1944 — Italy
Leslie John Hansen, b. April 27, 1921 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was the son of John Hansen and Sofie Jakobena Nelson. He married Bette Jayne Stevens on April 14, 1945 in Council Bluffs. They have two children, Nancy Lea (my wife) and Leslie Paul. Les died Sept. 29, 2001 in CB and is buied in Lewis Township Cemetery, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa.
I have his ser. no as 37-449-357. 71st Battalion, Company "B", Camp Robison, Arkansas in Oct. 23, 1942. "Flying Fortress Unit", 15th Army Air Force Unit in Italy before Sept 1944. Wounded over Romania on July 31, 1944. (We have the original telegraph to his mother notifing her of his injury. It is dated something unreadable 28, 1944.) I have the following notes on Les in my genealogy files: Les was a navigator aboard a B-17 in WWII with the rank of Tech. Sgt. He was wounded by anti-aircraft flak while flying a mission over the Foggia Oil Fields in the Puglia Region of Italy. At first it was thought he would lose his arm, but it was saved, though severely scared. He recovered at the hospital in Bari, Puglia, Italy. One of his "nurses" was the Hollywood actress, Madeline Carroll. (Madeline Carroll; After her only sister Marguerite was killed in "the Blitz", she radically shifted her priorities from acting to working in field hospitals as a Red Cross nurse. She served in the 61st Station Hospital, Foggia, Italy in 1944, where many wounded American airmen flying out of air bases aroung Foggia were hospitalized.)
We still have the flight suit that was cut off him when he was wounded. He was shot on the outgoing leg of his flight and didn't let anyone aboard know until the return leg. He nearly bleed to death before getting back to base. After talking to James Sharp, Jr. last week I found Les's honorable discharge card. It showed the ser. no. above and "3508th AAF BU". Written by Tim Chew