|Pilot Tribune 5 March 1953|
Boy’s Fate is Mystery
Former Blair Boy May Or May Not have Been Able To Parachute
Just what happened to Lt. Donald Hagge, 24-year-old former Blair school student, remains a mystery – but at least part of the mystery was cleared up this week.
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Koenig of Blair, uncle and aunt of the missing Navy pilot, learned that the young airman was completing a mission over enemy territory in Korea when he was shot down.
His plane, hit by ground fire from the Communist positions, is reported to have crashed in enemy territory. It could not be ascertained whether Lt. Hagge was able to bail out before the crash.
Lt. Hagge’s mother, Mrs. Chester Davis, now lives in San Diego, Calif. Lt. Hagge once lived north of Blair with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Koenig. He attended Pleasant View School.
As a pilot aboard the U.S.S. Kearsarge, he was scheduled to have been rotated back home this month. He was officially listed missing in action on Febr. 8.
Pilot Tribune 26 March 1953
Now Believe Hagge Killed
“Buddy” Says Ex-Blairite Couldn’t Have Survived Korean Crash
Apparently a former Blairite, Lt. Donald Hagge, was killed when his plane crashed over Communist territory a number of weeks ago. That was the word brought to Lt. Hagge’s mother, Mrs. Chester Davis, in California by a buddy who served aboard an aircraft carrier with him. Officially, the ex Blairite is still listed as missing in action.
The youth’s uncle and aunt Mr. and Mrs. Walter Koenig, have returned to Blair from California, and were at the Davis home when Lt. Hagge’s friend arrived with word that he was certain Hagge died I the crash of his Navy plane. He said the area was patrolled a day and a half without signs of Hagge’s having survived.
American Battle Monuments Commission
Donald Hugo Hagge
San Diego, California
Born September 19, 1928
Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy
Missing in Action – Presumed Dead
Died February 8, 1953 in Korea
Lieutenant Junior Grade Hagge was the pilot of an AD-4 Skyraider dive bomber with Attack Squadron 145 (702) on board the carrier USS Kearsarge (CVA-33). On February 8, 1953, while on a “Cherokee” mission, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed approximately 20 miles north of Hwachon Reservoir, North Korea. He was presumed dead June 14, 1954. For his leadership and valor, Lieutenant Junior Grade Hagge was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Gold Star, the Navy Commendation Ribbon, the Purple Heart, the Combat Service Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal.
~~~ Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~