"Who Was Sgt. Arnold Everett "Arnie" Anderson, USAAF, 13th Bomb SQ (L)?"


The quest for Sgt. Arnold E."Arnie" Anderson, 13th Bomb SQ (L) began January 2001 in Melbourne, Australia when off-duty Frankston Region 5 traffic cop, Sergeant Bruce Buchan, Supervisor, Frankston Traffic Management Unit, decided to tour the Melbourne Museum while waiting for his car to be repaired.

The Melbourne Museum displayed the visitors' book of the ACF Services Club known as “The Dugout,” which was partof the Myer Emporium Ltd collection at the University of Melbourne Archives.  According to Australian historian, Dr. Mark Richmond, retired 2005, Staff of University of  Melbourne Archives (see http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/archives/publications/bulletinsUMAB19pdf) :

“…Norman Myer funded the conversion of two cafes beneath the Capitol Theatre in Swanston Street, providing bathroomsand a clothes mending room as well as food and entertainment. The Dugout was opened by General Blamey in May 1942, a representative of General Macarthur also being present. It was open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 11 p.m., staffed by 150 volunteers from Myer’s during the evenings. I exhibited this item in a 1999 exhibition at the University marking the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of  WWII…”


In 1942 Anderson recorded in the Dugout social registry:  “PLENTY SWELL FOOD AND PLENTY SWELL SERVICE.”  Buchan read the signatures, comical comments, WW II jargon posted by Anderson and his buddies, and wondered if Anderson or any of the other U.S. veterans were still alive?

 Buchan posted his inquiry at www.worldwar2veterans.com,  where Pat Gunn, an amateur historian in Cincinnati, OH responded and researched Anderson's military service records through Polk County, Iowa's Recorder Office and later his death notice through the Des Moines Register newspaper. 

Sgt. Anderson had enlisted 10 January 1942, served in Papua, New Guinea, Bismark Archipelago, Northern Solomons, Southern Philippines, Luzon, Ryukyus Islands, and separated from military service 2 October 1945 at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.  Gunn took an interest in Anderson’s WW II history, particularly because she had lived at Camp Chinen, from 1956-60 and attended Awasi and Naha Elementary Schools, Okinawa, Ryukyus Islands eleven years after the end of WW II.

 Unfortunately, Anderson passed away 16 March 2001 and his wife, Dottie, a year later on 14 March 2002, without knowing these 1942 signatures and comments were on display in an Australian museum some 57 years later.  In 2007, a beautiful gravemarker in Cape Fair Cemetery, Cape Fair, Missouri outside Branson marks the final resting place of this wonderful WW II veteran and his bride of over 50 years.

 The WW II artifacts once belonging to Sgt. Arnold Everett "Arnie" Anderson, USAAF, 13th Bomb SQ (L) were donated by Mrs. Sue Hammett, Independence, who was Anderson's power-of-attorney, and the daughter of his long-time friend. The carefully preserved artifacts Anderson kept through WW II and the subsequent years after included his WW II messkit hand-etched with his name, his home address, wife’s name, all the Pacific islands where he served, and military transports on which he relocated; a copy of the Grim Reapers yearbook; several issues of the WW II issued "Yank Down Under" news magazines; a colorful Grim Reapers painting postcard; Anderson's original military records; photos of Anderson in his military uniform, his wedding photo, and standing in front of the Diablo III airplane; some WW II era coins; and a beautifully preserved Air Force scrapbook with WW II photos of the 13th Bomb SQ pilots and crew who served in Charters Towers, Australia and throughout the Pacific Theater.  The 13th Bomb Squad, the most decorated U.S. Air Force bomb squad active today, continues the legacy of these WW I, WW II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans.

 Anderson's WW II items were accepted at the 13th Bomb SQ's Heritage Room by John “Fokker” Avery, Jared “Evel”  Kennish and Ms. Margaret DePalma, Civ 509th BW/Historian. In attendance at the Heritage Room, also, were Sue's husband, Major Hammett, Pat Gunn, and her son, Stephen Gunn who drove to Whiteman AFB from Cincinnati, OH to participate in this auspicious occasion and the May 2007 Spirit Tour.




Arnie Anderson

 J. May