|Frederick O Anderson
|289th Infantry Regiment
|75th Infantry Division
|Entered Service from :
|Date of Birth :
|22 June 1922
|Date of Death :
|17 January 1945
|Place of Death :
|In Henri-Chapelle :
|Plot C, Row 13, Grave 12
Frederick Anderson's Story ...
Frederick Otto Anderson was born and raised in Norway, Michigan. Freddie was the youngest son of Otto and Lydia Anderson. He grew up amongst five brothers, Arter (Ax), Guerdon, Oliver (Ollie), Verne (Boney) and Edward. There were no girls in the family. Freddie was 6' 3" (192 cm) tall and weighed about 180 lbs (81,6 Kilograms).
|Freddie and his bike in 1927 ...
Freddie attended Norway High School and he graduated at the age of 16 years in the class of 1939. Amongst his classmates were Betty Burns, Kenneth Faull, Hubert Otto Peterson, Carl Swanson and Eliz. Ida Swanson. While attending High School, Freddie worked at the Rialto Theatre in Norway.
Rialto Theatre in Norway where Freddie worked
Freddie started college at the age of 17. He attended the Wisconsin School of Mines in Platteville Wisconsin (later Wisconsin Institute of Technology.) Three of Freddie's brothers, Ax, Guerdon and Ollie went to the same school, which was amazing due to the fact that this was during the Great Depression and the family was very poor.
|Freddie at Wisconsin School of Mines in Platteville, WI
Freddie played Football and track in both High School and College, besides that he was on the staff of the College Newspaper ... Football at mining school was almost a requirement of all students. If you could walk, you were a player and if you could run, a superstar ! The following is from the school newspaper, "the Geode", talking about Freddie Anderson from the 1941 team ... "Big Swede Anderson was a surprise at center. He played a whale of a game every minute he was in there. Swede improved with every game and never gave up fighting. Andy did well enough in his first year of football to gain a place along with his brothers in WIT's football hall of fame." ... the brothers were Ax, Guerdon and Ollie ...
|Freddie in the College Football team of 1942
In 1940 Freddie met the love of his life ... Carolyn Cordingly. At that time Freddie was 18 years old and Carolyn was 14 years. They first dated in November 1942 ... By then Freddie was 20 and Carolyn was 17 years "old".
|Freddie and the love of his life, Carolyn
On March 3, 1943 three months short of graduating as a Mining Engineer, Freddie was inducted into the Army, he left Platteville for Ft. Sheridan ... He followed Basic training for combat engineers in Ft Belvoir, Virginia from March 17, 1943.
|Barracks at Fort Sheridan, Illinois
After Basic training Freddie was accepted into the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). He followed ASTP training in Georgetown University, Washington DC, in July 1943. After that, ASTP training on Harvard, in August 1943 and finally ASTP training at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY from August 1943 to March 1944. In March 1944 the Army Specialized Training Program came to an abrupt end when the Army decided that Infantry was more necessary then specialized troops.
|Soldiers marching at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia
In March 1944 Freddie was transferred to Camp Polk, LA were training for Army Infantry took it's course ... This training was followed by Army Infantry training at Shreveport, LA in March 1944 and Army Infantry training at Camp Breckinridge, KY in April 1944 ... On 24 July 1944 at 5.30 PM, Freddie married the love of his life, Carolyn at First Congregational Church, Madison, Wisconsin.
Barracks at Camp Breckinridge & First Congregational Church in Madison
In October 1944 Freddie and his division were shipped out to England on the Queen Mary. From here on Freddie's footsteps can be followed. One sees historical notes and his eternal love for his young wife back home, from letters he wrote to his brothers and especially to the woman he loved more then life itself ... his wife Carolyn ... The following paragraphs show some lines from those letters. Each letter is marked with a little image of a V-mail, the postal system in those days used by the US Armed Forces ... With those selected lines I try to give an insight, not only into the personal side of Freddie towards his wife Carolyn and to his family, but also on the terrible circumstances soldiers had to deal with in those days.
|V-mail, the postal system for US Armed Forces in WWII
These letters show a man who starts his time in the army thinking about his wife only ... slowly we are allowed to witness the optimistic Freddie turn from a boy into a man by everything he sees and experiences. At the end we see that he almost loses hope of getting back home alive, but he tries to hide it from the people back home, especially from Carolyn ... Only in his last letter to his brother Eddie he opens up a bit more ... These letters show daily things which we take for granted these day, things like warm food and dry socks for example ... The climax is the last letter to his wife Carolyn ... the "Goodbye"-letter as his nephew Fred Anderson describes it ... This letter is added in full length !
Aboard the Queen Mary ...
|RMS Queen Mary as a troopschip in WWII
|Ollie (backrow right) & Nancy (middle row right)
Somewhere in England,
|Freddie and his Dad, Otto Anderson ...
December 2nd England ...
|England seven months earlier ... stocks piling up for D-Day
December 3rd England ...
|Mail call in the Army ...
Somewhere in France ...
After not getting any mail from his wife, Freddie apparently received a load of letters in one time from her. This letter says it all ...
Somewhere in France,
December 15nd 1944 ...
|"I hope America is never overrun that way ..."
Somewhere in Belgium,
December 21st 1944 ...
|"We rode across France, 35 men in a box car ..."
Belgium, January 8, 1945
"God is good. And there is a God ..."
from the "Goodbye-letter" written that same day ...
Belgium, January 9, 1945 ...
|"will move soon ... marching. Keeps the feet warm ..."
Belgium, January 11, 1945 ...
|1944-45, fighting in one of the worst winters recorded ...
Jan. 11th 1945, Belgium
|Eddie, Jane, Lydia (right) & Otto (back right)
Jan. 12th 1945,
With 1st Army in Belgium ...
|Medics treating wounded after a mortar barrage ...
Only six days after writing the letters to Carolyn, his parents and to his brother Eddie, Freddie Anderson was killed near the little Belgian town of Bechè. In the following days Carolyn received the all over feared Western Union telegram and little while later a letter from Captain McLaughlin from the 289th Infantry Regiment. In both the telegram and the letter the writers express their deepest sympathy to Mrs. Carolyn J. Anderson ... Freddie Anderson lost his life, Carolyn felt like she lost her life as well ...
|the Western Union Telegram - Feb. 5 4:43P.M.
|the McLaughlin letter - 30 January 1945
This following letter was the last one received by Freddie's wife Carolyn. She received the letter after he had been killed ... Note the way Freddie ends this letter ... For the first time he actually says "Goodbye" to her ...
|"I really appreciate things like warm food and dry socks ..."
From a letter of an (unknown) person who was in the same division as Freddie, we find information about the circumstances of Freddie's death ...
"Dad wrote me the name of a S/Sgt Frederick
Anderson and said that if I found out any information, let him know. This boy, who was only married a week,
was in John Ham's company after Howie Behan Shanghaied him into the Infantry and here is the
|a detachment of SS Hitler Youth in 1944
On February 11, 1945 the Memorial Service
for Frederick Otto Anderson was held in the Bethany Lutheran Church ... Of course Freddie's wife Carolyn
attended the Memorial Service ... in a letter to Fred Anderson (Freddie's nephew) she tells about this
"Memorial Service" ... This is her recollection ... "And on Feb 11 my dad and mother drove me to Norway
for the service. I was not accepted by the family in Norway. They acted like there had been no marriage.
I've enclosed the print out for the service. You will note that I'm not listed anywhere. And when the
minister spoke nothing was noted about our marriage - like it never existed.
|the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Bethany Church
Both Ollie and Ax expressed their sympathy to Carolyn in letters they wrote to her after the ceremony. Expressing their anger about the way Carolyn was treated by the family ... It meant a lot to Carolyn that Freddie's brother's were with here that day.
In a letter of February 14, 1945, Freddie's widow Carolyn writes to Freddie's brother Ollie ... "This is the first letter I've attempted since I returned, other than to my folks, and I fear it's not exactly a literary masterpiece. You had a wonderful brother, Ollie. Guess you knew that, eh ? I feel anything but capable of being much of value in life with Freddie gone. Had a lot of plans built around that guy. However, someday I hope to be a really good nurse because he, for some silly reason, thought I could be. We always figured that we could do almost anything if we really wanted to, so I guess I'll carry on alone from here for both of us."
|Ollie (backrow 2nd from right), Freddie (frontrow left)
On January 17, 1945 Frederick Otto Anderson was killed by enemy action in Bechè, Belgium ... at that time he was only 22 years, 6 months and 26 days ... he accomplished more than many men will ever accomplish in their entire lives, but he had so much left to do and so much love to give to his wife Carolyn ...
After the war Carolyn visited Henri-Chapelle cemetery. In those days it was still a temporary cemetery with 17.232 American soldiers, airmen and sailors interred. Besides the Americans, there was a section for German soldiers as well ... When givin the opportunity to take Freddie back home, she decided that he should stay in Belgium, because in her opinion (surely based upon eyewitness reports) Freddie's body was too damaged. It's probably no surprise that Carolyn was criticized by some of the Anderson family for making that decision. On the other hand how can someone make a decision that serves everyone's wishes in such a situation... At that point there was only one who had to make that decision and for that person it was hard enough already ... this person was the one and only love in Freddie's life ... Mrs. Carolyn Anderson ...
|Henri-Chapelle cemetery shortly after the war
These days Frederick Otto Anderson rests in the beautiful American Military Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle ... Carolyn cherishes her memories of Freddie. He is remembered and honored by his nephew Fred Anderson, who was named after his uncle. Freddie is also remembered by his entire family and honored by every visitor of the American Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle and by every visitor of this website. Freddie's final resting place has been adopted by the webmaster of the In-Honored-Glory website ...
|Staff Sergeant Frederick Otto Anderson's final resting place
|Special thanks to Fred's wife Carolyn Cordingly
Fred's nephew, Frederick J Anderson who went on a search for his uncle, found Freddie's wife Carolyn, which eventually resulted in a complete biography on his beloved uncle, Frederick Otto Anderson.
published June 22, 2006 (Freddie's birthday)