Share / Discuss

James Anderson ’56

A Bronze Star recipient whose Swarthmore studies were interrupted by two wars, James died Jan. 6, 2019.

Jim entered Swarthmore in 1943, but was drafted into World War II late that year. He returned home in 1945 and joined the Pennsylvania National Guard, which called him up as a reserve engineering officer in 1950 as war raged in Korea. During a detour through Pittsburgh, his sister Lois set him up on a blind date with Elizabeth “Betsy” Wright; 11 days later, they were married and bound for Seattle, where Jim would sail for Korea to join an engineering battalion.

Back stateside, Jim and Betsy welcomed son Sam ’82 in 1953, then quickly moved to Swarthmore for Jim to pursue an engineering degree. Two more children followed during Jim’s time as a student, with a fourth born after graduation.

Jim founded a business importing European construction materials, and served as president of the 95th Division Association for a number of years, often speaking publicly about his own—and others’—experiences of war.

Read more.