Anderson, Orvil Arson, Maj Gen

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Last Rank
Major General
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1060-Bombardment Unit Commander
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1950-1950, 3750th Technical Training Wing (Staff)
Service Years
1917 - 1951
Officer Collar Insignia
Major General

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Anderson, Orvil Arson, Maj Gen USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Butte, Montana
Last Address
Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama

Date of Passing
Aug 23, 1965
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 34, Site 59-A

 Official Badges 

Commander Air Force Retired AAFTTC Instructor

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Air Force Memorial (AFM)
  2016, Air Force Memorial (AFM) - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He was born Orvil Orson but an Army clerical error changed his middle name to Arson. As a young officer he was a pioneer in balloon flight. Later in his career he was a great combat leader in WWII and then a prolific and creative thinker in the planning of the future USAF.

His ADSM (2nd of 2) citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General Orvil Arson Anderson (AFSN: 32A/ASN: 0-11479), United States Army Air Forces, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Deputy Commander for Operations, EIGHTH Air Force, from June 1944 to April 1945. Displaying rare professional skill, General Anderson planned and supervised the operations of the Air Force during the crucial period when its mission was to maintain air superiority and supremacy over the German Air Force while simultaneously continuing the basic mission of destroying the enemy production and transportation facilities so vital to the German war machine all of which activities were designated to make possible successful ground operations with a minimum of loss. He coordinated and carefully timed the attacks against enemy airfields within striking distance of the front to cover the Allied armies crossing the Rhine, and by close cooperation with the Royal Air Force and the United States NINTH Air Force, sealed off the Ruhr by the destruction of enemy railroad bridges. The ability, foresight and astute judgment displayed by General Anderson contributed materially to the successful outcome of the campaign.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 48 (1945)

Action Date: June 1944 - April 1945

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Major General

Other Comments:
USAF bio
Book: "Masters of the Air" by Donald Miller, Simon & Schuster, 2006
His DFC (1st of 2) citation:

Awarded for actions during Peace Time

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain (Air Corps) Orvil Arson Anderson, U.S. Army Air Corps, for extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. Captain Anderson was scientific observer of the National Geographic Society Army Air Corps Stratosphere Balloon Flight, which took of from the vicinity of Rapid City, South Dakota, July 29, 1934, and landed near Loomis, Nebraska, that same date. He assisted in piloting the balloon into the stratosphere to an altitude of 60,613 feet, and in making continuous scientific observations en route, and when the balloon became disabled through circumstances beyond human control, did attempt, under most adverse and hazardous conditions, to land successfully the disabled aircraft in order to preserve the scientific records that had been obtained. By the exercise of cool judgment and foresight under these conditions, certain scientific records were saved and the disabled aircraft was abandoned only when it was clearly evident not to do so would prove disastrous to human life.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 3 (1935)

Action Date: July 29, 1934

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Captain

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Command Pilot Badge
Balloon Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air ServiceUnited States Army Air ServiceUnited States Army Air Corps (USAAC)USAAF Headquarters
VIII Bomber Command8th Air ForceAir War College (Student) US Air Force
  1917-1918, United States Army Air Service
  1918-1925, United States Army Air Service
  1925-1926, Air Force Bases/ Installations
  1926-1941, United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)
  1941-1943, AAF MOS 2140, USAAF Headquarters
  1944-1944, AAF MOS 2140, VIII Bomber Command
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 2140, 8th Air Force
  1946-1950, Air War College (Student)
  1950-1950, 3750th Technical Training Wing (Staff)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
  1941-1945 World War II
 Colleges Attended 
Brigham Young UniversityAir UniversityCommand and General Staff College
  1914-1916, Brigham Young University
  1936-1937, Air University
  1937-1938, Command and General Staff College
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  B-24 Liberator  
  1941-1946, B-17 Flying Fortress
  1942-1946, B-24 Liberator
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