Alexander E. Anderson was born 23 November 1889 in New York City and enlisted in the National Guard in 1910. Promoted through the ranks, he rose in 1934 to command the regiment in which he had fought on the Western Front during World War I. In 1938 he was promoted to Brigadier General in the National Guard and commanded the 93d Brigade. At the outbreak of World War II he was appointed Major General and for a time commanded a division overseas. He became commander of the 86th Infantry Division upon its activation 15 December 1942 and died 24 December 1942 at Gainesville, Tex.
(AP-111: dp. 11,450 (lt.); l. 622'7"; b. 75'6"; dr. 25'6"; s. 20.6 k.; cpl. 507; trp. 5,289; a. 4 5", 16 1.1", 20 20mm.; cl. General John Pope; T. P2-S2-R2)
General A.E. Anderson (AP-111) was launched 2 May 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. George C. Marshall; acquired by the Navy 25 August 1943, placed in partial commission the same day for transfer to Baltimore for conversion to a transport by Maryland Drydock Co.; and placed in full commission at Baltimore 5 October 1943, Cap. W.E. Miller in command.
From 25 October 1943 to 21 March 1944 General A.E. Anderson made four round-trip transport voyages out of Norfolk to Casablanca, French Morocco. Underway again 26 March 1944, she returned to North Africa and touched at Gourock, Scotland, before steaming to Bermuda, where British censors and their families embarked for passage to New York. The ship reached New York 7 May, and following a round-trip voyage to Belfast, Ireland, she stood out of Norfolk 29 June for Bombay, where her troops debarked 7 August. General A.E. Anderson returned to San Pedro, Calif., 11 September 1944 and subsequently made another long round-trip voyage thence to Bombay via Australia, returning O December.
Until the summer of 1945 the busy ship made two round-trip voyages from San Francisco to Hollandia and Leyte, sailing from Leyte 24 to reach Norfolk 22 July 1945. General A.E. Anderson then commenced troop rotation and "Magic Carpet" duties. From 8 August 1945 to 15 April 1946 she made eight transatlantic voyages to France (Marseilles, Le Havre), England (Southampton), and India (Karachi). Of these active voyages, six were from New York, and one each from Norfolk and Boston. The ship stood out of Norfolk 5 July 1946 for San Francisco, arriving 24 July, and commenced a pattern of troop carrying and supply runs from West Coast ports to China, Japan, the Philippines, and Guam. Assigned to MSTS in October 1949, she continued these duties until war flared again in the Far East when Communist troops crossed the 38th Parallel to invade the Republic of Korea. The Navy moved quickly to bring American force into action to halt and push back the aggressors. General A.E. Anderson embarked the men and equipment of Marine Air Group 33 at Terminal Island, Calif., and headed for Japan. She reached Kobe 31 July 1950 with these Marine fliers who helped save the day for embattled Korean and American ground forces as they struggled to maintain a foothold at the southern tip of the beleaguered Korean peninsula.
Returning to San Francisco in August, she embarked 1,800 men of the 11th Airborne Division and brought them to Moji, Japan, 20 September.
Throughout the remainder of the Korean conflict General A.E. Anderson followed her familiar pattern of transport runs from West Coast ports to Japan and Korea as she supported United Nations forces in Korea. Thereafter she continued identical peacetime operations until she decommissioned at Oakland, Calif., 10 November 1958. After being returned to the Maritime Administration she entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, Calif., where she remains.
General A.E. Anderson received one battle star for Korean service.