Kansas City, MO
U.S. Air Force
SSGT, 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Altus, OK
Staff Sergeant Corbett B. Anderson, died Monday, March 18, 2002, at Altus Air Force Base, Altus, OK, after he was pinned in the wheel well of a U-30 aircraft tow vehicle, when one of its wheels shifted. A heavy vehicle mechanic, Corbett had previously served at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, NM, and the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, as well as a tour in Haiti.
He was born October 7, 1975, in Poplar Bluff, MO, the youngest of three children, to Craig Anderson (Kansas City, MO) and Ann Anderson (Prairie Village, KS). His sister, Kenyon Anderson, lives in Prairie Village, KS. Dedrick and Marla Anderson, his brother and sister-in-law, live in Spring Hill, KS. Corbett grew up in Blue Springs, MO, played in area soccer leagues, and graduated with honors from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, MO.
Corbett joined the Air Force in 1996. He was posthumously awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal. While assigned to Cannon, he was selected the 27th Fighter Wing’s 1998 Transportation Professional of the Year. And in Kunsan, he broke records servicing the vehicles and keeping them operational.
His skill as a mechanic allowed him to excel, says his sister, Kenyon. “You could say he was just very picky…finicky…precise…uh, meticulous. That’s a good word,” she jokes. “We teased him about it, but his attention to detail is what made him so good at his job.”
Corbett’s family remembers him as a dedicated father, a gifted mechanic and a hero who died serving his country. “Not a day goes by that we don’t think of him. I miss his sharp wit, his wry sense of humor, his devotion to family, and his pride in serving our country. Corbett was an amazing soldier and a wonderful man. I’m so proud of him,” says his sister.
His brother, Dedrick, recalls summers with their grandparents in Iowa. “We would have so much fun, and always manage to get into a little bit of trouble,” says Dedrick. “I remember swimming lessons, Bible school, golfing at the country club and driving our uncle’s go-cart.” Dedrick even managed to talk his little brother into peeing into an ice tray to see if urine would freeze. “Our grandma was really ticked off, but our grandpa just said, ‘Well, Jean, they’re just kids. What else are they gonna do?’”
In March 1998, Corbett married Jamie (Morgan) Anderson (Baldwin City, KS) and had daughter, Daelynn Anderson, and stepson, Robert Jerald Cairns. “He always called Daelynn his lil’ sweet pea, even when she wasn’t being so sweet,” says his wife, Jamie, who fondly remembers her husband’s smile.
Corbett’s mother, Ann, reflects on her son as a very caring and talkative young man who loved to read, especially Stephen King novels, and who enjoyed construction/handyman work. He spent his childhood evenings cuddled up next to his mom in the family recliner. When he was 10 years old, he told her they should buy a double recliner. “Why, are you going to sit next to me until you’re 20?” she laughed. His mom also recollects teaching Corbett how to drive a stick-shift. “It was scary, but I was laughing so hard I didn’t have time to worry,” says Ann. “And Corbett got mad, pulled over and told me to drive home.”
“He used to lay with me on the couch, holding his bottle, while we watched TV,” remembers his father, Craig. “He was a good son and grew up to be a hard-working man.”
Corbett is also survived by his grandfather, S.H. Lathen (Overland Park, KS) and grandmother, Jean Anderson (Albia, IA), as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Roy Anderson. His grandmother, Billye Sue Lathen, died in February 2007.