Donald Hagerman

Email from Cindy Hagerman McCashin: Hi Woody. Thanks for your e-mail. Here’s the rather sketchy information I have on my dad’s association with the 57th. 

Donald L. Hagerman, Feb. 8, 1943 – Dec. 7, 2008
Join the AAF on Nov. 25, 1942 – Retired June 30, 1970

His last rank in the USAF Reserves was Major, and he was a pilot. He got out of the service after WWII, was a civilian for 5 or 6 years, but when his 2 daughters were still young he re-enlisted as he missed flying.

He then flew C-119s in Germany and France in the early 1950s (stationed at Neubiberg and Evreux-Fauville). In 1958 he began flying B-47s and was part of SAC at Lockbourne AFB in Columbus, Ohio, and then in the early 1960s he was stationed at Fuchu AB near Tachikawa, still flying the B-47. He retired in June 1970 from Sewart AFB in Smyrna, TN.

Notes from his “memoirs” - “My first flight in a C-47 was on August. 16, 1944.”

His notes say he met up with the 57th Troop Carrier Squadron in New Guinea at Nadzab Airfield. He says they flew to Sydney, Australia about every 10 days. His good buddy’s name was “Mort” … and I should know his last name but can’t think of it right now.

He says he wasn’t always sure what their flight destinations were due to security, but among the places he does mention are Hollandia, Aitape, Madang, Peleliu and Biak. On Biak Island he says they changed to flying the C-46 Commando.

He says he trained for the paratroop drop on Corregidor Island scheduled to take place on Feb. 16, 1945, but got a mean case of strep throat and ended up in the hospital instead.

He says that after that he flew missions for the evacuation of some prisoners of war that the Japanese had held in Manila, and flew out some families – mostly widows - that had been in the islands as missionaries.

His group moved to Clark Field at some point and then, after the war, to Okinawa to move troops to Japan for the occupation. In late Sept. of 1945 they moved to Tachikawa Air Base before he came back to the States, was discharged and joined the Reserves.

He didn’t talk about the war a lot until we pressed him for “stories” as he got older and we were afraid his “history” would be lost. He wrote some of them down for us, but the details of exact dates and squadron numbers, etc., are sometimes vague in his “history.”

Our family hopes this helps identify which years he was with the group. Thanks for your part in trying to preserve their history! We look forward to keeping an eye on the website.

Sincerely,

Cindy Hagerman McCashin