Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Arthur Grant Anderson, who worked on the first-ever color transmission of a news photograph by radio signal.
Before Arthur G. Anderson enlisted in the Army, he worked for the news agency ACME Newspictures as a photographer specializing in taking pictures with a telephoto lens. He joined the Army in 1941 with the 121st Engineer Battalion, 29th Infantry Division. Anderson’s first assignment was at Fort Meade, Maryland, and then at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
Anderson later joined the staff of the radiophoto section with the Army’s Signal Corps, a division responsible for managing communications and information systems for the command and control of combined arms forces. He rose up the ranks to technical sergeant while working on secret imaging for the Army. He worked as a technician on the world’s first-ever color transmission of a news photograph by radio signal. Having experience in telephoto equipment was essential to this military achievement. The ability to send war-action pictures from any part of the globe brought the war home to the American people.
The first test of the equipment came from North Africa. The Army flew telephoto equipment to a location where the Allies would later win their first major campaign. The Army’s Signal Corps also successfully transmitted pictures of the beginning of the end of the Nazis. From Egypt, Guam, Hawaii, the Philippines, and from Australia, news pictures were transmitted to the U.S. within seven minutes.
ACME telephoto machines were also a small but significant part of the logistical planning for the Normandy landings. As a result of the equipment Anderson helped design and build, it took approximately one hour for pictures of the invasion’s success to reach the desk of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Anderson left the Army in 1945. His help in developing such a remarkable instrument of vital picture communications allowed for the military to share the story of U.S. involvement in World War II globally.
Anderson died in July 2007, in Cuyahoga, Ohio, at age 90.
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: Rachel Heimann
Editor: Michaela Yesis
Graphic artist: Deanna Cannon