Anderson served two combat tours in Europe, flying 116 missions in the P-51 Mustang and was a triple ace.
From 1948 through 1953, Anderson was a fighter test pilot and later became Chief of the Fighter Flight Test Section at Wright Patterson where he flew many models of the early jet aircraft
From 1957 through 1965, Anderson was assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California where he served as Chief, Flight Test Operations and later as the Deputy Director of Flight Test.
During Vietnam, he commanded the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, flying F-105s on bombing strikes against enemy supply lines.
Anderson was decorated 26 times for his military service