Ferdinand Carl Hanson Jr. was born to FC Hanson Sr. and Hope Rose on Sept 23, 1916 in East Los Angeles, CA. The father’s side of the family hails from Maine and his mother’s side from old Mexico. He was an only child and enjoyed the pursuits of childhood with his house painting father of hunting and fishing. Having an uncle that was killed in WW I at the battle of St Mihiel he joined the ROTC in High School and rose up through the ranks and and by his senior year he was the cadet Sergeant Major and joined the 160th California National guard upon graduation from Garfield HS in 1934. He distinguished himself in ROTC and the National Guard by winning several rifle and pistol competitions. With the depression a career was hard to find and he worked on the Southern Pacific Railroad, CCC and several other jobs. He loved to race cars and, with his friends from school, he built a flathead open cockpit and open wheel racer that he bragged that he got up to 130MPH at Muroc Dry lake (where Edwards AFB is today). After Dec 7th 1941 his 160th National Guard unit was activated into the 40th division regular army. He cross trained into Allison engine mechanic school and was sent to Lincoln Nebraska. He soon was a crew chief and SSGT and noticed a blond and gorgeous blue eyed Swedish ancestry secretary from ND at a USO dance and soon they were courting and they went across the stateline and were wed in Marysville, KS in 1942. Answering a call for more pilots (if you could pass the mental and physical evaluations) he was admitted to cadet training and graduated from Williams Field, class 43 F, on 22 June 43 and was named 2nd lieutenant. Along with Advanced training school mates Fogerty and Fostakowski, they were assigned to the 475th Fighter Group Satan’s Angels, 432nd Clover Squadron Dobodura in New Guinea. His first flights were at the end of Sep 43 and participated in the reduction raids against Rabaul the Japanese Pearl Harbor. Losing his 2 class mates within the first 2 months he persisted with 123 missions and sent home with 1 probable and several near misses from Dobodura to Biak and missed the Philippine deployment. His favorite pilots were PJ Dahl, Joe Forster, Stu Lawhead and John Loisel. He flew with all the greats, including Bong, McGuire, MacDonald, Roberts and Lindbergh. His crew chief was Phil Ranalli w/ whom he carried on a correspondence for years after the war since he had been a crew chief himself. His last flight was on Oct 2, 44 w/ a P 38L. A camera buff he took over 300 pictures which were made into a DVD for the 432nd. Arriving back in the states he became a discharge officer at Williams AFB and he discharged himself in March 45 as 1LT. He stayed in the Reserves until 1955. He joined the LAPD and worked for them as Patrol officer, Accident investigation and even since he was a pilot was in charge of Accidents and low flying aircraft until the FAA came in 1950. He was able to use the LAPD Piper Cub to help investigate. He built 5 houses that he owned and collected income. The year before he retired in 1966 he won the LAPD pistol championship achieving a score of 396/400. Active in his church he became a Bible scholar and was elected Elder several times. He continued working becoming a locksmith, and worked for a defense contractor repairing the black boxes on the top of the line fighter jets of the day. He finally retired in 1982. He lost Eva his wife of 48 years in 1990.He passed away on Dec 29 ,2003 after long illnesses. His legacy of 3 daughters and 1 son and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. His was the Greatest Generation! His son submitted a memoir to the Library of Congress which was accepted in his name.

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