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George Whelan Anderson, Jr.
Admiral, United States Navy
New York State Flag
From a contemporary press report:

GW Anderson Jr. PHOTO

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in charge of the US blockade of Cuba during Soviet missile crisis in 1962, died March  20, 1992, Arleigh Burke Pavilion nursing home in McLean, Virginia. He was 85 years old and lived in Washington, DC. He died of congestive heart failure, his family said. 

Many military experts had expected that he would become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). But a series of major policy disputes with Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara sidetracked his 36-year Navy career, and he was abruptly replaced as operations chief in 1963. Shortly after that, President John F. Kennedy, pleased with the Navy's handling of the blockade, appointed him as US Ambassador to Portugal. During 3 years there, encouraged plans for peaceful transition of the Portuguese colonies in Africa to national independence. 

After leaving his post in Portugal, he returned to Government service from 1973 to 1977 as member and later chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. 

In the Cuban crisis, the US forced the removal of Soviet nuclear missiles from the island. Kennedy was quoted as telling him, "Well, Admiral it looks as though this is up to the Navy," to which he replied, "Mr President, the Navy will not let you down." Time magazine featured him on its cover, calling him "an aggressive blue-water sailor of unfaltering competence and uncommon flare." But he bridled at the extent of McNamara's insistence on civilian involvement in running the operation, regarding it as usurpation of traditional military authority. Historians say that the 2 men even debated specific ship deployments in an argument that erupted in the Situation Room of Pentagon. 

They also differed on other issues. McNamara proposed using TFX fighter plane for both the Navy and Air Force but the Admiral rejected it as unsuitable - and Congress agreed with him. McNamara then thwarted the Navy's long-held plans to make all its aircraft carriers nuclear powered. And he ruffled feelings when reporters obtained and publicized his private letter criticizing adequacy of a military raise. 

Born in Brooklyn, he entered the United States Naval Academy in 1927 and trained as a pilot after graduation in 1930. He flew as a test pilot and served on cruisers and carriers. 

In World War II, he helped the Navy's huge expansion of its air arm and participated in strikes in Pacific as a navigator on the second carrier Yorktown. After the war he commanded the antisubmarine carrier, Mondoro. Then he was picked to assist President Dwight D. Eisenhower at North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The General had asked the Navy to "send me the smartest naval aviator you've got." 

Among his posts, he was commander of the carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt and special assistant to the Chairman of the JCS. He also commanded Task Force 77 between Taiwan and mainland China and became Chief of Staff to the Pacific commander, commander Carrier Div 6 in the Mediterranean during the Lebanon landing and later commanded the Sixth Fleet. 

After leaving the Navy, was chairman of Lamar Corporation, an outdoor advertising co, and served on the boards of Value Line, National Airlines and Crown Seal and Cork. Was also president of the Metropolitan Club in Washington, DC. 

His first wife, former Muriel Buttling, died in 1947. Two sons who became Navy pilots are also deceased. George W. Anderson 3rd, died of cancer (and is buried in the admiral's plot in Arlington) and Thomas Patrick Anderson, who flew more than 200 combat missions in Vietnam, died in plane crash in the Mediterranean. Surviving are second wife of 44 years, the former Mary Lee Sample; a daughter, a stepdaughter, 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. 

Buried, 23 March 1992 in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.



George Whelan Anderson, Jr. (1906 - 1992) was an Admiral in the United States Navy. He served as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) between 1961 and 1963, and was in charge of the U.S. blockade of Cuba during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, George Whelan Anderson, Jr. entered the United States Naval Academy in 1927 and graduated with the class of 1930. After graduation he became a Naval Aviator and served on cruisers and aircraft carriers.

In World War II he served as the navigator on the fourth USS Yorktown (CV-10). After the war he served as the Commanding Officer of the escort carrier USS Mindoro (CVE-120) and of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42). He also served tours as an assistant to General Dwight D. Eisenhower at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief Pacific.

As a flag officer he commanded Task Force 77 between Taiwan and mainland China, Carrier Div 6 in the Mediterranean during the Lebanon landing and the United States Sixth Fleet.

As Chief of Naval Operations in charge of the U.S. blockade of Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, Admiral Anderson distinguished himself in the Navy's conduct of those operations; Time magazine featured him on the cover and called him "an aggressive blue-water sailor of unfaltering competence and uncommon flair." However, his contentious relationship with Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara cut short his term as CNO and ended a service career that many had believed would lead to his appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Pleased with his role in the Cuban missile crisis, President John F. Kennedy appointed Admiral Anderson Ambassador to Portugal, where he served for three years and encouraged plans for the peaceful transition of Portugal's African colonies to independence. He later returned to Government service from 1973 to 1977 as member and later chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

After his retirement from the Navy, he was chairman of Lamar Corporation, an outdoor advertising company, and was a director on the boards of Value Line, National Airlines and Crown Seal and Cork.

His first wife, Muriel Buttling, died in 1947. His two sons, George W. Anderson III and Thomas Patrick Anderson (who flew more than 200 combat missions in Vietnam) are also deceased.

Admiral Anderson died March 20, 1992 of congestive heart failure at the age of 85. He was survived by his second wife of 44 years, the former Mary Lee Sample; a daughter, a stepdaughter, 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He was buried on March 23, 1992 in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.



Fashionable Hostess Mary L.L. Anderson
By Patricia Sullivan
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Saturday, November 4, 2006

Mary Lee Lamar Anderson, a gracious Navy wife and hostess who startled official Washington in 1962 when she had the red-brick Admiral's House at the Naval Observatory painted a bright light gray, died of pneumonia October 30, 2006, at her Watergate apartment six days short of her 100th birthday.

Mrs. Anderson and her husband, Admiral George W. Anderson, Chief of Naval Operations, lived from 1961 to 1963 in the hilltop home overlooking Massachusetts Avenue, which was built in 1893 for the superintendent of the Naval Observatory. The chief of naval operations requisitioned it for his home in 1923, and since 1974, it has been the official residence of the Vice President.

"The house used to look absolutely haunted when we'd drive up late at night," she told a Washington Post reporter in 1962. "So when I heard that they were going to clean the dirty red brick, I asked if they could paint it instead. . . . All I had in mind was freshening it up. But look at it. It has a different shape. Instead of going up, it now spreads."

The house, previously described as "staid" and "Victorian" with its large, dark windows and brooding turret, perked up with its light color, white trim and greenish-black blinds.

Inside, dark woodwork became off-white, and Mrs. Anderson rescued pale blue satin damask draperies from the attic and hung them downstairs alongside family heirlooms and paintings lent from the U.S. Navy Museum. She moved garden parties onto the sweeping veranda and introduced hot pink refreshment tents, replacing somber green canvas.

Her fashion sense was praised by a Post women's page writer in 1961: "She often goes out and trudges for hours to find something just right for her. Always chic, she dresses in high fashion, but not too high . . . not off one shoulder, for instance." She also sewed and was a talented flower arranger.

A Southern belle who married two Navy officers who became admirals, Mrs. Anderson traveled around the world. She was born Mary Lee Lamar in Pensacola, Florida, graduated from the former Gunston Hall finishing school in Northern Virginia and then married aviator William Dodge Sample. During World War II, while he was overseas, she lived in San Francisco. Sample, who became the youngest Rear Admiral in the Pacific theater, died in a plane crash in Japan in 1945.

She married Anderson, then a Captain, in 1948. Mrs. Anderson followed her husband to the Mediterranean and through Asia. They lived in the south of France while her husband commanded the Sixth Fleet before moving to Washington in 1961.

After two years at the Admiral's House, the Admiral was appointed ambassador to Portugal. The U.S. government owned a palatial residence in Lisbon for its ambassador, and Mrs. Anderson's decorating skills were once again put to use. They returned to the United States in 1966, settling first in McLean and later at the Watergate.

Mrs. Anderson was an avid golfer and was a member of Christ Church in Georgetown. She was also a member of the Colonial Dames of America, the Chevy Chase Club and the Sulgrave Club. She volunteered with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Naval Officers' Wives Club, the International Neighbors Club and the Red Cross.

Her second husband died in 1992. Two stepsons also died: George Anderson III, in 1986, and Thomas Patrick Anderson, a veteran of 200 Navy combat missions in Vietnam, in a plane crash in 1978 in the Mediterranean.

Survivors include a daughter from her first marriage, Carolyn Sample Abshire of Alexandria; a stepdaughter, Nan Anderson Coughlin of Washington; 12 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

 ANDERSON, MARY LEE ANDERSON

MARY LEE LAMAR ANDERSON. Wife of the late Admiral George W. Anderson, USA (Ret.), died peacefully on Monday, October 30, 2006; beloved mother of Carolyn S. Abshire and son-in-law, David M. Abshire and Nan Coughlin. She also leaves 12 grandchildren, The Rev. Lupton Abshire, Anna Bowman, Mary Lee Jensvold, Phyllis d'Hoop, Caroline Hall, Mary A. Miller, Dan, Laura and Brenda Coughlin, Tom and David Anderson, Muriel Martens and 20 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will take place on Saturday, November 4 at 11 a.m. at Christ Church, Georgetown, 31st and O Sts., NW. Interment Arlington National Cemetery


ANDERSON, GEORGE WHELAN JR
United States Navy
DATE OF BIRTH: 12/15/1906
DATE OF DEATH: 03/20/1992
BURIED AT: SECTION 1  SITE 866
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

ANDERSON, MURIEL BUTTLING W/O ANDERSON, GEORGE WHELAN JR
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/09/1911
DATE OF DEATH: 10/20/1947
BURIED AT: SECTION 1  SITE 866
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

ANDERSON, THOMAS P
United States Navy
DATE OF BIRTH: 04/03/1942
DATE OF DEATH: 06/24/1978
BURIED AT: SECTION 1  SITE 864-1
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

ANDERSON, GEORGE W III
United States Navy
DATE OF BIRTH: 04/21/1935
DATE OF DEATH: 01/11/1986
BURIED AT: SECTION 1  SITE 866
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY


Updated: 14 September 2005 Updated: 2 December 2006 Updated: 8 December 2006
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