SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



In Memory of U.S. Navy Ensign

Leonard Elmer Anderson

Leola, South Dakota/ Aberdeen, South Dakota, McPherson County/Brown County

August 6, 1938 – October 27, 1965

Lost Overboard from the USS Annapolis in the South China Sea


Leonard Elmer Anderson was born August 6, 1938, in McPherson County of South Dakota to Carl and Josephine (Sandstil) Anderson. He had a sister, Evelyn, and a brother, Norris. He first attended rural grade school near Forbes, North Dakota, and went on to graduate from Leola High School in 1956. Leonard then joined the Navy and served for three years before being honorably discharged in 1959. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1963.

Leonard Anderson reenlisted in the Navy and went to Officers Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, graduating on August 21, 1964 and being commissioned in the Supply Corps of the U.S. Naval Reserve. During his naval career, he was stationed in such places as Oklahoma, Florida, Turkey, and Morocco before being assigned to the USS Annapolis, a major communications relay ship, on April 27, 1965, where he served as a disbursing officer. The ship’s mission was to “provide fleet broadcasts, inter-area relay circuits, and relay circuits for ship to ship and ship to shore communications.”

Ensign Leonard Elmer Anderson was lost overboard from the USS Annapolis on October 27, 1965, in the South China Sea. Only when he did not appear to take over the watch was it discovered he was missing. The ship immediately turned around and retraced its course but to no avail. His body was never recovered. Later in a newspaper article, his sister, Evelyn Schaible, said that they never really knew what had happened and had held out hope for a long time that maybe he was still alive.

A memorial service was held for Leonard Anderson on April 23, 1966. There was a bronze memorial installed in his memory at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His name is also listed on the Brown County Vietnam Memorial.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Sheila Hansen, teacher, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, July 9, 2006. Information for this entry was provided by the Anderson family via Herbert and Evelyn Schaible.


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