The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the NAVY CROSS to
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS PAUL L. HANSEN,
U.S. MARINE CORPS (RESERVE)
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Paul L. Hansen (455843), 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, in operations against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester Airdrome, New Britain, on 26 December 1943. Courageously volunteering to drive an amphibian tractor against a strategic enemy pillbox which was holding up the advance of friendly assault troops, Private First Class Hansen pressed forward through the dense jungle, broke through the Japanese lines and advanced steadily until, in executing a difficult turn toward the hostile pillbox, his tractor was caught between two trees a few yards from the objective. Instantly subjected to fierce and concentrated enemy fire, he coolly worked at the controls, quickly extricated the tractor and, when two of the Japanese climbed upon the front of the vehicle, opened the armored shutter of the driver’s seat and shot the aggressors with a pistol. Smashing forward with his heavy amphibian, he crushed the pillbox, thereby enabling friendly forces to continue the advance. Pushing relentlessly onward, he succeeded in destroying additional enemy emplacements before returning to a position within friendly lines. By his indomitable fighting spirit, quick decision and selfless devotion to duty, Private First Class Hansen effected the death of sixty-eight Japanese and inflicted destruction upon several hostile emplacements. His outstanding valor in the face of grave peril was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: 4 January 1923 in Pavillion, N.Y…. Home of record: Bergen, N.Y…. Identical twin brother Leslie was on the same amphibious tractor and also earned the Navy Cross (posthumously)… Passed: 16 August 2007… Interred: Saint Michael’s Cemetery in Warsaw, N.Y.