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A Picture from History: Jack Hanson

In this Picture from History, we examine Medal of Honor recipient Jack G. Hanson and his heroic actions during the Korean War.

June 7, 1951, near Pachi-Dong, Korea the men of 1st Platoon, Company F set up on two strategically located hilltops.

A wide saddle separated the men from each other, but they had no choice — they needed to hold those hills. 

RAR soldier manning his position in Korea
RAR soldier manning his position in Korea

The men of 1st Platoon did everything they could to hold their position, but discretion was the better part of valor. They were overrun and needed to retreat to higher ground where a new perimeter could be set. For this to be accomplished though, the men needed cover fire as they withdrew.

Five men remained…one of them was Private First Class, Jack G. Hanson — a 21-year-old hailing from Texas.

Jack Hanson

Jack Hanson

Hanson volunteered to cover his friends, manning his machine gun as they withdrew.

As the battle raged on, the men with Hanson became wounded. It’s not until the last of them crawls back to the rally point that they realize Hanson was alone to fight.

Soldier in Korea returning fire
Soldier in Korea returning fire

It was two and a half hours until 1st Platoon took back the ground, fighting non-stop for hours in the middle of the night.

The Death of a Hero

Once the men returned to Hanson’s position, they found him…dead — the machine gun ammo expended, an empty pistol in his right hand, and a blood-soaked machete in his left. Around him laid 22 dead enemies. 

M-20 75 mm recoilless rifle being fired during the Korean War
M-20 75 mm recoilless rifle being fired during the Korean War

Despite overwhelming odds and being completely alone, Hanson didn’t give up. He died a hero’s death. 

Everything is bigger in Texas, and apparently resolve is no exception to the rule. Jack G. Hanson gave his life to protect his friends and earned a posthumous Medal of Honor.

This is a new style of article for Pew Pew Tactical, if you liked it — let us know in the comments! If you didn’t enjoy it…well phooey. To catch up on previous Pictures from History, click on over to our History Category.

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3 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Larry

    Love the history lessons

    June 19, 2022 2:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jack

    Thank you so much for this story. We need to remember with all that is wrong in this world it's men and women like Jack Hanson that make you sit back and remember, we are all on the same side.

    June 19, 2022 2:30 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Will

    A true American hero, and so many of them have been forgotten. Thanks for the story.

    June 18, 2022 9:29 am
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