STAFF SERGEANT JOHN J. HAGAN JR. was born in Pennsylvania in 1918. He grew up in the Bettlewood section of Haddon Township, and had lived at 12 East Park Avenue. He was a 1935 graduate of Collingswood (NJ) High School, where he took the General course of studies. His yearbook described him as "A quiet lad who accomplishes many things". He had worked at the John Wanamaker Department Store in Philadelphia before entering the service on May 11, 1942 at Fort Dix NJ. He underwent basic training at Camp Croft SC, and subsequently served at Camp Gordon GA, Fort Dix NJ, Camp Gordon-Johnson FL, and Fort Jackson SC. John Hagan Jr. was assigned to the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division and had been promoted to staff sergeant by June of 1944.
Sergeant Hagan went overseas with his unit in January of 1944, and landed on Utah Beach with on D-Day, June 6, 1944. A letter, dated July 2, described his D-Day experiences, and the hasty return of the French populace after the Germans had been driven from their homes.
Sergeant Hagan participated in the capture of Montebourg, and was in the battle for Cherbourg, when he suffered the injuries which took his life. He was mortally wounded when the jeep he was riding in hit a landmine near Cherbourg France on July 8, 1944. He was evacuated to the 160th General Hospital in the United Kingdom, where he died from his wounds on July 15, 1944 at the age of 26. His death was reported in the August 21, 1944 edition of the Camden Courier-Post.
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