A Hero`s Story | VideoKristin Clouston | 11/12/2012
At 93 years old, Louis Hanson still talks about the war like it was yesterday.
"We landed in Guadalcanal October 14th, 1942. I thought that night the world was going to come to an end. They started bombing us from the air, shelling us from the sea, which was unbelievable," he said. "I weighed 132 lbs when I went into Guadalcanal and when we left there I only weighed 99 lbs in six months. I got malaria many times and yellow jaundice and had otitis and a couple other things."
The regiment served overseas for 3-1/2 years, with over 600 days fighting. During that time 325 were killed, and 1,193 were wounded.
"I got wounded on Negros Island and my name finally got called for a rotation to come home. Some of them had gone home a year before that but mine was the last one to be drawn," Hanson said. "and on the 9th day of August in `45, just ready to pull into Pearl Harbor, and gosh the planes started to dive bomb and ships started shooting and a big artillery flash we could see in the mountains. And we figured what in the world is going on? Another Pearl Harbor? After that and all at once on that steel deck, the captain on the ship says we have a special announcement and ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. He rang a little bell. I hear that bell many times. And he says, `The war is officially over. We just dropped our second atomic bomb.` It got so quiet on that deck. I think if someone would have dropped a stick pin on the deck we would have hit the deck."
Hanson made it home safely, but those who didn`t will never be forgotten. A memorial stands at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetary honoring those who served and gave their lives for our country.
You can find more information about the 164th Infantry on the North Dakota National Guard Website.