In Memory of Samuel D. Anderson
Article was added on Tuesday, December 11, 2012
By TIM CALLAHAN
Samuel D. "Big Zeb" Anderson passed away on Monday, December 10,
2012 at the age of 90. Mr. Anderson was a World War II veteran who
traveled on the electric cooperative-sponsored Honor Flight to
Washington, D.C., on April 11, 2012.
The following article on Mr. Anderson is excerpted from the
Honor Flight book which recognizes the 100
veterans who traveled on the April flight:
When Samuel Anderson was drafted in 1944, he was torn between
duty to his country and duty to his family.
Anderson was married, had three children and ran a small farm in
Andrews. "I didn't want to go and I wanted to go," he says. "There
was a war going on, but I had a family. I was scared of going and
getting killed. But, I had to go."
Once during his two-year tour he came close to realizing his
greatest fear. He was on a ship-he doesn't remember its name-and a
Japanese plane began a bombing run right at the vessel. "With the
help of the good Lord, the gunner saved us," Anderson said. "Before
the plane could drop its bombs, it was flames of
As a quartermaster, part of Anderson's responsibility was
maintaining chemical weapons gear. His unit participated in the
liberation of the Philippines and was assigned a dangerous task:
Assist and decontaminate any American troops that were hit with
poison gas from the Japanese, "but, no, we were blessed," he says.
"We didn't have to do that while I was there."
Stationed in Manila for eight months, Anderson enjoyed getting
to know his fellow soldiers and meeting the people of the islands.
"I liked seeing new places, like the Philippines. The people were
so friendly in Manila," he says. "And, all I made was friends in
His unit was preparing for the invasion of the Japanese home
islands when the war ended. "I can't even begin to describe the
feeling when I heard," Anderson says. "Blessed peace." But there
was some regret, too.
"We were packed and ready to go to Japan," he says. "It was war,
but I wanted to go and see the country."
Anderson returned home to his wife, Alafair, and his family in
1946. They added a fourth child as Anderson worked various jobs
before hiring on with Santee Electric Cooperative in 1958, where he
worked for the next 18 years in right-of-way maintenance, a
demanding and often back-breaking line of work in the days when
poles and lines were dug and set by hand.
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