Thomas Moore Anderson, Jr.
Conflict: World War II
Branch of Service: U. S. Navy
Unit: USS Porter
Rank: Fireman, First Class
Death: 29 October 1942 – SW Pacific
Cemetery: Buried at sea – memorialized at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Medals / Citations / Awards: Purple Heart; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal; World War II Victory Medal; American Defense Service Medal.
Thomas Moore Anderson, Jr. was born 23 March 1922 in Spartanburg, S.C., a son of Thomas Moore Anderson, Sr. and Hattie West. He was one of seven children. They included the following: Margaret M., Harriet H., Hollis G., Polly M., Carlos Golightly, Richard Eppes, and Mary E. At the time of his enlistment, the family lived in Woodruff, S.C. He stated on his enlistment papers that they had lived there for six years and before that in Spartanburg. He listed Protestant as his religion. He had black hair, brown eyes and a ruddy complexion.
He completed 7th grade. He applied for enlistment 2 April 1940 with reason listed as career. He enlisted for six years 20 June 1940 at the Raleigh, N.C., naval recruiting station. He received instruction in gas war defense 3 January 1941. His rating changed from fireman 3rd class to fireman 2nd class 7 July 1941. On 25 August 1941, he and two of his buddies were involved in a traffic accident in Orange Co., Calif., when they hit a telephone pole and remained in hospital in San Diego through 4 November 1941. On 30 December 1941, he reported to the USS Porter from the USS Harris. He was promoted again fireman 1st class 16 February 1942.
He was wounded when the USS Porter was torpedoed on 29 October 1942. He was at his battle station on the port side when the torpedo entered the ship near his battle station. He was thrown into the ocean through the torpedo entrance. He was later rescued and brought back aboard where he was treated for shock and pain from 2nd and 3rd degree burns. He was first transferred to the USS Shaw and the later moved to the USS South Dakota where he died and was buried at sea. He is memorialized on the Tablets of Missing in Manila, Philippines.