"FROM CLAIRE HANSEN'S KEEPSAKES"
_________________
Robert A. Hansen

 

 

 

This is a selection of Heritage keepsakes from the Hansen collection .

  Click on photos to enlarge
 

 

 

 

Dad’s letter to his “buddies” dated March 4, 1957 after the meetings in Washington, DC concerning the formation of the 503rd Regimental Combat Team Association (World War II).

To the Members and Webmaster
503d P.R.C.T. Heritage Battalion

 Congratulations to the 503d P.R.C.T. Heritage Battalion and its many contributors for an excellent web site and efforts to preserve and explain the historical significance of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team (WW II) and their exemplary courage, honor, and many sacrifices during World War II.

 My father, SSgt. Claire John Hansen, enlisted in the U.S. Army on 20 Jun 1941, completed Infantry Paratroop training at Fort Benning, GA, additional training at Fort Bragg, NC and served as the Supply Sergeant with Company C, 1st Battalion, 503rd PIRCT until his separation on 5 Aug 1945 at Camp McCoy, WI, just 38 miles from his hometown of Black River Falls, WI.

 

Claire John Hansen Back in Wisconsin at last.

 He attended the meetings and participated in the development of the constitution for the 503rd Regimental Combat Team Association (World War II) in Washington, DC during the weekend of Feb 22, 1957.  He was elected to the Board of Directors as representative of the Southeast (US).  He attended several of the Association’s conventions and was very proud to have served with the 503rd PIRCT.  He was also an active member of several VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) posts in northeast Florida.

 Dad passed away on Jun 26, 1967 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Lake City, FL.  He was buried in the Jacksonville Memory Gardens in Orange Park, FL.

 I now understand why his Parachutist Badge does not have three bronze service stars.

The jumps at Nadzab and Noemfoor were not officially recognized as “combat” jumps and the 1st Battalion participated in an amphibious combat assault on Corregidor, but it occurred on 17 Feb 1945 and therefore disqualified for the bronze arrowhead.  However, I am preparing a request for a review of his decorations and citations as I believe there have been some omissions.

 I have really enjoyed browsing through the web site and have learned a great deal about the 503rd PIRCT and its campaigns.  The photographs, film strips, maps, recordings and personal accounts have all been superior.  The description and accounts of the voyage aboard the SS Poelau Laut from San Francisco to Cairns, Australia was both interesting and entertaining.  The answer may be on the web site, but I have not found it.  The question:  How were the troops returned to the U.S.?  Thank you!

(Those who had the points were returned to the US individually and piecemeal on whatever transport was available, for discharge. The 503d was transferred from Negros to Japan and became part of the Occupation Forces there, and essentially lost their unit identity. - Ed)

 

Prior to his enlistment into the U.S. Army, Dad was trained in arboriculture and tree surgery and employed by The Davey Tree Expert Company of Kent, Ohio.  One of his letters home during the war was published in The Davey Bulletin, Vol. 30, No. 12, dated December 1943. 

 

 Upon his return from the war, The Davey Tree Expert Company offered Dad a Field Foreman position in northeast Florida maintaining line clearances for the Florida Power and Light Company.  Davey still maintains that contract today. 

 Prior to his departure from Fort Bragg, NC, Dad met my mother in Southern Pines, NC.

He was in training at Fort Bragg and mother was a non-graduate nurse at the Pinebluff Sanatorium.  They were married July 11, 1942 in Pinehurst, NC.  She resigned her nursing position and moved to Fayetteville, NC until Dad received orders for overseas duty.

 

Army Separation Record - Form 100 Honorable Discharge Report - Form 53

 

 

                                                                   Respectfully,

 

                                                                   Robert A. Hansen

                                                                   U. S. Army

                                                                   Jul 1962 – Aug 1965

 

 

 

 

         

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James P. Lowe

 

 

 

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Robert W. Armstrong

REFERENCES

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503D HERITAGE

Concrete Battleship

Verne White

1936 Corregidor Map

503d Jump at Nadzab

by Article Title

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Jim Mullaney

2/503 Vietnam Newsletter

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1945 Jump Map

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Last Updated: 29-03-11