b. 25/02/1946 Fargo, North Dakota. d. 07/08/1971 A Shau Valley, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 07/08/1971 A Shau Valley, Vietnam.
Hagen was born in Fargo, North Dakota, son of Loren H. Hagen (1919 - 2002) and Eunice H. Harris Hagen (1921 - 2008). The family lived in Moorhead, Minnesota where he worked summers as a farm laborer and as a lifeguard. He was an Eagle Scout and was credited with saving the life of a swimmer at the Moorhead swimming pool in 1968. He had two brothers: Michael and Jeffrey.
His father was transferred to Decatur, Illinois his sophomore year of high school. He attended MacArthur High School in Decatur where he was student council president and graduated in 1964. After high school he returned to Minnesota and enrolled at North Dakota State University where He received a degree in engineering, industrial science and math. After college he enlisted in the Army. He attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning and then was trained at Fort Bragg and became a member of the 5th Special Forces, Green Berets.
Hagen joined the Army from his birth city of Fargo, North Dakota in 1968, and by August 7, 1971 was serving as a first lieutenant in command of special Recon Team (RT) Kansas, a mixed unit of U.S. Army Special Forces and Montagnard commandos from Task Force One Advisory Element (TF1AE), also known as Command & Control North (CCN) with MACV-SOG (name changed in March 1971 to "TAG" Training Advisory Group, U.S. Army).
1st Lt. Hagen distinguished himself in action while serving as the team leader of a small special reconnaissance team operating deep within enemy-held territory. At approximately 0630 hours on the morning of 7 August 1971 the small team came under a fierce assault by a superior-sized enemy force using heavy small arms, automatic weapons, mortar, and rocket fire. 1st Lt. Hagen immediately began returning small-arms fire upon the attackers and successfully led this team in repelling the first enemy onslaught. He then quickly deployed his men into more strategic defense locations before the enemy struck again in an attempt to overrun and annihilate the beleaguered team's members. 1st Lt. Hagen repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy fire directed at him as he constantly moved about the team's perimeter, directing fire, rallying the members, and resupplying the team with ammunition, while courageously returning small arms and hand grenade fire in a valorous attempt to repel the advancing enemy force. The courageous actions and expert leadership abilities of 1st Lt. Hagen were a great source of inspiration and instilled confidence in the team members. After observing an enemy rocket make a direct hit on and destroy 1 of the team's bunkers, 1st Lt. Hagen moved toward the wrecked bunker in search for team members despite the fact that the enemy force now controlled the bunker area. With total disregard for his own personal safety, he crawled through the enemy fire while returning small-arms fire upon the enemy force. Undaunted by the enemy rockets and grenades impacting all around him, 1st Lt. Hagen desperately advanced upon the destroyed bunker until he was fatally wounded by enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, 1st Lt. Hagen's courageous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him and the U.S. Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA
Section 28, Grave 1204