson, who flew on 35 combat missions during World War II before becoming a physician.
In 1942, Claude Anderson was a student at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He decided to volunteer for the Aviation Cadets. In March 1943, Anderson went to basic training at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Classification Center for six weeks. Anderson went to 18 weeks at navigation school.
After graduating from the course, Anderson traveled to Alexandria, Louisiana, to fly some practice missions. Anderson’s first mission was to pick up a new aircraft and fly it to England. In England, Anderson served with the 95th Bomb Group, 13th Combat Wing, 3rd Division stationed in the small town of Eye.
During his service with the 95th Bomb Group, Anderson flew 35 combat missions. After the 35th mission, Anderson received a fine steak dinner. He said it was one of the most enjoyable meals of his life. He received five Air Medals during his service.
After England, Anderson traveled to Rapid City, South Dakota, as a navigation instructor before he qualified for pilot training in March 1945. When V-J Day occurred, Anderson decided to leave the Army Air Force, but stay in the Reserves.
Anderson finished college and went to Yale University for medical school. He graduated in 1953 and went back on active duty with the Air Force as first lieutenant. As a physician, Anderson was stationed at various posts, including Scott Air Force Base twice and the Air Force Academy. His final assignment was as the hospital commander and third Air Force surgeon in a hospital just outside of London, England.
Anderson settled in California with his family. He passed away on June 26, 2002.
More of his story can be found at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.00243/
We honor his service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Annaleigh Cummings
Graphic artist: Michelle Zischke