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Eugene Ralph Hanks

Date of birth: December 11, 1918
Place of Birth: California, Corning
Home of record: Corning California

Eugene Hands became a World War II Navy ACE, credited with shooting down six enemy aircraft in aerial combat. He retired as a U.S. Navy Captain.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Eugene Ralph Hanks, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron SIXTEEN (VF-16), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-6), during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands Areas from 19 to 24 November 1943. Gallantly leading his four-plane combat team as part of a twelve plane air patrol intercepting a strong force of hostile aircraft on 23 November Lieutenant Hanks fought his plane boldly and with relentless determination and, although outnumbered nearly two to one, personally shot down five Japanese planes and probably another of the seventeen destroyed during the bitter engagement. Again vastly outnumbered the following day, he continued his bold tactics and, despite his disadvantageous position, directed a brilliantly executed attack to destroy ten hostile fighters and two bombers. By his outstanding ability as a leader and an airman, Lieutenant Hanks contributed materially to the success of our aerial operations in the Pacific war area, and his valiant devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: November 19 - 24, 1943

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade

Company: Fighting Squadron 16 (VF-16)

Division: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Captain Eugene Ralph Hanks, United States Navy, was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States.

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant, Junior Grade Eugene Ralph Hanks, United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Fighter Pilot in Fighting Squadron SIXTEEN (VF-16), in action during World War II.

Action Date: World War II

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade

Battalion: Fighting Squadron 16 (VF-16)

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant, Junior Grade Eugene Ralph Hanks, United States Navy, was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Fighter Pilot in Fighting Squadron SIXTEEN (VF-16), in action during World War II.

Action Date: World War II

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade

Battalion: Fighting Squadron 16 (VF-16)

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant, Junior Grade Eugene Ralph Hanks, United States Navy, was awarded a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Fighter Pilot in Fighting Squadron SIXTEEN (VF-16), in action during World War II.

Action Date: World War II

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade

Battalion: Fighting Squadron 16 (VF-16)