Beauford T Anderson
Beauford was born on the 6th of July, 1922 in Eagle, Wisconsin. His family moved to nearby Soldiers Grove and at the age of 20, he enlisted in the US Army. In 1944, Beauford was in the Southwest Pacific and while on the island of Leyte in the Philippines, he earned the Bronze Star for crossing open terrain to render aid to two wounded soldiers after pulling them to safety. A little less than a year later, he was a technical sergeant fighting in the Battle of Okinawa and it was his actions here that would earn him the Medal of Honor. The citation reads:
He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. When a powerfully conducted predawn Japanese counterattack struck his unit's flank, he ordered his men to take cover in an old tomb, and then, armed only with a carbine, faced the onslaught alone. After emptying 1 magazine at pointblank range into the screaming attackers, he seized an enemy mortar dud and threw it back among the charging enemy Japanese soldiers, killing several as it burst. Securing a box of mortar shells, he extracted the safety pins, banged the bases upon a rock to arm them and proceeded alternately to hurl shells and fire his piece among the fanatical foe, finally forcing them to withdraw. Despite the protests of his comrades, and bleeding profusely from a severe shrapnel wound, he made his way to his company commander to report the action. T/Sgt. Anderson's intrepid conduct in the face of overwhelming odds accounted for 25 enemy killed and several machine guns and knee mortars destroyed, thus single-handedly removing a serious threat to the company's flank.
One year later, on the 27th of June 1946, Beauford received the Medal of Honor from President Truman in a ceremony at the White House. Of the five members from the 96th Infantry Division that received the Medal of Honor during World War 2, Beauford was one of two that lived to receive it in person. He continued to serve in the Army Reserve after the war as a warrant officer until the 30th of September, 1952. Before receiving a medical retirement after ten years of service, he had received a commission to second lieutenant. He had also moved to California where he served two terms as the mayor and city councilman of Seaside. Beauford also owned a ranch near Hunter-Liggett, California and he and his wife Phyllis lived out their lives in Salinas.
Beauford Theodore Anderson died on the 7th of November, 1996 and Phyllis, his wife of 50 years, died a month later on the 23rd of December. A new dormitory at the Army Reserve Readiness Training Center in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin was built and dedicated in his honor on the 15th of December, 2000. Both Beauford and Phyllis were re-interred, with full honors for Beauford, to Arlington National Cemetery on the 7th of May, 2001: Section 44, Lot 292.