Hyrum was born at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska on January 17, 1995 to Jim and Priscilla Hanlon. He said that his earliest memory was “looking with amazement on snowy mountains from an airplane window.” His grandpa, Samuel Richards, encouraged his interest in aviation and military service, taking him to air shows at Elmendorf Airforce Base. As a young child, his hero was Buzz Lightyear, and he dreamed of space exploration.
In 2011, he paid half his way to attend the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar in Annapolis, Maryland. This was a major turning point for him; he returned from the experience determined to join the Navy. As a result, he graduated third in the Class of 2013 from Snowflake High School. Hyrum then graduated from Arizona State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering with a focus in Astronautics in 2017.
After Hyrum was commissioned into the United States Navy on May 10, 2017, he reported to Pensacola for Aviation Preflight Indoctrination. He then reported for Primary Flight Training at Whiting Field with Training Squadron Six (VT-6) where he flew the T-6 Texan II. Upon selection into the Navy’s E-2/C-2 program, Hyrum transferred to Corpus Christi where he began Intermediate Flight Training with VT-31 flying the T-44 Pegasus multi-engine training aircraft. Hyrum finally reported to Kingsville to complete Advanced Flight Training with VT-22 in the T-45 Goshawk single-seat jet trainer. On December 13th, 2020, he successfully completed his carrier landing qualifications on the USS Gerald R. Ford. On December 17, 2020, Hyrum received his “Wings of Gold”, officially becoming a Naval Aviator. He was selected for the E-2 Hawkeye and began training in Norfolk, Virginia.
Hyrum was a well-rounded Renaissance Man who pursued excellence and self-mastery. He was outgoing and gregarious, and enjoyed reading, science and history. He was restless, disciplined, tough, goofy and joyful. He played piano and dabbled in painting. But mostly, Hyrum loved to spend time with his friends, whom he loved deeply. He worked hard, played hard, and lived life to the fullest.
Hyrum is survived by his parents, Jim and Priscilla; his siblings Saera Uí Chearnaigh (Deóis Ua Cearnaigh), Krista (Ryan) Slone, James (Katherine), Bryan (Rachel) and Isaiah; his grandmother, Mildred Richards; his nieces and nephews Riley, Samantha, Madalyn and Séadanda; and many cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.