James Anderson

New Lexington, Ohio
U.S. Advisor to the ARVN, Aide to General Creighton Abrams, and U.S. Army 1st Cavalry
Service: Summer 1963 – Summer 1970

James Anderson first arrived in South Vietnam in 1963, long before American ground troops were mobilized to Southeast Asia. As an experienced Army Ranger School instructor, Anderson was assigned as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army as a counter-guerilla specialist, tasked with training the ARVN to avoid enemy ambushes. In July of 1964, he returned home to complete his education and to teach physical education at West Point. When General Creighton Abrams replaced General Westmoreland as overall military commander in Vietnam in 1968, Anderson was reassigned as an aide to the newly appointed commander and spent seven months working closely with him. In January of 1970, Anderson assumed command of a battalion in the 1st Cavalry and led them on a controversial mission over the border into Cambodia to locate and destroy enemy supply dumps. But when the American public erupted in protest over the Cambodian mission, President Nixon cut the operation short and Anderson was ordered to halt before he could reach his objective. Later that year, at the end of his tour, Anderson returned to the U.S. to work at the Pentagon. After receiving his PhD at Indiana University, he returned to West Point where he became Professor and Head of the Department of Phyiscal Education, known as “The Master of the Sword.”