BURTON R. HANSON, ENS, USN
Burton Hanson '40
Date of birth: February 14, 1918
Date of death: February 28, 1942
From the 1940 Lucky Bag:
"Oily" was lost when USS Jacob Jones (DD 130) was torpedoed on the morning of February 28, 1942 by U-578 off the coast of Delaware.
His father was listed as next of kin.
Olie, a native of Wisconsin, was on the swimming team at the Academy. A genial, easygoing gentleman, he faced life and academics with equanimity. On graduation, he reported to light cruiser BROOKLYN (CL-40) in Pearl Harbor. After a year in the Hawaiian area and a goodwill trip to New Zealand, the ship was transferred to the Atlantic, where it was involved in "neutrality patrols" and convoy protection. In July; 1941, it was a unit of Task Force 19 in the initial occupation of Iceland. Olie served as radio officer until detached in December of 1941. On December 20, 1941, he reported on board recommissioned four-piper JACOB JONES (DD-130) at Boston Navy Yard as gunnery officer, in charge of the ship's four 4-inch guns, two torpedo mounts, and a depth charge battery as the country mobilized all available anti-submarine capability to meet the Nazi U-boat threat. By January, 1942, the ship was involved in convoys to and from England. On February 6, after a stormy crossing, JACOB JONES released the last ships of eastbound convoy ON-59 south of Newfoundland and was assigned to hunt U-boats on the East coast, where Allied shipping was being ravaged.
On February 28, 1942, off the Delaware Gapes, German submarine U-578 torpedoed JACOB JONES in a night surface attack. The four-stacker broke in two and most of its crew was lost, including Ensign Hanson. Olie was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. His friends and shipmates remember him with great affection and a deep sense of loss. Ray Hundevadt