The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS posthumously to
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS LESLIE E. HANSEN,
U.S. MARINE CORPS (RESERVE)
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Leslie E. Hansen (455844), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with the First Amphibian Tractor Battalion, FIRST Marine Division, during the attack on the Japanese-held Cape Gloucester Airdrome, New Britain Island, on 26 December 1943. Serving as a volunteer gunner on an amphibious tractor assaulting an enemy pillbox which was impeding the forward movement of our troops, Private First Class Hansen skillfully manned a machine gun on the rail of the tractor during the advance into enemy lines until the machine became temporarily wedged between two trees in the dense jungle about five yards from the Japanese emplacement. Perilously exposed to the immediate and fierce counterattack from the enemy, Private First Class Hansen fought his gun valiantly and with undiminished skill despite severe injury to his hand. Boldly engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a Japanese who had managed to climb up the side, he lost his balance in the desperate fight and fell from the tractor, dragging his opponent with him. His indomitable fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Born: 4 January 1923 in Pavillion, N.Y…. Home of record: Bergen, N.Y…. Identical twin brother Paul was on the same amphibious tractor and also earned the Navy Cross… Assigned to B Company of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion… Interred: Grand View Cemetery in Batavia, N.Y.