*HANSON, ROBERT MURRAY
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant,
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 4 February 1920, Lucknow, India. Accredited to:
Massachusetts. Other Navy awards: Navy Cross, Air Medal.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life and above and beyond the
call of duty as fighter pilot attached to Marine Fighting Squadron 215 in action against
enemy Japanese forces at Bougainville Island, 1 November 1943; and New Britain Island, 24
January 1944. Undeterred by fierce opposition, and fearless in the face of overwhelming
odds, 1st Lt. Hanson fought the Japanese boldly and with daring aggressiveness. On 1
November, while flying cover for our landing operations at Empress Augusta Bay, he
dauntlessly attacked 6 enemy torpedo bombers, forcing them to jettison their bombs and
destroying 1 Japanese plane during the action. Cut off from his division while deep in
enemy territory during a high cover flight over Simpson Harbor on 24 January, 1st Lt.
Hanson waged a lone and gallant battle against hostile interceptors as they were orbiting
to attack our bombers and, striking with devastating fury, brought down 4 Zeroes and
probably a fifth. Handling his plane superbly in both pursuit and attack measures, he was
a master of individual air combat, accounting for a total of 25 Japanese aircraft in this
theater of war. His great personal valor and invincible fighting spirit were in keeping
with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.