A Navy sealift command ship has been dedicated to the memory of a Carson man who was the first black marine to win the Medal of Honor.

At services held last week in Sparrows Point, Md., the recently reconstructed vessel was named after Pfc. James Anderson Jr., who served as a Marine Corps rifleman for a year before he was killed in Vietnam.

Anderson also received the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with palm and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Anderson died in 1967 in a Vietnam jungle after he curled himself around a live enemy grenade to protect his comrades.


Anderson’s sister, Mary Frances of Carson, christened the ship during ceremonies that were sponsored by Bethlehem Steel Corp. His name was selected for the ship dedication by the Marine Corps. Anderson’s parents, James Sr. and Aggethine of Carson, and other relatives also attended ceremonies.

The former commercial ship will carry equipment for the Marine Corps’ amphibious brigade.