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Paul L. Anderson

Today's obituaries

Date published: 2/17/2014

Paul L. Anderson

Captain Paul L. Anderson, USN (Ret), 84, of King George County died at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014.

Captain Anderson was born in Racine, Wis., the son of Victor and Leonora Anderson. He graduated from Washington Park High School in 1947, and then from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., in 1951, with a B.A. in chemistry.

Immediately after graduation he entered the U.S. Navy and was commissioned in 1952. After sea duty aboard a destroyer and a minesweeper, he served as flag lLieutenant for Commander First Fleet, and then as special project assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Arleigh Burke.

After earning a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School, he served mainly in guided-missile billets ashore and afloat. He served as assistant weapons officer in USS Topeka(CLG8) and executive officer of USS Lynde McCormick(DDG8). His next tour of duty was as test officer at the Naval Ordnance Missile Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., during which time the Navy consolidated all surface missile testing there, firing about 90 missiles a year.

In 1966, he was ordered as weapons officer of USS Little Rock(CLG4) in Gaeta, Italy, where the ship served as the flagship of the U.S. Sixth Fleet. He then assumed command of the USS Mansfield (DD728). Mansfield was ordered to the Seventh Fleet in September 1969, and supported the Army and Marine Corps ashore in Vietnam with naval gunfire. He was awarded a Bronze Star with Combat "V" and a Republic of Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Order while in this command.

He was assigned as system engineer in the AEGIS project office from 1970 to 1975 and was awarded the Legion of Merit for the completion of the design reviews and successful testing of the Aegis prototype in USS Norton Sound. He next commanded the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach, Calif., and then the Naval Weapons Center in Dahlgren. He was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Legion of Merit for his leadership in merging the Dahlgren and White Oak laboratories into a unified center of excellence in support of AEGIS, Tomahawk, and the Strategic Ballistic Missile Program, among others.

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