Edward Hanson

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Edward William Hanson
Edward W. Hanson.jpg
28th Governor of American Samoa
In office
June 26, 1938 – July 30, 1940
Preceded by MacGillivray Milne
Succeeded by Jesse Wallace
Personal details
Born February 12, 1889
Alexandria, Minnesota
Died October 18, 1959(1959-10-18) (aged 70)
La Jolla, California
Spouse(s) Nina A. Hertzberg
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Occupation Naval officer
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Years of service 1911 - 1951
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Vice admiral
Commands USS Indianapolis (CA-35)
15th Naval District
BatDiv 9
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Navy Cross
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal

Edward William Hanson (February 12, 1889 – October 18, 1959) was a United States Navy Vice admiral and the 28th Governor of American Samoa from June 26, 1938 to July 30, 1940.[1] As Governor of American Samoa, Hanson believed that the native Samoans had a good way of life, and did little to interfere with established practices on the islands.[2]

Early years and World War I[edit]

Edward William Hanson was born on February 12, 1889 in Alexandria, Minnesota.[3][4] He attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and graduated in 1911 with the rank of Ensign.

With the entry of the United States into World War I, LTJG Hanson was appointed a Commander of USS Dale, a Bainbridge-class destroyer, which patrolled Manila Bay in the summer of 1917. Hanson was ordered to Gibraltar in the same year. During the voyage to Europe, which was longer than 11,000 miles, USS Dale was under very unfavorable weather conditions. Hanson managed to sail the Dale without serious damage, so the ship was ready for immediate participation in operations against the enemy. LTJG Hanson was awarded the Navy Cross for his command of the USS Dale.[5]

Navy Cross citation[edit]

Edward W. Hanson was awarded the Navy Cross. The official U.S. Navy citation for his Navy Cross reads:

Action Date: Summer, 1917
Name: Edward William Hanson
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Dale
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Edward William Hanson, United States Navy, for exceptionally distinguished service in the line of his profession in Command of the U.S.S. DALE in making the trip of 11,000 miles from Manila, Philippine Islands, to Gibraltar, under very unfavorable weather conditions, during the Summer of 1917, the southwest monsoon being then at its height, and arriving in the Mediterranean with his vessel in readiness for immediate participation in the operations against enemy submarines in the Mediterranean and later in the Atlantic.[6]

Interwar period[edit]

After the War, Hanson served on the staff of the Harvard Naval Science Department at Harvard University and subsequently on the USS Black Hawk. Hanson also attended the Naval War College in 1925.[7] In 1927, he was transferd to USS West Virginia, where he served as Ship Engineer for almost two years. In the next years, Hanson served also aboard USS Arkansas, USS Wyoming and USS Texas as a staff officer. Between years 1931–1932 Hanson served back on the USS West Virginia as navigator.

In July 1936, Hanson got his first command, when he was appointed commanding officer of the USS Erie, a newly launched gunboat. Hanson commanded the ship during protection of American interests and citizens during the Spanish Civil War. Then the USS Erie was used as a training ship for Midshipmen, operating out of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.

On June 26, 1938 was Hanson appointed the Governor of American Samoa. As Governor, he believed that the native Samoans had a good way of life, and did little to interfere with established practices on the islands.[8] At the time of his governorship, he was a Commander.[9]

World War II[edit]

At the end of July 1940, Hanson ended his term as a Governor. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Captain and appointed the commanding officer of the Naval Station Tutuila, also in American Samoa.

In October 1941, he was appointed the commanding officer of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis.[10] A two months later (during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), Hanson commanded the USS Indianapolis during a training mission conducting a mock bombardment at Johnston Atoll. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hanson got order to search for Japanese carriers responsible for the attack, though the ship did not locate them.

Hanson subsequently commanded the USS Indianapolis during the New Guinea campaign and also during the Aleutian Islands Campaign in the Pacific War. He was subsequently appointed the commander of Battleship Division 9 in July 1942.[11]

Hanson commanded Battleship Division 9 for the rest of the war and spent this time in the Pacific. In August 1945, Hanson was transferred to Hawaii, where he succeeded Rear Admiral William R. Furlong as a Commander of Pearl Harbor Navy Yard.

Postwar service and retirement[edit]

On February 13, 1948 Hanson was assumed command of the 15th Naval District, headquartered at Balboa in the Panama Canal Zone[12]

Hanson retired from the Navy with the rank of Vice Admiral in 1951 and resided in La Jolla, California near San Diego. Edward William Hanson died there on October 18, 1959, aged 70. He is buried together with his wife Nina A. Hanson (1903–1974) at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.[13]

Decorations[edit]

Here is the ribbon bar of Vice Admiral Edward W. Hanson:[14][15]

V
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Navy Cross Legion of Merit with "V" Device
2nd Row Bronze Star Medal Mexican Service Medal World War I Victory Medal with Destroyer Clasp
3rd Row American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with five Service stars American Campaign Medal
3rd Row World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal Philippine Liberation Medal with two service stars

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sorensen, Stan (27 June 2008). "Historical Notes". Tapuitea (Government of American Samoa) III (26): 4. 
  2. ^ "Bailey's South Sea Trek Influences New Fashions". Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee). 5 May 1939. p. 16. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Sorensen, Stan; Joseph Theroux. "The Samoan Historical Calendar, 1606-2007". Government of American Samoa. p. 39. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Bledsoe Will Command Navy Base at Balboa". Ellensburg Daily Record (Ellensburg, Washington). 9 November 1950. p. 11. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Valor awards for Edward William Hanson". militarytimes.com. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Valor awards for Edward William Hanson". militarytimes.com. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Government Changes Men in Naval Science: Four of Staff of Seven Replaced With New Men--One Added; Wellings and Purves Only Survivors". The Harvard Crimson (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University). 25 October 1934. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Bailey's South Sea Trek Influences New Fashions". Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee). 5 May 1939. p. 16. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Life Goes to a Party: In Samoa to Install a New Chief of Pago Pago". Life (New York City: Time Inc.) 6 (2): 57. 9 January 1939. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  10. ^ Office of Naval Intelligence. Jerry Holden, ed. "Action Off Rabaul". University of North Carolina. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  11. ^ Tillman, Barrett; Stephen Coonts (2006). Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot of World War II. New York City: Penguin Group. p. 306. ISBN 0-451-21956-2. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  12. ^ United Press International (12 July 1950). "Navy at Panama Canal Seeks Mystery Sub". St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Florida: Times Publishing Company). p. 1. Retrieved 2 April 2010. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Admiral Edward William Hanson (1889 - 1959) - Find a Grave Memorial". findagrave.com. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Valor awards for Edward William Hanson". militarytimes.com. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Admiral Edward William Hanson (1889 - 1959) - Find a Grave Memorial". findagrave.com. Retrieved October 21, 2013.