Anderson, William, CAPT

 Service Photo   Service Details
38 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1961-1962, Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
Service Years
1942 - 1962
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Golden Dragon
Plank Owner
Cold War

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

18 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Anderson, William (CO USS Nautilus), CAPT USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Alexandria, VA

Date of Passing
Feb 25, 2007
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Arctic Circle (Bluenose)

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
Other Comments:
As the second commanding officer of the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), Captain William Anderson made the first voyage in history from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean via the North Pole. On 3 August 1958, at a depth of 400 feet, Nautilus passed beneath the Polar ice cap.
 Photo Album   (More...

Operation Sunshine (North Pole)
Start Year
End Year

Operation Sunshine was a scientific expedition conducted by the U.S. Navy in the summer of 1958. A crew of just over 100 sailors piloted the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) under the North Pole. The Nautilus was chosen for the mission because its nuclear reactor allowed it to remain submerged longer than a conventional submarine. The mission was completed successfully on August 3, 1958 when the Nautilus and her crew crossed under the North Pole.

The Cold War acted partially as a technology race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Not only was there tension over nuclear weapons, but the two countries were entering into the space race during the late 1950s. Russia was celebrating the successful launch of their Sputnik I satellite into orbit in October 1957. Shortly after, the U.S. attempted to launch their Vanguard I satellite, which exploded before taking off.
The issue was not just that the U.S. was behind the Soviets in terms of rocket power, but it was that the American public was aware of it. There was concern that the Russians would be able to use the same rockets that propelled Sputnik, to launch nuclear missiles at the U.S.. So not only was President Eisenhower having to work with his scientists to better the Soviets' technology but he also had the responsibility of maintaining stability with the people. What Eisenhower needed was something to show America and the rest of the world that the U.S. government was ahead of the Soviets technologically. Their answer for that was to take the two areas where they were ahead of the Soviets (submarines and nuclear weapons) and combine them.

The Nautilus was the first nuclear submarine built by the U.S.. It was designed by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. Rickover had the hull of the boat built at the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut while the reactor was built and tested in Idaho. What made it different from those built during WWII was that it was not designed to be a warship but rather as a symbol for peaceful nuclear energy.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
To Year
Last Updated:
Sep 26, 2008
Personal Memories

On June 9, 1958, NAUTILUS departed Seattle under TOP SECRET orders to conduct Operation SUNSHINE, the first crossing of the North Pole by a ship. NAUTILUS passed through the Aleutian Island chain and transitted the Bearing Sea. On June 17, the ship entered the shallow Chukchi Sea, but was forced to turn back to Pearl Harbor due to a combination of deep ship draft and shallow water.

she began her history-making polar transit, operation "Sunshine," as she departed the latter port 9 June. On 19 June she entered the Chukchi Sea, but was turned back by deep draft ice in those shallow waters. On 28 June she arrived at Pearl Harbor to await better ice conditions.

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  1 Also There at This Battle:
Copyright Inc 2003-2011