Steve Hanson was born on January 4, 1940, in Oxnard, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on August 21, 1963, and went on active duty to attend Officer Candidate School at MCS Quantico, Virginia, on September 30, 1963. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Marine Corps on December 20, 1963, and then completed flight training, receiving his designation as a Naval Aviator in June 1965. Lt Hanson next completed CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter transition training before serving with HMM-165 of Marine Aircraft Wing 37 at MCAF Santa Ana, California, and then with Marine Aircraft Wing 36 in South Vietnam from August 1965 until his aircraft was brought down by enemy fire and he was killed in action on June 3, 1967. Capt Hanson was officially listed as Missing in Action and was promoted to Major before being declared dead on October 4, 1974. His remains were returned to the United States on February 16, 1999, and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His Air Medal (22 Strike/Flight Awards) Citation reads:
For meritorious achievement in aerial flight as a designated Naval Aviator with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron One Hundred Sixty-five during combat missions in support of the Republic of Vietnam against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces from 10 October 1966 to 27 May 1967. While often exposed to hostile fire at close range Major (then First Lieutenant) Hanson contributed materially to the success of his Squadron. His courage and devotion to duty in the face of hazardous flying conditions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
The Numeral "22" to represent Twenty-two Strike/Flight Awards is authorized.