Help me find the family of Clarence L. Hagen.

| January 11, 2013

I’m trying to draft up a response to the neverending Cease and Desist letters we get here at TAH HQ.  I fricken hate lawyers.  When in walks a friend who places a Silver Star and a Purple Heart on my desk, and asks me to find the family.  Screw the lawyer stuff, I’m shifting to the Lord’s work.

Clarence L. Hagen was a hero, a Marine, a Minnesotan, and our brother.  And he died June 17, 1944.  But he didn’t die alone.

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private First Class Clarence L. Hagen (MCSN: 882176), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, SECOND Marine Division in action against enemy Japanese forces on Saipan Island, Marianas Islands on 17 June 1944. Courageous and aggressive in the face of terrific fire from Japanese guns, Private First Class Hagen, landing on Saipan with the assault wave, pushed his way forward despite fierce enemy resistance and had advanced several yards beyond the beach when his platoon was pinned down by fire from an enemy machine gun. Voluntarily exposing himself to the intense hostile fire, he succeeded in destroying the Japanese Machine gun and its crew thereby enabling his platoon to reorganize and continue the advance before he was mortally wounded. By his unwavering devotion to duty and determination, Private First Class Hagen contributed materially to the ultimate success of this vital campaign. His exemplary conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Unites States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Commander in Chief, Pacific: Serial 1508 (February 22, 1945)

Action Date: June 17, 1944

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Private First Class

Battalion: 3d Battalion

Regiment: 6th Marines

Division: 2d Marine Division


This is his Silver Star and his purple heart, along with a note from a WONDERFUL MAN named Ed in Maine, who writes

Hope you can locate family. Tried in East x Maine x No luck. Found in abandoned truck.

Silver Star

I want to know a family contact, and want it yesterday. And I won’t mail this, because I’m not letting it out of my sight until it is either with the family, or a museum. Because he was our brother, and we need to look out for each other, even if it is just a medal from 70 years after we pass. That’s what we truly served for.

Category: Politics, Real Soldiers

Comments (67)

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  1. USMCE8Ret says:

    Jonn. I’m close to Quantico. I’ll help if I can.

  2. © Sponge says:

    It truly is God’s work, what you guys do.

    Keep it up and thank you for doing it.

  3. NHSparky says:

    This is one of those times where if we had unlimited access to a site like (sadly, I do not) this job might be a bit easier.

  4. Chip@NASA says:

    I have family up in south Maine and can ask on FB.
    They are tied to the LE community. Maybe that will help.

  5. JQ says:

    NHSparky, I have a paid account on Ancestry. Let me check. The problem is that living people are often hidden.

  6. Star says:

    Please let me know if I can help. I live in Texas

  7. Kanani says:

    Talk to Taco’s Mom.

  8. Took a flyer and called 2nd MARDIV PIO. They requested the link, so I sent them the page and the article.

  9. NHSparky says:

    TSO–what part of Maine did you get this from, if I may ask? Perhaps I can contact some of the PD’s there or access some public records if they’re anywhere from, say, Portland or points south.

  10. Mustang says:

    Found this from a newspaper in 1944. It reports that he’s from Chicago.——-en-20–1–txt-IN—–

    It’s just his name, rank and town though.

  11. Old Tanker says:

    Sure wish I knew how to help…Good luck!! I sure hope his family is found!

  12. CBSenior says:

    Home of Record was Chicago Ill. Place of Birth Albert Lea Minnasota.

  13. NHSparky says:

    Okay, I see where the folks who found them had no luck, TSO, but perhaps if there was a plate on the truck (unlikely, I know) the local LEO’s could trace to last known owner based on registration.

  14. Mustang says:

    More from number 11. Mother was Mary Leinhold (divorced), from Cook, Illinois. Seems she passed away in 1985. Note sure if PFC Hagen had no wife/children so I’m looking for any leads I can find from his mother’s relations.

  15. Chip@NASA says:

    Passed it along to any family I have. My nephew is a Marine and I should also pass it along to folks on my wife’s side of the family too. Marines and Navy there.
    I posted it on the Stolen Valor page as well.
    I’m sure the internet and the communities can generate some leads!

  16. RichK says:

    This website lists his mother’s address in Chicago:
    Her name is Mary Leinhold, I did a white pages search which shows no one by that name in Chicago, but there is a Mary Leinhold in Tucson, AZ. I could not get her number from the web. You may have better luck.

  17. Al T. says:

    Not sure I can help, but hopefully Ed reads this entry. God Bless you ED.

  18. kay says:

    This link is to a member tree on, the date of death is a match, and the date of birth would make him 20 when he died, born in Minnesota. Mother on the birth certificate is Mary Jensen, father Clarence Hagen.

  19. sally says:

    Clarence L Hagen b 1925 to Clarence and Carla Hagen Albert Lea MN. Died June 17 1944. He has living nieces and nephews I can contact on and yes I have unlimited access, paid member of the the site. I am messaging family member now.

  20. ROS says:

    You have mail.

  21. Diane Zerr says:

    I found a record on Ancestry

    Combat Naval Casualties, World War II, (AL-MO)

    HAGEN, Clarence L., PFC. USMCR.
    Mother Mrs. Mary Leinhold, 4338
    Lawrence Ave., Chicago

    and on a WWI Draft Registration card it says he has a wife and one child. Is this him?

  22. Karen O. says:

    Posted this to some friends in Minnesota asking that they will share it with friends there…hope you can find them!

  23. Dave Thul says:

    Albert Lea is about 20 miles south of me and I know the commander of the VFW if you need any info from there. Let me know.

  24. Mustang says:

    @20 If that doesn’t pan out, looks like his step-father’s name was Nick Leinhold.

    Looks as though his mother went through a few name changes. She was known as Clara Jensen -> Clara Hagen -> Mary Hagen, then Mary Leinhold.

  25. Hondo says:

    Just my 2 cents worth, but apparently Hagen may have had a wife and child at the time of his death. In my book, they and their descendants are the ones who should have first claim on these medals.

    Hagen’s records at NARA might well contain information identifying his spouse and child; however, I don’t know if that info would normally be releasable under the FOIA. And accessing archival records generally ain’t without cost; that’s why we don’t have Pequignot’s posted here at TAH (his records are archival and NARA wanted what I thought was a fairly steep fee to retrieve them).

    However, if the USMC requested Hagan’s records from NARA that might be a different issue. Among the services, the USMC proverbially prays at the altar of honor. I think if anyone here has a good contact at HQMC – particularly among the more senior NCOs stationed there – that might be just the ticket.

    Again: just my opinion, and YMMV.

  26. Elaine says:

    I found his family on and sent a note to them. This Clarence has the same death date and is from Freeborn County, Minnesota. Hope this works out ok. If you want more info, contact me.

  27. Mustang says:

    @22 Does it have the name of his wife on there? We can’t see the info on that link unless we have a membership.

  28. Geetwillickers says:

    I sent a star cluster to a WWII vet organization in Chicago I have contacts with to see what distribution they can get for this.

  29. OWB says:

    Good work everyone!

  30. Barb says:

    If those sources don’t get you what you need – so to That is the Marine Corps history museum. I was looking for records on my Uncle Frank – who was also part of the 3rd Battalion/6th Marine Div and made the ultimate sacrifice on Okinawa. (I wonder if they knew one another?)

    They were really great at getting me Uncle Frank’s original casualty card with complete information – including NOK.

    Thanks for the work you are doing!!


  31. otis says:

    if you don’t find info for his family, try a couple of things. 1) send e-mail link with this hero’s story to ; Howard “Buck” McKeon, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. If he or his staff can’t pull out military information that can help, no one can.
    2) Marine Hagen would have had military life insurance. Someone would have collected when told he was killed.
    3) There is a Social Security Death Index, it may help find who may have collected any benefits.

  32. RandomNCO says:

    Has anyone stopped to consider that maybe the family had them in the first place and didn’t care enough to try and find them once they junked the truck?

    I mean, obviously the veteran wasn’t the one who had them considering he was dead, so somebody would have gotten them for him. Which could have been family, who ended up just leaving them in some old truck and junking it.

    Just thinking, maybe it’d be better off going to a museum.

  33. TSO says:

    @34 considered but want to verify that before I donate to museum. Truck could have been stolen with belongings for all we know. But I will proceed with open cautious mind.

  34. jerry920 says:

    I can contribute nothing but my increased admiration for the caring humans that frequent this blog.

  35. NHock says:

    I know someone at HQMC and passed the info along. Don’t know if it’ll pan out, but he’s an officer that might get somewhere with this.

    At least you’re looking. Yeah, maybe they might have left them behind, but it’s better to find out than not care at all!

  36. Friends: CPT Zachariah Fike, an active duty Vermont National Guardsman, operates a 501(C) (3) program called “Purple Hearts Reunited” which specializes in locating the living family members of lost or stolen Purple Heart medals. He sets up a special presentation ceremony that includes a return of ALL the medals the individual was entitled to as well as an American Flag that has been appropriately flown, all within a special presentation case. I would recommend that you and/or your friends contact CPT Fike for advice on setting up an appropriate ceremony for the family of Clarence Hagen. Zac can be reached by phone at (315) 523-3609 or by email at crossfitnation(at)hotmail(dot)com.

  37. Teresa Guerrero Impson says:

    I’ve sent several e-mails; will advise soonest. God Bless!

  38. Edward1811 says:

    I used to live on Saipan, not a place I would want to fight a battle… The Higgins boats and a couple tanks are still rusting away on the reefs. God bless the Marines that took that beach.

  39. Elizabeth Hanneman-Clarke Share intel on the Lawyer stuff… I might be able to assist with the stupid stuff. So you can concentrate on the important things.. like this.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Hagan, Clarence L. (b. 06 JUN 1924, d. 17 JUN 1944)

    Census: Date: 1930
    Place: MN,Freeborn Co. Roll 1087, Bk 1, Pg 72

  41. Mustang says:

    @25 Not sure that’s the right Clarence Hagen. If those dates are right then he would have only been 10 years old when his son was born.

  42. I have access to if you need it…

  43. streetsweeper says:

    I checked NARA Online. Records available are for the US Army & Reserve enlistments 1936-1945, Navy Intel (China).

  44. streetsweeper says:

    I searched NARA Online. Records available are for the US Army & Reserve enlistments 1936-1945, Navy Intel (China).

  45. Smaj says:

    This story just increases my admiration for those who frequent this site. It would be an absolute honor to be present when you pass the awards to the nest of kin.

  46. USMCE8Ret says:

    @27 & 37: I’ve got feelers out at HQMC already, and will coontact the PAO to perhaps lend a hand on Monday. I got this story a little late today, so my initial calls to Manpower were placed a little late in the day. Perhaps we can dredge up enough adequate information to find a family member soon. I will also push to get actual records released. Not sure where that will lead.

  47. Just an Old Dog says:

    Woe you guys are quick looking stuff up!!,, I found a little info. He was in 1st BN RTR and then Inf Training at campElliot in Oct 1943. He was assigned to a CASREPCO with an FPO Sa Fran Address in Jan 1944.