1/Lt. Samuel E. Hansard


(C. Hailey)

1/Lt. Samuel E. Hansard

338th FS - 29 February 1944 - 26 August 1944 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-51D 44-14050

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
97 21 May 1944 Ranger Operation Chattanooga No. 1
202 10 August 1944 St. Florentin and Sens
220 26 August 1944 Ranger Rodeo Nancy-Dijon
Air Scores
Destroyed
Probable  
Damaged  
Ground Scores
Destroyed
Damaged  
Score Detail 21 May 1944  Ju-88 destroyed (ground) Magdeburg
10 August 1944  Me-109 destroyed (air) Damville
Notes Born in 1919
Entered service from Phillips, Texas
ASN - O-754619
29 February 1944 - Joined the 338th Fighter Squadron
27 April 1944 - Awarded the Air Medal
13 May 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
20 May 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
17 June 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
21 June 1944 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
06 July 1944 - Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
26 August 1944 - Killed in Action

French sources claimed that a third P-51, (Hansard) was seen to fly out to sea when Sam Gevorkian and John Kester bellied in their P-51s on the beach of Bassin d'Arcachon, Gironde, France.
Gevorkian told the French that they had been in a thunderstorm and their compasses were disabled.   Their Group had been escorting bombers to Ludwigshafen and then strafing in the Nancy/Dijon area.  The three P-51s had become lost and when they saw what they thought to be the English Channel was actually the Bay of Biscay, north of Bordeaux, in southern France.
Gevorkian and Kester elected to crash land because of a lack of fuel.  They evaded capture with the aid of the French.  Apparently Lt. Hansard thought he had sufficient fuel to reach England.  He was headed in the wrong direction.  He went down in the Bay of Biscay.  His body was recovered and buried at sea, presumably, by an English naval vessel.  His name is recorded on the Wall of the Missing at Cambridge American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Madingley, Cambridge, England.
The procedure for service personnel buried at sea in the European theatre was to place their name on the Wall of the Missing at an American Military Cemetery.

Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble

Awards
Memories Memorial from the official 55th FG records, dated 27th August 1944

The late First Lieutenant Samuel Eugene Hansard, O-754619, Air Corps, Army of the United States.  Born   ; died; 26 August 1944.  Killed in action over the Bay of Biscay, 26 August 1944; Deceased, was found and buried at sea by an unknown ship, presumably of the Royal Navy.
He entered military service from Phillips, Texas.  Commissioned Second Lieutenant, Army of the United States, 30 August 1943, at Luke Field, Arizona, and rated Pilot same date.  Promoted to First Lieutenant, Army of the United States, 21 June 1944.  Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
In military tribute to an officer and soldier we salute "Sam".

John L. McGinn
Major, Air Corps, Commanding

   

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