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Notable Graduates

William Robert Anderson

William Robert Anderson

Member of Congress

Class of 1943
  • Member of 89th Congress, 1965-1973 - Tennessee(D)



William Robert Anderson was a Representative from Tennessee. He was born in Bakerville, Humphreys County, Tenn., June 17, 1921 and attended the public schools in Waynesboro, Tenn. He graduated from Columbia (Tenn.) Military Academy in 1939, U.S. Naval Academy in June 1942 and from submarine school in September 1942.

He served aboard USS Tarpon (SS-175) and USS Narwhal (SS-167), and was awarded the Bronze Star while serving aboard USS Trutta (SS-421) during World War II. Following the war he served aboard USS Sarda (SS-488), and USS Tang (SS-563), and as commanding officer of USS Wahoo (SS-565). He also served as Tactical Department Head at the U.S. Navy Submarine School and as Advisor to the Chief of the Naval Reactors Branch for Submarine Operating Matters, Atomic Energy Commission.

As the second commanding officer of the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), Captain William Anderson made the first voyage in history from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean via the North Pole. On 3 August 1958, at a depth of 400 feet, Nautilus passed beneath the Polar ice cap. Prior to the trans-polar expedition, Anderson led Nautilus during a major North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exercise in September and October 1957, demonstrating the nuclear submarine's capabilities against modern anti-submarine warfare forces. During this exercise, Nautilus evaded nearly all pursuers and launched many attacks without being detected.

He served as assistant to Vice Adm. H. J. Rickover and retired from active Navy duty in July 1962. He was the consultant to President Kennedy for the National Service Corps in 1963.He was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-ninth and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1965-January 3, 1973), but was unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1972 to the Ninety-third Congress;. He became chairman and CEO of the Public Office Corporation, Washington, D.C. . He died on February 25, 2007, in Leesburg, Va..

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