Robert Murray Hanson
February 4, 1920 - February 3, 1944)
U.S. Marine Corps: 1942 - 1944
World War II: 1942 - 1944 (KIA)
Marine 1st Lt. Robert Murray Hanson was born 4 February 1920 at
Lucknow, India, the son of Methodist missionaries. He joined the Marine
Corps' Aviation Cadet Program shortly after the outbreak of World War II
and trained as a fighter pilot with the 25th Marine Fighting Squadron.
He was commissioned a 2d Lt on February 1, 1943, and designated a Naval
Aviator at NATC Corpus Christi, Texas, on February 19, 1943.
Hanson was credited with downing 20 Japanese planes, in six consecutive flying days. He
shot down a total of twenty five enemy planes before his own crashed
into the sea near Rabaul, New Britain on 3 February 1944, ending his
life, one day short of his 24th birthday. He was also awarded the Air
Medal and the Navy Cross.
He was posthumously promoted to Captain and awarded the Medal of Honor
for shooting down six torpedo bombers over Bougainville in November
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
FIRST LIEUTENANT ROBERT M. HANSON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty as a fighter pilot attached
to Marine Fighting Squadron TWO FIFTEEN in action against Japanese
forces at Bougainville Islands, November 1, 1943, and New Britain
Island, January 24, 1944. Undeterred by fierce opposition and
fearless in the face of overwhelming odds, First Lieutenant Hanson
fought the Japanese boldly and with daring aggressiveness. On
November 1, while flying cover for our landing operations at Empress
Augusta Bay, he dauntlessly attacked six enemy torpedo bombers,
forcing them to jettison their bombs and destroying one Japanese
plane during the action. Cut off from his division while deep in
enemy territory during a high cover flight over Simpson Harbor on
January 24, First Lieutenant 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 four Zeros
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 United States Naval Service.
The ROBERT M. HANSON AWARD
Presented by the Marine Corps Aviation Association (MCAA)
Ref.: MCO 1650.29H, 22 Sep 2010
||Robert M. Hanson Award
-Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron of the Year
||The Boeing Company
||Established in memory of Captain Hanson. Marine Aviator, fighter ace, and Medal of Honor winner, killed in World War II after shooting down 25 enemy aircraft. Awarded to recognize the superior performance of a Marine fighter/attack squadron.
||All F/A-18A/C/D squadrons, Regular or Reserve.
|Criteria and Period:
||The most outstanding Marine fighter/attack squadron. The award covers the period from 1 January through 31 December immediately
preceding the nomination period.
||Selection made by CMC Aviation Awards Board and presented at the annual MCAA Reunion and Symposium.
|Nomination Due Date:
||Due 1 February to CMC (ASM)
List of ROBERT M. HANSON AWARD recipients
Listed by Year Received Award - Squadron