Robert Murray Hanson, known as “Butcher Bob,” was born on February 4, 1920, in Lucknow, India. His Alvis Grant portrait reproduction and Medal of Honor Citation are displayed on the Wall of Honor at the Flying Leathernecks Foundation.
Hanson joined the Marine Corps in May 1942, earned his “wings of gold” in February 1943, and arrived in the South Pacific theatre of operations in June 1943. He was assigned to VMF-215 and flew the F4U-Corsair.
A leading Marine Corps ace during the Second World War, he is famous for shooting down 20 Japanese planes in six consecutive days. Hanson is credited with 25 total “kills,” including four Zeros, six torpedo bombers, and several other Japanese aircraft.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Hanson also received the Navy Cross for his courage and extraordinary airmanship between January 5, 1944, and February 3, 1944, two Purple Hearts and the Air Medal.
First Lieutenant Hanson was killed in action on February 3, 1944, just one day short of his 24th birthday.
To learn more about the missions and extraordinary life of First Lieutenant Hanson, listen to the podcast below.