Daniel Leone Anderson was born in Rapid City, South
Dakota, on October 17, 1942, to Leone and Irene Lucille
(Harvey) Anderson. He was an only child of a proud and close
family whose roots went back almost 100 years in South
Dakota. Daniel grew up in Rapid City. He attended and played
football at Rapid City Central High School and graduated
from there in 1960. Daniel attended Huron College in Huron,
South Dakota, and then transferred to Denver University in
Colorado. He graduated from Denver University in 1966 with a
degree in Political Science.
1Lt. Daniel L. Anderson entered the Marine Corps in
October 1966, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in
June 1967 after attending Marine Corps Officer Candidate
Training School. He then began the twenty-one week Officerís
Basic School and graduated from it on November 1, 1967. 1Lt.
Daniel Anderson arrived in Vietnam on December 5, 1967,
assigned as a Platoon Commander with Company D, 1st
Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division that was based
near Quang Tri City and later at Camp Evans. Late in January
1968 the regiment was sent south to Phu Bai. When Communist
forces took over the city of Hue on January 31, the men of
Delta Company 1/1 fought in some of the most deadly street
fighting in the Battle for Hue.
After the Battle for Hue, 1st Battalion moved back to Phu
Bai where they had several fierce engagements with North
Vietnamese forces before going back north to Ca Lu. At Ca
Lu, Delta Company Marines were given the task of bringing
back the remains of Marines that had been killed in heavy
fighting near Hill 689, southwest of Khe Sanh. Lt. Anderson
was wounded during this fighting on July 2, 1968 and Delta
Company had eleven men killed.
Lt. Anderson was medevaced to one of the field hospitals
to recover from those wounds. Just prior to his return to
Delta Company he was able to call home to Rapid City where
his mother took the call. 1Lt. Andersonís father arrived
home about thirty minutes after his wife finished talking
with their son. For the past thirty-five years Lt.
Andersonís father has regretted that he missed the call and
still has the words in his heart that he would have told his
SonÖ donít take and more chances in this
crazy war that is not being fought to win.
Lt. Anderson returned to Delta Company late in July. D
Company had moved from Ca Lu to Con Thien. Late in the
afternoon on August 24, 1968, a reconnaissance team found
itself surrounded by North Vietnamese forces four miles
southeast of Con Thien. A reinforced platoon from Delta
Company was helicoptered in to rescue the reconnaissance
team. The next morning, the rest of Delta Company was
brought in. During the fierce fighting, Lt. Anderson charged
a North Vietnamese Army machine gun position that had
wounded several of his men. 1Lt. Daniel Leone Anderson was
killed in action as a result of hostile rifle fire while
trying to protect his men. Sixty-eight men were killed or
wounded during this three-day battle with the North
Vietnamese. 1Lt. Daniel Leone Anderson was buried at
Mountain View Cemetery in Rapid City, South Dakota. 1Lt.
Andersonís name can be found on panel 46W, line 011 of the
Veteransí Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
Photo Courtesy of Sheila
Natacha Nicole Arneson, 7th grade, Stanley County Middle
School, Fort Pierre, South Dakota, May 6, 2005 respectfully
submitted this entry. Information for this entry was
provided by Leone and Irene Anderson, Rapid City, South
Dakota, parents of 1st Lt. Daniel Leone Anderson.