Bruno P. Hagedorn

Bruno Paul Hagedorn
1439 Munn Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ
Wife, Mrs. Vibeke “Becky” Hagedorn
October 22, 1917
April 15, 1936
June 4, 1942
Central Pacific
MIA / Declared Dead
On 4 June 1942, Second Lieutenant Hagedorn flew a Douglas Dauntless (SBD-2 #2139) in an attack on a Japanese carrier strike force in the battle of Midway. He and his gunner, PFC Joseph T. Piraneo, were presumed shot down by fighters or flak while diving on the carrier Hiryū.
Lieutenant Hagedorn’s remains were never found, and he was declared dead on 5 June 1943.
Navy Cross, Purple Heart
Second Lieutenant
Not Recovered.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Special thanks to Karen Graf and Jerry Hagedorn for their permission to use Bruno Hagedorn’s personal letters and photos.

Temporarily removed for editing and updating. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.

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6 Replies to “Bruno P. Hagedorn”

  1. Comment from Karen Graf
    9 November 2012

    Bruno Hagedorn was my Uncle — Although I was born too late to meet him, I feel like I know him from reading saved letters he sent to his family between February 7, 1942 and May 28, 1942. My cousin stumbled on your website yesterday while helping her son with a Veterans Day project and shared it with me. Your information is wonderful — thank you so much for compiling it. It seems to be very accurate based on some research I did several years ago.
    Bruno Hagedorn’s mother’s name was Alma Hagedorn. He graduated from Barringer High School in Newark, NJ in 1935 and earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from Newark College of Engineering in 1939.

    1. Reply on 9 November 2012

      Hi Karen – thanks for writing and for the corrections! I’m always glad to hear from family members, and if you need any more information from me, please let me know! I was in touch with some members of PFC Piraneo’s family a long time ago, but unfortunately haven’t heard from them in a while.

      Do you still have his letters? I’d be very interested to know what he said about his time in the Corps!


      1. Reply on 13 November 2012

        Thank you for posting the updates so quickly. I do have the letters. I recently scanned them and have them all saved as pdf files. Because of censorship, his letters were mostly small talk but if you would like to see any of them, I would be happy to share them.

  2. Comment from Jerry Hagedorn
    13 November 2012

    I must also thank you for this research and article. My name is Jerry Alfred Hagedorn. Alfred Paul Hagedorn was my Grandfather, John Arend Hagedorn (Bruno Paul Hagedorn’s older brother) was my Father. I also, like my cousin Karen, never met our heroic uncle. Veterans Day always makes me wish things had turned our differently in our family. I also have some letters that my father had received from Bruno after he was transferred to Midway. I believe he was “line officer” for his flight group. My father was stationed in Fort Sill Oklahoma as an armorment instructor and was then sent to Burma. I believe he received the notice of his brother’s death while he was there. I have a letter that my Grandfather sent my father telling him that Bruno was missing.. A few years ago I went to the Pensacola base where my uncle did his final flight training and did some research. There is an article there written by the Commander giving a pretty concise description of the battle.
    I’ve never seen the group picture you have in your article. What do the “X’s” on the vests mean?

    1. Reply on 13 November 2012

      Hi Jerry,
      My grandfather was at Fort Sill during the war as well! He also went to the CBI theater; he was a horse breaker with the army’s 699th Quartermaster Remount Troop. Wouldn’t it be something if they’d crossed paths at some point?

      My great uncle and my first cousin (twice removed) both died in the Pacific; one aboard the USS Quincy (he is listed as missing) and one with the Marines on Saipan. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the Marines that served with my relative, though talking to them makes me wish, like you, that things had gone differently.

      The picture is from Robert Cressman’s book “A Glorious Page in Our History.” The “Xs” on the vests were added after the battle to show the pilots who were lost in the fighting. I haven’t got the key in front of me, but they are all profiled on the site, and if memory serves it was taken in late May, not long before the battle.

      I’d be very interested to know what Bruno was writing to his brother leading up to the battle. You can contact me at – it’s a pleasure to meet you and Karen.

      1. Reply on 14 November 2012

        Karen and I will be corresponding and send you copies of the letters we have. My father spoke about a farrier at fort sill that he used to go “to town” with. unforturnately I don’t remember his name. He wound up somewhere in Burma working on what has to be the early beginnings of the unmanned drones we have today. He worked on a hydaulic launch system. I don’t know if it was successful or not.

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