William Anderson

William Anderson

American submariner
Country: USA

  1. Biography of William Anderson
  2. Operation Sunshine
  3. Preparation and Setbacks
  4. Success and Recognition
  5. Operation Sunshine II

Biography of William Anderson

William Anderson was an American submariner who dedicated himself to teaching at the New London School of Underwater Navigation after World War II. He was highly regarded by his superiors for his expertise in submarine tactics.

Operation Sunshine

On Sunday, June 8, 1958, the atomic submarine "Nautilus" was docked in Seattle, ready to set sail at any moment. The final destination of the submarine, even for its commander, Captain William Anderson, was still a secret. Anderson had two sealed packages in his safe, addressed to him by the higher command. Only a phone call from the Pentagon would determine which one would be opened. Finally, Anderson heard the familiar voice of his boss, Rear Admiral Despitt, giving him the order to embark on Operation Sunshine - the first transpolar voyage across the North Pole.

Preparation and Setbacks

After World War II, William Anderson left his post as commander of a submarine to focus on teaching at the New London School of Underwater Navigation. He then transferred to Washington, D.C., to work in the nuclear reactor department of the main shipbuilding administration. He eagerly learned everything a commander of an atomic submarine should know. Anderson was eventually given the command of the submarine "Nautilus," which had set a speed record for underwater travel. However, their first attempt to reach the North Pole was unsuccessful due to thick ice. They made another attempt but had to turn back due to malfunctioning compasses.

Success and Recognition

Despite these setbacks, Anderson's leadership abilities were demonstrated during the "Strikeback" naval exercises in England, where the "Nautilus" performed exceptionally well. In October 1957, Anderson presented a report at the White House, detailing their recent Arctic expedition. Although the report was met with indifference, Anderson was determined to make another attempt. With the support of the administration and the Pentagon, Anderson planned a second expedition to the North Pole.

Operation Sunshine II

The second expedition began on June 9, 1958. The "Nautilus" successfully navigated through treacherous waters, overcoming obstacles such as thick ice and dangerous icebergs. However, as they approached the polar region, they encountered dense fog, which forced them to change course and stay close to the coast. Finally, on August 3, 1958, the "Nautilus" reached the North Geographic Pole. Celebrations were kept minimal, as Anderson was focused on navigating precisely. After a brief stop at the pole, the submarine continued its journey, becoming the first ship to complete a transpolar crossing.