Robert John Hanson

media-25234.jpeg UPL 25234 Crew of the Battle-weary, but triumphant, "Memphis Belle" which made twenty-five bombing missions over Europe are shown: L to R Back Row: T/Sgt. Robert J Hanson, Garfield, Wash., Radio Operator; T/Sgt. Harold P Loch, Green Bay, Wisc. holding 'Stuka', Top Turret Gunner; Capt Vincent B Evans, Henderson, TX., Bomb Capt Robert N Morgan, Asherville, NC., Pilot.
L to R Front Row: S/Sgt Cecil N Scott, Altoona, PA., Ball Turret. S/Sgt Clarence B Winchell, Oak Park, IL. L Waist gunner. S/Sgt John P Quinlan, Yonkers, NY., Tail gunner. S/Sgt Casimer A Nastal, Detroit, MI. R Waist gunner.

NARA Ref 342-FH-3A06266-23971AC.

Object Number - UPL 25234 - Crew of the Battle-weary, but triumphant, "Memphis Belle" which made twenty-five bombing missions over Europe are shown: L to R Back Row: T/Sgt....

Assigned to 324BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. T/Sgt Robert J Hanson, radio operator on the 'Memphis Belle'. Native of Washington state, he entered the military in 1941 and in 1942 was assigned to be the radio operator aboard the B-17, the 'Memphis Belle'. The 'Belle' and her crew would ultimately become the first to fly all of it's required twenty-five missions in the European theater of WWII, this being the number required to be sent back to the United States. Her last mission was flown on 17-May-43. Throughout the plane's 25 missions, he would keep an extensive logbook which at one time saved his life catching a bullet which otherwise would have struck him.

Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

Post war: Remained in USAF, rising to 2nd Lieutenant. Returned to Washington and worked for a food distribution company and later retired with his wife to New Mexico.


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Units served with

Unofficial emblem of the 91st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


Lieutenant-General Jacob L. Devers adresses a bomber crew of the 91st Bomb Group in front of their B-17 Flying Fortress (DF-A, serial number 41-24485) nicknamed "Memphis Belle". Passed for publication 10 Jun 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'Not For Publication Before 00.30 June 10th. Flying Fortress Returns To U.S.A. After 25 Operations. June 1943. At an 8th Army Air Station somewhere in England, Lt.-Gen. Jacob L. Devers, and Major-General Ira. C. Eaker, bidded fare-well to the Flying Fortress "Memphis
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Memphis Belle
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group 324th Bomb Squadron



Event Location Date Description


Walla Walla, Washington 25 May 1920


Milwaukee, WI, USA 24 September 1941


Albuquerque, NM, USA 1 October 2005
Chippewa County, WI, USA


Bassingbourn 17 May 1943 Assigned to 324BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF.


War bond tour

United States Returned to US with the 'Memphis Belle' for a war bond tour.

Buried/ Commemorated

Santa Fe, NM, USA Santa Fe National Cemetery Santa Fe Santa Fe County New Mexico, USA



Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Robert John Hanson: Gallery (8 items)