Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans Memorial Park Honors Submariner Capt Butch Hansen, USN Ret.

  • June 19, 2015
  • /   Emmalee Sutton
  • /   Post Tags

The Veterans Memorial Park Foundation is proud to commend the submariners in the month of June, but even more so excited to share the story of our very own submariner and President of the Foundation, Captain Butch Hansen. After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1975 with a BS in Ocean Engineering, Hansen went on to receive training in nuclear power. Hansen began his career as a submariner in 1976 upon submarine training completion. He immediately began a 6 month Mediterranean deployment and received engineer officer qualifications.

Submarine history in the U.S. begins in the Civil War period. Many unsuccessful attempts were made in the beginning stages of he evolution of submarine warfare. This type of weaponry and warfare became widely used in WWII, namely by the Germans. American submarines evolved and took effect shortly after the attack of Pearl Harbor when the U.S. submariners bravely fought the Japanese. The U.S. Navy submarines performed a variety of daunting tasks such as landing special forces and guerrilla troops, performing search and rescue missions, and "lifeboat league," where submarines were stationed to close targets and pilots were informed to get rid of damaged planes near submarines in order to be recued by them.  One of the most demanding tasks soon became the rescue of American pilots who'd been shot down. In WWII, the U.S. lost 52 submarines, representing the highest casualty percentage of any U.S. military branch.

Hansen's military career continuted as a Force Retention Officer and Operations Watch Officer at Commander Submarine Forces Atlantic, engineer officer on USS GLENARD P. LIPSCOMB (SSN 685), and an attack submarine that housed a nuclear populsion plant. He completed a Mediterranean deployment as well as an 18 month shipyard availability. In 1987, Hansen reported as Executive Officer of USS BATON ROUGE (SSN 689) and completed another Mediterranean deployment in addition to two North Atlantic deployments.

Captain Hansen proceeded to become the seventh commanding Officer of USS BERGALL (SSM 667) in March of 1991, and over the 30 months that followed, BERGALL completed three North Atlantic deployments, being recognized and receiving the prestigious Navy Unit Commendation, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Battle of Efficiency "E."Hansen's military resume continued as he served as a deputy commander, a Political Military Planner on the Joint Cheifs of Staff, Senior Member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, and even earning a Masters Degree in Strategic Planning. Later he took Command of Submarine Squadron 20, where he was the operational commander of ten Trident Submarine crews. This Squadron received the Meritorious Unit Commendation while under his command.

As the director of Assessments Division on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, Hansen's naval career drew to a close. Over his military career, he received the Legion of Merit (5 awards), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4 awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Acheivement Medal (2 awards).

Hansen's active career may have come to a close, but he is the proud father of Active Duty Army Captain, Cpt. Joseph Hansen, USA of 1-10 Special Forces Group, Stuttgart Germany who recently participated in the 71st anniversary parajump into Normandy, France, commemorating D-Day with a parachute jump into Memorial Field. This jump was completed 71 years after his grandfather, Joseph Lee, completed it with the 82nd Airborne in 1944. Joseph Lee earned the Silver Star for his dedication in combat in Northern France. The Hansen family is certainly rich in military history and outstanding accomplishments in their service to our great nation.

To learn more about Cpt. Joseph Hansen's homage to D-Day, visit these links


Veterans Memorial Park