Pictured at Naval Aviation Air Field El Centro, California, USA, March 23, 1955, are Chuck Anderson, left, with Don Weisbecker, center, killed in a mid-air collision and Joe Wilkeinson, right, who made Vice Admiral.
Lieutenant Commander Chuck Anderson, center, on the Quarter Deck of the USS Ranger CVA 61 at Cubi Point in Subic Bay, Philippines when the Squadron Commanding officer, Commander Wells, came to greet Lieutenant Commander Chuck Klusman who had escaped from the Viet Cong after being the first to be shot down on June 6, 1964.
Chuck Anderson began his US Navy basic flight training in a North American SNJ at Pensacola, Florida in April 1953, and in June of the following year trained in the North American T-28 at Corpus Christi, Texas. After achieving his instrument rating there, Chuck flew the Grumman F6F Hellcat and Douglas AD Skyraider out of nearby Cabinas Field. He got is wings and commission as an Ensign in October 1954.
His first posting was to VF-92, an AD squadron, at NAS Miramar in San Diego, California which deployed aboard the USS Shangri-La in January, 1956. After this tour Chuck flew Grumman F9F Cougar in VF-26 then and spent 3 years as an advanced flight instructor in this type aircraft at NAS Beeville, Texas. His next assignment was to commission the USS Constellation CVA 64 at the Naval ship Yard in Brooklyn, New York in October of 1961 and spend the next two years as the Assist Navigator, bringing the Connie around the horn and on to its first WestPac cruise.
While in VF 124 Replacement Air Group he broke the sound barrier in level flight for the first time in an F8 Crusader, flying up to Mach 1.7, Chuck was posted to VFP-63 (Photo Squadron) at NAS Miramar training in the Vought F8 Crusader beginning in September 1963. After a year of extensive photo reconnaissance training he deployed aboard USS Ranger CVA 61 for a prolonged West Pacific Cruise.
In 1964 he deployed aboard the USS Ranger CVA-61 to Hawaii, and almost immediately from there to the Tonkin Gulf, as the Vietnam war began. A blown boiler sent the Ranger to Japan for two months of repair work. During this period Chuck performed photo-recon flying the Vought RF8A, a "great plane to fly, fast and very nimble, but a bit tricky to bring aboard," over the Japanese coastline. While there he "talked his way" into a McDonnell F-4 which he flew to a speed of Mach 2.2. After repair, the USS Ranger returned to the war zone and Chuck flew over 100 photo recon missions over Viet Nam.
Between July 1966 and 1972 Chuck flew a wide variety of aircraft at various postings in the USA and Europe. While at Whidbey Island he flew the A3D Tanker which he did not care for because "it had a wheel instead of a stick and could not be flown upside down." His last posting was as the Security Officer at NAS North Island, San Diego, California. He retired as Lt. Commander in June 1974, having performed 277 carrier landings and accumulated over 3600 flight hours in 12 aircraft types.