Private Lloyd Edward Hanson

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NAME:
Lloyd Edward Hanson
NICKNAME:
Fritz
SERVICE NUMBER:
357492
HOME OF RECORD:
Moose Lake, MN
NEXT OF KIN:
Mother, Mrs. Nora Ethel Hanson
DATE OF BIRTH:
October 21, 1918
ENLISTED:
January 13, 1942
DATE OF DEATH:
October 8, 1942
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE FATE
Guadalcanal L/3/2 Private KIA
CAUSE OF DEATH:
Machine gun fire
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private
STATUS OF REMAINS:
Not recovered “due to battle conditions.”
MEMORIAL:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.


Birth and Early Life:
In 1916, Nora Ethel Johnson, a 25-year-old resident of Bottineau, North Dakota, married her town’s barber, 37-year-old Lovie Hanson. Just two years later, while over the border in Canada, Nora gave birth to their first son. Lloyd Edward Hanson entered the world on October 21, 1918, and was raised in Park River, North Dakota.

The Hanson family moved to Minnesota in the early 1920s. Tragedy struck in 1926 when Lovie died in a Minneapolis hospital; Nora, Lloyd (called “Fritz” by the family) and two younger children moved to Moose Lake. (1) It was here in December, 1941 that the 23-year-old Fritz heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Hanson enlisted on January 13, 1942, and was quickly on his way to MCRD San Diego. After completing boot camp, he was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, Second Marines, which was undergoing additional training at nearby Camp Elliott in preparation for being sent to the South Pacific.

Wartime Service:
Private Hanson first experienced combat on August 8, 1942, when his battalion landed on the small island of Gavutu, not far from Guadalcanal. Among the first sights he saw as he splashed ashore were the bodies of Paramarines who had been killed while landing the day before. Although Gavutu and nearby Tanambogo were mere specks of land, the Japanese defending them were as determined as if they’d been defending Honshu itself. Marines learned many hard and bloody lessons in jungle warfare before the islands were secured, and the presence of Japanese stragglers made it necessary for 3/2 to remain on the islands as a garrison force.

In September, Hanson’s Company L was ordered into small boats for a trip across Sealark Channel to Guadalcanal itself. The rest of the battalion followed within days, and was placed into reserve for the First Marine Division. They were to be used in an upcoming attack against troublesome Japanese positions along the Matanikau River; operating in support of the 7th Marines and the “Whaling Group” of highly trained scouts and snipers, 3/2 would cross the river and attempt to sweep down on the Matanikau village, flanking the Japanese defenders who would be occupied with defending their front from a simultaneous attack by the 5th Marines. The operation began as planned on October 7, and the Whaling Group made decent progress, even as the 5th Marines attack bogged down.

Date Of Loss:
Torrential downpours on October 8 forced the American commanders to slow the pace of their attack; Whaling’s cadre managed to cross the river, but could not press home its advance on the village itself.

At some point during the day, in the vicinity of the Matanikau itself, a Japanese machine gunner caught Company L in his sights. He let loose with a volley that mortally wounded Corporal Harold P. Kerner, and killed PFC William M. Held and Private Lloyd Hanson. The company muster rolls stated that, for both Held and Hanson, “due to battle conditions, the body was not recovered.”

One hopes that Fritz Hanson received a semblance of a military funeral from his friends, but unfortunately, no record of a burial site remains. His resting place is unknown.

Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Nora Ethel Hanson

Status Of Remains:
Unknown

Memorial:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines
_____
NOTES:
(1) The cause of Lovie’s death is not known, but his WW1 draft registration noted that he was asthmatic and suffered from a weak heart.

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