View Full Version : Bob Hanson, radio operator of the Memphis Belle has passed

10-12-2005, 01:38 AM
Robert Hanson, the radio operator & last surviving crewmember of the Memphis Belle passed away from congestive heart failure on October 1, 2005 at his home in Albequerque, New Mexico.
This was reported today in my Tuesday copy of the Fresno Bee & on the Memphis Belle's official website. I feel somewhat a personal sense of loss as I was fortunate enough to have met & talked with Mr. Hanson & the pilot of the Belle, Robert Morgan several times. What is now The Fresno/Yosemite International Airport was, during WWII, was known then as Hammer Field Army Air Force Base where a great many fighter aircraft, plus medium & heavy bombers bound for all three major Theatres Of Operations during WWII came for modifications, additional testing & upgrades before continuing onto their final assigned bases overseas. The Memphis Belle was stationed here briefly for radio equipment & armament upgrades in late August of 1942 when it was flown from Walla Walla, Washington & before Capt. Morgan, T.S. Hanson & the rest of the crew continued ferrying their Boeing B-17F to England in September of 1942 & into the history books.
On the few opportunities that I had to talk to Mr. Hanson I found him to be quite a humorous man, full of stories of their time spent in the E.T.O, including the sneeze that literally saved his life during one mission & found out from Mr. Morgan that he was a pretty easy going guy known for pulling a number of practical jokes on the rest of the crew & being the unofficial morale officer.
With Bob Hanson's passing another chapter closes on the heroes who flew for the U.S.A.A.F. in the greatest battle for air supremacy & freedom that the world has yet known. Mr. Hanson had once told me that 25 missions may not seem like all that many to most people who were born several generations after WWII, but with a 1 in 3 chance of being either shot down & killed or captured during the early days of daylight bombing over Germany & it's occupied territories, just surviving 25 missions seemed an almost impossible feat to attain. He also told me that the R.A.F bomber crews who carried out the night bombing sorties had it even worse, the general life span of R.A.F. crews might be as little as two missions on average & the toll it took on the lives of their crews & aircraft were horrendous. the British lost more pilots & air crews than we did by far as the sometimes flew several sorties a night & bombing far deeper into Germany without the benefit of close air support & dealing with not only the Luftwaffe's nightfighter squadrons, but also radar-controlled flak emplacements as well, he said he had a great amount of respect for the R.A.F.'s accomplishments.
Robert Hanson is survived by Irene, his wife of 63 years, a son & daughter, his brother & half sister & six grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held tomorrow, October 12th, 2005 at 4pm at French's Mortuary in Albequerque, I intend to fly my flag a half mast for the rest of the week & hope that all the members of the forum will have a moment of silence wherever they are at 4pm for one more brave man & for those of the crew that passed before him who fought to keep us all free....
Farewell Bob...
With my greatest admiration & respects,
Ron Graham

10-12-2005, 02:15 AM
R.I.P http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

10-12-2005, 02:20 AM
It's great that he lived a long a full life, knowing that when it mattered he was where it mattered. I'm very happy for him.

Sleep easy.

10-12-2005, 04:05 AM
Thank you, Mr Hanson.
Rest In Peace.

10-12-2005, 04:45 AM
Respect ~S, R.I.P. Bob.

10-12-2005, 05:08 AM
This is very sad. Lets hope he rests well S~ along with the rest of the crew. It will be around 10pm here when his remembrance service starts. Ill do my minute of silence RIP http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

10-12-2005, 05:16 AM
R.I.P. sir....

btw I wanted that original B-3 jacket from the picture since I was a kid (ofcourse it was a dream but Ill buy a duplicate now http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif )

http://www.memphisbelle.com/modules.php?set_albumName=a...clude=view_photo.php (http://www.memphisbelle.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album13&id=Bob&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php)

10-12-2005, 06:35 AM
with the number of ww2 vets dying daily, if u know of 1, now's the time to give them some props while they can still recognize em. ~S

10-12-2005, 06:43 AM

Hot Space

10-12-2005, 06:57 AM

10-12-2005, 04:11 PM
In his honor make the B-17 flyable.

So we never forget and fly everyday.

10-12-2005, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by airjunkie:
In his honor make the B-17 flyable.

So we never forget and fly everyday.

This isnt really the place for it is it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

10-12-2005, 04:41 PM

hey're all goin. Bob Morgan last year, this year Bob Hanson.

10-12-2005, 09:12 PM
thanks for guys like that who got going when the going got tuff. Words are insufficient. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

10-12-2005, 11:15 PM
Godspeed, Sir.
And I believe airjunkie was refering to the R/L A/C, not the ingame one. If not, then I agree....

10-12-2005, 11:19 PM
R.I.P & respects from all at the 23rd. S~

10-12-2005, 11:31 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif May God Bless

10-13-2005, 06:26 AM
Sad that all of our countries are losing these national treasures every day.

10-13-2005, 11:13 AM
I salute them all
Truley sad news http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/cry.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

MvH Anders "Trollis" Bernhardsson