In Memory of
Navy Electrician’s Mate First Class
Orville Walter Anderson
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Minnehaha County
October 6, 1915 – February 18, 1945
Killed in Action aboard the Submarine, USS Barbel

Orville Walter Anderson

Orville Walter Anderson was born October 6, 1915, at Brandon, South Dakota, to Carl and Lillie Anderson. In the months prior to entering the service, Orville did farm work around Humboldt.

On June 14, 1939, Orville Anderson entered active service at Omaha, Nebraska. Trained at submarine school in the Navy, Orville became an Electrician’s Mate, First Class, and was engaged in foreign service before Pearl Harbor. At some point, Electrician’s Mate First Class Anderson was assigned to the USS Barbel, which set out on its fourth war patrol on January 5, 1945.

According to a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Orville’s parents:

Your son, Orville Walter Anderson, Electrician’s Mate First Class, has been
carried on the official records of the Navy Department in the status of missing
in action as of 18 February 1945. He was serving aboard the USS BARBEL when
that submarine failed to return from patrol operations in the Pacific area….

According to United States Submarine Losses, “On 3 February 1945 BARBEL sent a message to TUNA, BLACKFIN, and GABILAN reporting numerous aircraft contacts daily. BARBEL had been attacked by aircraft three times with depth charges, and would transmit a message ‘tomorrow night’ giving information. This was the last contact with BARBEL.” Captured Japanese records later indicated that their aircraft had attacked a submarine on February 4, 1945, and hit near its bridge. “It appears almost certain that this attack sank BARBEL.”

Electrician’s Mate First Class Orville Anderson is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. He was awarded the Purple Heart. 

This entry was respectfully submitted by Steve Burgess and Josh Vogel, 11 Grade, Roosevelt High School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and revised by Sheila Hansen, Fallen Sons State Coordinator. Information for this entry was provided by an application for a SD veteran’s bonus payment, the United States Submarine Losses, and a newspaper clipping.