Medal of Honor Recipient Edwin Anderson of Wilmington

Medal of Honor Recipient Edwin Anderson of WilmingtonOn September 23, 1933, distinguished Rear Admiral Edwin Anderson died in Wilmington

Born in 1860 near Wilmington, Anderson was educated at the U.S. Naval Academy. His first 15 years in the Navy included tours of duty in Haiti, Alaska and the Galapagos Islands; a promotion to lieutenant; and a varied range of duties from protecting the Bering Sea seal trade to a aiding a scientific expedition.

During the Spanish-American War, Anderson volunteered to lead two small boats in an attempt to locate and cut the Spanish undersea cables and completed the mission under a barrage of Spanish artillery and small arms fire that killed several men.

Cited for extreme gallantry, Anderson received an unprecedented five-grade promotion to commander in 1901.  After a variety of domestic postings and several foreign tours, Anderson took charge of the battleship USS New Hampshire in 1913. His vessel took part in the United States intervention in Vera Cruz, Mexico, and his courage under fire there earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Anderson ended his naval career in charge of the entire Eastern Fleet serving in Asia. He was such a help in delivering emergency medical supplies and food when Japan was devastated by a series of earthquakes in 1923 that the Japanese government sent Anderson gifts each Christmas until his death.

Anderson retired from the Navy in March 1924, returned to Wilmington and remained there until his death.

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