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.
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.