|2nd Infantry Division troops in door-to-door fighting in Brest where Pvt. Hagler was killed.|
He was born on April 28, 1917 in Alabama. His parents were also both born in Alabama. His father was a farmer who died when James was seven years old. His mother remarried and James and his older brother and two older sisters where raised with his stepfather.
James joined the army on January 5, 1944. He had one year of high school, was married at the time, and had been working in a manufacturing job. He became a private in Company D, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
The 2nd Division was already in Europe when Pvt. Hagler joined the army so he joined Company D as a replacement soldier at some time. The 2nd Division landed on Omaha Beach on D+1. It was fully engaged in the Allied effort to break out of Normandy. It's next assignment was to take Brest, a major port for German U-Boats. The Germans had plenty of ammunition and were defending a city with many defensive positions. It took six weeks of house-to-house fighting to defeat the Germans. Pvt. Hagler was killed during the fourth week on September 3, 1944, one of more than 4,000 American casualties.
His remains were returned to be buried at Methodist Church Cemetery in Louisville, Alabama.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100