Each day, the VA honors a special military veteran for their dedicated service on their blog, VAntage Point. Today’s featured military member is Army Air Force Veteran Claude Anderson.
Claude Anderson went to school at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois before deciding to volunteer for the Aviation Cadets in 1943.
He attended basic training at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Classification Center for six weeks before attending an 18 week navigation school. His first mission was to pick up a new aircraft and fly it over to England, where he served with the 95th Bomb Group 13th Combat Wing, 3rd Division stationed in the small town of Eye.
During his service with the 95th Bomb Group, Anderson flew 35 combat missions and received five Air Medals. After his completion of the 35th mission, he was rewarded with a fine steak dinner, which he described as the most enjoyable meal of his life.
Anderson then traveled to Rapid City, South Dakota where he worked as a navigation instructor before he qualified for pilot training in March of 1945. However, after V-J Day, Anderson chose to leave the Army Air Force, but remained in the Reserves.
Anderson then completed college and moved on to Yale University for medical school. He graduated in 1953 and went back on Active Duty with the Air Force as first lieutenant, working as a physician. He was stationed at various posts, including Scott Air Force Base, the Air Force Academy, and a hospital outside of London, where he worked as the hospital commander and third Air Force surgeon.
After his service, Anderson moved to California with his family where he lived until his passing in June of 2002.