Anderson, Webster, SFC

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Sergeant First Class
Last Service Branch
Field Artillery
Last Primary MOS
13B10-Cannon Crewmember
Last MOS Group
Field Artillery (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1966-1967, 101st Airborne Division
Service Years
1953 - 1968

Sergeant First Class


Five Service Stripes



Two Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

15 kb

Home State
South Carolina
South Carolina
Year of Birth
1933
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Anderson, Webster, SFC.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Winnsboro, SC
Last Address
Winnsboro, SC

Date of Passing
Aug 30, 2003
 
Location of Interment
Blackjack Baptist Church Cemetery - Winnsboro, South Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Artillery Shoulder Cord


 Military Association Memberships
Congressional Medal Of Honor SocietyLegion Of Valor
  1968, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society [Verified]
  1970, Legion Of Valor [Verified] - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Webster Anderson (July 15, 1933-August 30, 2003)was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.
 

Anderson joined the Army from his birth city of Winnsboro, South Carolina, and by October 15, 1967 was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Infantry Division (Airmobile). On that day, Anderson's artillery unit was attacked by North Vietnamese forces near Tam Kỳ in the Republic of Vietnam. Anderson directed the defense of the unit's position and continued to lead after twice being severely wounded. He survived his wounds and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class and awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

              Medal of Honor citation

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Citation:

 
Sfc. Anderson (then S/Sgt.), distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as chief of section in Battery A, against a hostile force. During the early morning hours Battery A's defensive position was attacked by a determined North Vietnamese Army infantry unit supported by heavy mortar, recoilless rifle, rocket propelled grenade and automatic weapon fire. The initial enemy onslaught breached the battery defensive perimeter. Sfc. Anderson, with complete disregard for his personal safety, mounted the exposed parapet of his howitzer position and became the mainstay of the defense of the battery position. Sfc. Anderson directed devastating direct howitzer fire on the assaulting enemy while providing rifle and grenade defensive fire against enemy soldiers attempting to overrun his gun section position. While protecting his crew and directing their fire against the enemy from his exposed position, 2 enemy grenades exploded at his feet knocking him down and severely wounding him in the legs. Despite the excruciating pain and though not able to stand, Sfc. Anderson valorously propped himself on the parapet and continued to direct howitzer fire upon the closing enemy and to encourage his men to fight on. Seeing an enemy grenade land within the gun pit near a wounded member of his gun crew, Sfc. Anderson heedless of his own safety, seized the grenade and attempted to throw it over the parapet to save his men. As the grenade was thrown from the position it exploded and Sfc. Anderson was again grievously wounded. Although only partially conscious and severely wounded, Sfc. Anderson refused medical evacuation and continued to encourage his men in the defense of the position. Sfc. Anderson by his inspirational leadership, professionalism, devotion to duty and complete disregard for his welfare was able to maintain the defense of his section position and to defeat a determined attack. Sfc. Anderson's gallantry and extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Death

Anderson survived his wounds, though he lost both legs and part of his arm. After leaving the service he moved back to his home in Winnsboro. Webster Anderson died at age 70 of colon cancer and was buried in Blackjack Baptist Church Cemetery in his hometown of Winnsboro, South Carolina.

   
Other Comments:
Webster Anderson was one of two men from South Carolina who won Congressional Medals of Honor for their deeds in Vietnam. (Ralph Johnson was the other). Anderson, born in Winnsboro on July 15, 1933, was a career member of the U.S. Army, joining the army in 1953, long before he began his tour of duty in Vietnam.
 
It seemed nothing could stop Webster Anderson. Not North Vietnamese troops. Not the loss of both legs and a hand. Not the loss of a spouse. Until the end, Army Sgt. 1st Class Anderson pressed on — driven to see his life of 70 years end on his own terms, family and friends said Monday.
 
Anderson, one of only eight South Carolinians who received the Medal of Honor for heroism in the Vietnam War, died of cancer Saturday at his Fairfield County home. “He did not cry. He did not mumble. He did not complain,” said Anderson’s son, Davis. “He took his last breath with dignity.”
 
Anderson’s wife, Vickie, said her husband’s strong will and determination to see things through to the end were the qualities she most admired. “When he did something, he didn’t stop until he got it right, and he never left anything undone,” Vickie Anderson said. “I learned a lot from him. He made me a better woman.”
 
Webster Anderson also refused to let the injuries he suffered get to him, friends and family said. “He didn’t hold a grudge,” said John F. Baker of Columbia, also a Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War. “He was just a real nice, pleasant and friendly guy.”
 
Anderson usually started the day doing 200 push-ups and 200 sit-ups, and lifting weights with his one arm. He walked five miles a day on his artificial limbs, said Davis, 32, his youngest son. “There’d be days when he’d throw off those legs and jump into Lake Wateree for a swim,” Davis Anderson added. His father would take Fridays off from his TV repair business, get his boat and go fishing.
 
“He taught me that we could be anything we wanted, and he lived his life that way,” Davis Anderson said. That lesson served Davis Anderson well. When he was 9 months
old, Davis lost a leg to cancer. The disability didn’t deter Davis, who went on to play high school football and graduate from college.
 
While Webster Anderson said in interviews he didn’t dwell on what happened in Vietnam, he admitted to a reporter that he couldn’t forget what fate dealt him on Oct. 15, 1967. Sgt. Anderson was with an artillery battery of the 101st Airborne Division at a place called Tam Ky.

That night, the battery of about 60 soldiers was attacked and overrun by North Vietnamese. “When it happened, I looked at our young kids, and they were so scared,” said Anderson, 34 at the time of the attack. “They were jumping in holes and crying. A lot of them were getting killed, and I thought I was going to die, too.”
 
Anderson mounted the exposed parapet of his howitzer position to direct fire at the enemy and shoot his rifle at attacking North Vietnamese soldiers. Two grenades exploded at Anderson’s feet, severely injuring his legs. Anderson lifted himself off the ground, propped up against the parapet and continued to direct his soldiers.
 
Another enemy grenade landed in the gun pit near a wounded member of Anderson’s crew. Anderson tried to throw it away, but it exploded in his right hand.
 
Despite his injuries, Anderson refused medical treatment and continued to direct his troops until they repulsed the attack.
 
For his actions, Anderson was awarded the Medal of Honor by Congress. President Richard Nixon presented it to him in November 1969.
 
Parades and banquets were held in Anderson’s honor when he returned to his hometown of Winnsboro in December 1969.  Among those attending the ceremonies were Gov. Bob McNair and U.S. Sens. Strom Thurmond and Fritz Hollings. 
 
Anderson pressed on with his life, operating a TV repair shop from his home and raising his family of two boys and a girl. All went to college. Two became teachers; Davis is Fairfield County deputy administrator.
 
A fire destroyed Anderson’s home in 1975. Everything was lost, including his Medal of Honor. But Thurmond got Anderson another one.
 
His first wife, Ida, died in 1991. He married his second wife, Vickie, in 1996.
 
Webster Anderson kept up his rigorous pace until 1995, when a fifth stroke robbed him of the use of his left arm. Baker said he visited Webster Anderson almost daily during the
two months he was being treated for colon cancer at the Dorn VA Hospital.
 
“He left the hospital about a month ago,” said Baker, who works in the hospital’s computer department. “He wanted to go home and die.” On Saturday, Webster Ander-
son lay on his deathbed, surrounded by his wife, children and step-children, and some of their 13 grand- and step-grandchildren.
 
Death came the way Webster Anderson wanted. “We’ve got to be thankful now,”
Davis Anderson said. “He’s no longer in any pain. “They say old soldiers never
die, they just fade away. But he’ll be with us for a long, long time.”
 
 
 
 
 
   
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
2nd Battalion, 320th Artillery101st Airborne Division
  1966-1967, A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 320th Artillery
  1966-1967, 101st Airborne Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
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