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|Pilot 1st Lt. Robert Murray Hanson, O-019154 (MIA / KIA) Lucknow, India
Crashed February 3, 1944
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 56039. Shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC), Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12), Marine Fighting Squadron 215 "Fighting Corsairs" VMF-215. No known nickname or nose art.
On February 3, 1944 took off at 9:40am from Piva South Airfield (Piva Yoke) on Bougainville piloted by 1st Lt. Robert Murray Hanson on a mission to escort eighteen TBF Avengers from VMF-233 against Tobera Airfield south of Rabaul. The formation included eight F4U Corsairs with Hanson leading the second flight. Other escorting aircraft included eight F6F Hellcats from VF-38 plus twelve SBD Dauntless from VMSB-341.
Inbound to the target, the weather was scattered cumulus from ground to 5,000' and clear over as the formation flew up the Warangoi River arriving over the target area by 11:55am and turned over Tobera Airfield. The formation was intercepted by approximately fifteen Zeros in groups of three to six.
Returning, the formation flew via Kabanga Bay then towards Cape Saint George on New Ireland. Returning, this Corsair attempted to strafe targets at Cape Alexander on New Ireland. While strafing, hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed into the sea and cartwheeled on impact. When Hanson failed to return, he was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Medal of Honor
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