Unknown Sailor

ENS Lawrence Donald Anderson

All businesses in little Waukon, Iowa, closed for the funeral of Lawrence Donald Anderson“Bud”.

Mr. Anderson was an ensign aboard the U.S.S. Arizona when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Severely injured, he died at 12:45 a.m. the next day. His body remained in Hawaii for the duration of World War II and was finally sent home in 1947.


Lawrence D Andersen USS Arizona Grave


A requiem Mass was celebrated that November at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Waukon, population 3,000, in northeast Iowa. The ensign was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in a ceremony conducted by members of the American Legion and what by then was named the Lawrence D. Anderson Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He was born Aug. 21, 1918 in Galesburg, Illinois, to August Anderson, owner of a wholesale farm produce business, and Mabel Guider Anderson, a homemaker. The family moved to Waukon in the mid 1920s and the son graduated from the local high school. He attended junior college and then Iowa State University, where he joined the Naval Reserve and also worked part-time as a waiter. He left Iowa in December 1940 to attend the Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s School at Northwestern University. He became an ensign the next spring and by May was aboard the Arizona.


Lawrence D Andersen USS Arizona Newspaper clippingAt least two of Mr. Anderson’s brothers, Paul and Ralph, also served in World War II. Both survived.

A second Waukon man, Stanley Teslow, who was a year older than Mr. Anderson, was also on the Arizona. A gunner’s mate, Mr. Teslow was one of only 337 survivors of the attack that killed 1,177 of his shipmates. He was reassigned to the U.S.S. Reno, a light cruiser, and served for the duration of the war — earning the Silver Star for his bravery and leadership as a turret captain during a 1944 attack. Before he died in 1982, Mr. Teslow said that he wanted his ashes to be buried in the sunken Arizona. He became the first of more than 40 survivors who — in death —have returned to the ship.


Sources: The Dubuque (Iowa) Telegraph Herald; The Standard of Allamakee County Iowa; Citrus County Chronicle of Florida; Honolulu (Hawaii) Star-Bulletin; application for headstone of military veterans; Iowa World War II bonus case files; Census; Pacific Historic Parks.  This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.
NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM