WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The name Edwin A. Anderson may sound familiar to you. Today, it's the name of Anderson Elementary in Wilmington, but it's also a name you'll find popping up frequently in US Naval history.
Edwin was born right here in Wilmington in 1860. After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1882, he joined the ranks like any other midshipmen and spent 15 years sailing around the world. This took him to such far away places like the Bering Sea in Alaska to the Galapagos Islands on the equator.
In 1898, war broke out with Spain. Anderson became an important figure in the Spanish-American War. He was serving on the USS Marblehead, whose job was to keep a blockade on Havana, Cuba. One of his missions was to sever a Spanish communications cable, which he did amidst enemy fire. For this, he received an unprecedented five grade promotion to commander in 1901.
His next true test would came at Veracruz when the US intervened in the Mexican Revolution. He was captain of the USS New Hampshire, which lost many men, but accomplished its goals to take the city. For his courage under fire, Anderson received the Congressional Medal of Honor; the military's highest honor.
After his death, the Navy built a destroyer in his honor – the USS Anderson. The ship served valiently in World War II earing ten battlestars, but would ultimate come to be destroyed by its creator.
The Anderson was destroyed intentionally during nuclear testing in 1946 at Bikini Atoll.