Fred E. Anderson

Frederick E. Anderson was born in Gävle, Sweden on August 4th, 1866. According to legend, he ran away around the age of 13 and went to sea, likely as a cabin boy. Not much is known about his early career, but he immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, England in 1888 aboard the Crown of Denmark and settled for many years in San Francisco. He became a US Citizen there on December 1st, 1897 at the age of 31. His first command was the steam schooner Tamalpais, in which he reportedly made over 200 coastwise trips.

During World War I, he commanded the Sierra and Jacox. While in command of the steamer Jacox in 1917 with 4,000 barrels of gasoline, thousands of bales of phosphorus and 446 tons of TNT, bound for Australia, the phosphorus caught fire. After several days and sleepless nights he and his crew managed to keep the fire from spreading and bring the ship into Sydney, where firefighters were finally able to get the phosphorus overboard with boat hooks and save the ship.

Anderson’s first command with Dollar Lines was the USSB 8,800 DWT freighter West Cadron (EFC1019), under contract for the Government. He reportedly stayed with her for a year, before being transferred to the Agnes Dollar. He then ferried three of the four sisters; Celestial, Oriental and Cathay from Shanghai to San Francisco for delivery to the USSB. After that he took command of the Cathay when she was renamed Diana Dollar.

In January of 1925 he made the switch from freighters to passenger liners and took command of the large Dollar Line Passenger Steamer, President Hayes when Dollar inaugurated their famous ‘Round-the-World’ service. He made several voyages on her before replacing Captain H.L. Jones on the President Lincoln, then in transpacific service, in July of 1926.

After two voyages on the on the Lincoln, he transferred to the President Pierce to replace Captain G.T. January due to illness. He transferred to the President Wilson, replacing Captain Henry Nels in December of 1927, first in transpacific, then round-the-world service. He commanded the President Wilson for over four years, until August of 1931 when he took command of the pride of the fleet, the brand new eight million dollar President Hoover for her maiden voyage, which coincided with his 50th Anniversary at sea. Anderson was also promoted to Dollar Line Fleet Commodore at this time.

Anderson retired in 1935 and he and his wife Olga went on an extended vacation in Europe.

He died suddenly from heart failure on October 21st, 1939 at his home in Alameda, CA at the age of 73. His wife Olga, originally from Finland, passed away in 1950. They had no children.