Wednesday, December 12, 2018

WW2 Fallen - Multiple Silver Star hero and B-17 pilot Glenn Hagenbuch

Major Glenn Hagenbuch was commanding officer of 427th Bombardment Squadron.
Glenn E. Hagenbuch never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

Glenn was born December 12, 1918 in Utica, Illinois. His parents Charles and Cora were also born in Illinois. His father was a farmer. He had one older brother and one younger brother. In 1940 Glenn had completed two years of college and was living with his parents and working on the family farm. 

Glenn enlisted September 9, 1940 as an aviation cadet and earned his pilot’s wings in April 1941. He was initially assigned to the Ferry Command based in Bangor, Maine. In November 1941, Lt. Hagenbuch was recruited to join the American Volunteer Group, the infamous “Flying Tigers”, which was formed to defend China against Japanese forces prior to the US entry into World War 2. He resigned from the USAAF and was scheduled to fly to Rangoon on December 10, 1941 to join the Flying Tigers, but as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor he was promptly re-inducted into the USAAF and sent back to Bangor. 

Lt. Hagenbuch was assigned May 1, 1942 as an original member of the 427th Bomb Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group, flying B-17F Flying Fortress heavy bombers. He married the former Margaret Spaeth of Shoshone, Idaho on September 11, 1942 shortly before the 303rd BG departed the States for England. 

The 303rd BG began flying daylight bombing missions to France and Germany out of Molesworth, England in November 1942. Lt. Hagenbuch was the pilot of B-17F 41-24619 S-for-Sugar and was promoted to captain in September 1942 and to major in March 1943, serving as the commanding officer of the 427th BS at the ripe old age of 24. On one of his bombing missions, a young war correspondent named Walter Cronkite flew as a combat observer. 

After completing his 25 mission combat tour on June 29, 1943 Major Hagenbuch was made part of a special mission to North Africa and upon his return to England was transferred to the VIII Bomber Command headquarters. He was awarded the Silver Star medal on May 13, 1943 and an Oak Leaf Cluster to this medal on September 26, 1943. 

On October 9, 1943 Major Hagenbuch was killed in a non-combat crash while flying a P-40E fighter on a check flight in England. 

Glenn E. Hagenbuch was initially buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery and was later reinterred in Waltham Cemetery in Waltham, Illinois. I could not locate any information regarding his widow Margaret.

Thank you Glenn for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Glenn.
This profile was written by Bob Fuerst. "I’m a NASA engineer, B-17 Flying Fortress enthusiast, and amateur genealogist so this kind of research is an ideal outlet for me. But more than anything, it’s a way to express my sincere appreciation for The Greatest Generation and the sacrifices that they made, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They should never be forgotten and I’m grateful to Don for allowing me to play a small part in honoring them." 

Last year on this date I profiled P-47 & P-51 ace Victor France. You can read about Victor and his P-51 pilot daughter here.

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!

I created this video to explain why I started this project:

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WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by
The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation
“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

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