Coltautos.com Gun of the Month - April 2013
Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP pistol serial number 136661 was issued issued to General Samuel Egbert Anderson. According to Rock Island Arsenal records, Brigadier General S.E. Anderson was issued a .380 caliber pistol, and no serial number was recorded by RIA. In 1960, Gen. Anderson gave his General Officer pistol as a gift to his West Point classmate, colleague and friend Colonel Stuart G. McLennan. Both men were West Point Class of 1928.
Accompanying this pistol are one magazine and leather holster. There is a label on the back of the holster that says "Maj. Gen S.E. Anderson, HQ CAF, Bolling Field".
General Samuel E. Anderson was USMA Class of 1928. The pistol was likely his when he was Chief of Staff, Continental Air Forces (CAF) at Bolling Field in May 1945. (CAF was formed on Dec 13, 1944 and renamed Strategic Air Command on Mar 21, 1946.) He was then promoted to Lientenant General and assumed command of 5th Air Force in May 1953; promoted to General in March 1959; commanded Air Material Command (AMC) from 1959-1961; retired in 1963; and died in 1982.
Samuel Egbert Anderson
NO. 8398 CLASS OF 1928
Died 12 September 1982 at Fort Sam Houston Hospital, San Antonio, Texas, aged 76 years.
Interment: United States Air Force Academy,
Colorado Springs, Colorado
As CADETS WE KNEW HIM as Sugar Sam Ė a handsome, intelligent, suave and debonair young Southern Gentleman. But this does not tell all. A few excerpts from beneath his picture in our 1928 HOWITZER give a better indication of his potential as a distinguished officer in our Armed Forces - "Greensboro has turned out a right smart soldier.... Few men in the Corps have better setups, very few take as much pride in their appearance or work ... his customary efficient and pleasant administration of all his duties ... who always had a pleasant word for everyone and a smooth way of delivering his goods."
A few months after graduation Sam married Frances Marjorie Adams of Bronxville, New York. They honeymooned en route to the Air Corps Flying School, San Antonio, Texas, their first station.
Subsequent to graduation they were stationed at Mitchel Field (1929-32). Air Corps Technical School (Engineering) at Chanute Field (1932-33). Kelly Field (flight instructor) (1933-39). Hawaii (1939-41), and at Langley Field in mid 1941.
It was in the fall of 1941 when Sam's military career took off like a rocket! He was transferred to the Air Corps Headquarters in Washington. D.C. and shortly thereafter to the War Department General Staff.
In March of 1942 he was ordered by General Marshall on a special mission to the Southwest Pacific reporting to General MacArthur. While there he flew several combat missions, and for one he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. Prior to that he had already pioneered the island hopping air route from our West Coast to Australia, which was used by thousands of our aircraft during World War II.
In early 1943 he was ordered to England as a colonel to command the 3d Bomber Wing of the 8th Air Force, and in October was to brigadier general at age 36. Ten of the eleven units in his command won the Presidential Citation. It was not unusual for his command to have a thousand or more bombers en route to their targets at the same time.
He was then awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, promoted to major general and assumed command of the 9th Bomber Command of the 9th Air Force.
These last two commands demanded the utmost in intelligence and military Leadership. His commands as a whole were outstanding. They participated in the campaign against the German Air Force in France and the Low Countries, July 1943 to December 1943; against the German V-1 and V-2 missile launching sites in France and the LOW Countries, December 1943 to May 1944. The Commanding General of the Allied Tactical Air Force officially designated the 9th Bomber Command as the most effective command employed against these missile launching sites. In addition all highway and railroad bridges across the Seine between LeHavre and Paris were destroyed. His Bomber Command completed interdiction of the Ardennes Bulge from late December 1944 to early January 1945, and effective interdiction of the Remagen bridgehead which prevented German reinforcements from arriving in time to dislodge our forces that had already crossed the Rhine. It also participated in the isolation of the Ruhr which resulted in the capture of approximately 350,000 German troops and in active and effective support of front line troops from the Normandy bridgehead until the end of the War. He worked day to day with General Patton and the Third Army. Apropos of General Patton's headlong dash eastward after the breakout, he is reported to have been asked one day-''What about your flanks?" His reported reply - "The 9th Tactical Air Force and Bomber Command are my flanks and my supply line." Again Sam was there to deliver his share of the goods.
When World War II ended he was briefly assigned as Chief of Staff of the Continental Air Force. A few months later he was assigned to the Pentagon and served for the next two years as a member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Steering Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
From 1947 to 1950 he served as Deputy Chief of Staff Plans and Operations, United States Air Force.
His next assignment at Carswell Air Force Base as Commander of the 8th Air Force in 1950 was another demanding and challenging one. Here he trained the officers and men of the 8th Air Force in the new B-36 bombers, the only aircraft we had with an intercontinental nuclear capability. He again delivered the goods.
In April 1953 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and was named Commander of the Fifth Air Force in Korea. From May until August 1953 his command flew more sorties than at any other time of the Korean War and aided significantly in bringing that war to an end.
Lt. Gen. Samuel Anderson presents awards to Col. James K. Johnson and Major James Jabara (First American Jet Ace in history) who received the 4th, 5th and 6th Oak Leaf Clusters to the Distinguished Flying Cross. (Associated Press Wirephoto - 21 July 1953)
In 1954 he moved into what was at that time one of the most demanding and responsible assignments of the day. He was named Director of the Weapons System Evaluation Group (WSEG). In this capacity it was his duty to evaluate America's future defense needs and recommend the weapons systems to meet them in the years to come. He worked with experts in all branches of the sciences and military services. Technology was moving so swiftly that time was of the essence. These experts studied, reviewed, digested and assimilated all weapons ideas from the prosaic to the most revolutionary. As Director of WSEG, his wisdom, leadership and recommendations are being confirmed to this day.
In 1957 he was assigned command of the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC), then located in Baltimore, Maryland. Shortly thereafter he moved his command to Andrews Air Force Base. In 1957, when Russia launched the first Sputnik, ARDC was called upon to produce a reply. In less than a year the United States launched its first satellite.
Lt. Gen. Samuel E. Anderson and Maj. Gen Albert C. Boyd - 06 November 1957.
Two years later Sam was named Commanding General of the Air Materiel Command and with it came his 4th star. It was a very large command with 187,000 civilian and military personnel worldwide and assets of about thirty million dollars. He introduced new methods of procurement, storage and distribution of his costly inventory and thereby saved the Air Force and the United States government untold millions of dollars.
In August 1961 he was named Air Deputy in Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), one of the most senior officers in Europe. His responsibility was great -- to command and guide 15 Allied Air Forces in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
In addition to the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross, his decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters. Bronze Star Medal and Air Medal. His foreign decorations were the British Order of the Bath, the Croix de Guerre from France, Belgium and Luxembourg, and the Korean Taeguk Distinguished Military Service Medal with Star.
He retired in 1963 and worked for several years in civilian industry.
Samíl, as he was known to his close friends, was a kindly and generous man. For example when he was in Korea commanding the 5th Air Force he heard an eleven year old Korean boy playing the piano. He recognized the boy's talent, ability and potential. Subsequently he was instrumental in bringing this boy to the United States and entering him in the Julliard School of Music in New York City. Samíl was right again. The Korean boy, now a young man, a United States citizen, is Professor of Music at North Texas State University and concertizes worldwide.
This story would not be complete without more about his devoted wife, affectionately known as Sally to the multitude of their friends around the world. For fifty-three years she stood by lovingly and faithfully thru the trials and tribulations and the joys and sorrows of life in their service to our country. She now lives in San Antonio, Texas. They moved to San Antonio in 1978. Saml's health was deteriorating, but he was a great game player to the end. He loved to win, but if the cards went against him he lost with a smile and the dignity of a gentleman. So now Samíl It is time to say farewell. We were privileged to have served with you. We shall all miss you, a true son of West Point with faith in and fidelity and devotion to our country and our Alma Mater. You lived by our code Ė Duty, Honor, Country and served our beloved country with distinction -- truly a great officer and gentleman.
In the words of our Alma Mater: "May it be said Well Done. Be Thou at Peace."
-- S.G. McL.[Colonel Stuart G. McLennan]
Holster (which looks like it may be for a Walther PPK) accompanying General Anderson's Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP pistol.
Holster accompanying General Anderson's Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP pistol.