J.B. Anderson has vivid memories of his service in WWII

Friday, November 7, 2014

By Ivory Riner

Staff Writer

Jeff Benny "J.B." Anderson was born on July 11, 1920, and grew up in the little community of Ostella in southern Marshall County. His parents were Alene Hemphill and Gaston Anderson and his siblings are Faye Anderson Boatright, Jene Anderson Wheat, and Robert Anderson. He has one son, Larry Anderson; two grandchildren, Lance and Shane Anderson; and two great-grandchildren, Dylan and Colton Anderson.

At 20 years old, Anderson volunteered for the Navy, but couldn't get in, due to poor eyesight.

In 1942 he was mustered into service at Fort Ogelthorpe, Ga. and did his basic training at Fort McClellan, Ala. He and Bill Lowe Wheatley were the only men from Tennessee who went through basic training together and were sent to North Africa. Bill was in the infantry, so he was sent to a different spot than Anderson. On April 8, 1943, Bill was killed in action in Tunisia. Today the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5109 is named after him.

Anderson was also the only sharpshooter from Tennessee to train at Camp Ripley, Minn.

After leaving Fort Ogelthorpe, he took a month-long voyage from New York to Mumbai, India, where they then took a vessel through the Red Sea and a plane to Cairo, Egypt, as a part of the 191st Military Police to help forces that supported General Montgomery who was trying to run Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, out of North Africa. Anderson's job in North Africa was to guard the town and protect the B-24 bombers.

While going through basic training at Camp Ripley, Anderson said a man in his division didn't like it when the sergeant would yell at him and get in his face. The man told Anderson he would shoot that sergeant when he had the chance. While Anderson and three other men were in their tent in North Africa, they all heard a gun shot -- while writing a letter to his wife, the sergeant had been shot by the soldier who had hated him since basic training.

Anderson said that was the most heartbreaking thing he had ever seen.J.B. Anderson has vivid memories of his service in WWII

By Ivory Riner

Staff Writer

Jeff Benny "J.B." Anderson was born on July 11, 1920, and grew up in the little community of Ostella in southern Marshall County. His parents were Alene Hemphill and Gaston Anderson and his siblings are Faye Anderson Boatright, Jene Anderson Wheat, and Robert Anderson. He has one son, Larry Anderson; two grandchildren, Lance and Shane Anderson; and two great-grandchildren, Dylan and Colton Anderson.

At 20 years old, Anderson volunteered for the Navy, but couldn't get in, due to poor eyesight.

In 1942 he was mustered into service at Fort Ogelthorpe, Ga. and did his basic training at Fort McClellan, Ala. He and Bill Lowe Wheatley were the only men from Tennessee who went through basic training together and were sent to North Africa. Bill was in the infantry, so he was sent to a different spot than Anderson. On April 8, 1943, Bill was killed in action in Tunisia. Today the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5109 is named after him.

Anderson was also the only sharpshooter from Tennessee to train at Camp Ripley, Minn.

After leaving Fort Ogelthorpe, he took a month-long voyage from New York to Mumbai, India, where they then took a vessel through the Red Sea and a plane to Cairo, Egypt, as a part of the 191st Military Police to help forces that supported General Montgomery who was trying to run Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, out of North Africa. Anderson's job in North Africa was to guard the town and protect the B-24 bombers.

While going through basic training at Camp Ripley, Anderson said a man in his division didn't like it when the sergeant would yell at him and get in his face. The man told Anderson he would shoot that sergeant when he had the chance. While Anderson and three other men were in their tent in North Africa, they all heard a gun shot -- while writing a letter to his wife, the sergeant had been shot by the soldier who had hated him since basic training.

Anderson said that was the most heartbreaking thing he had ever seen.