Wiilard Hagman, B-17 Bombardier


Willard Hagman

Willard M. Hagman, 85, Aitkin, completed his final mission on Wed., Oct. 15, 2008, at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. Willard’s daughter Terry writes, “Thank you so much for (writing about my dad in your newsletter.)” Dad's military service was important to him and to us. He took us children to England and Germany to show us the places where the airfield was at the Great Ashfield in England. And he wanted to stand at the intersection in Berlin where he dropped the bombs!!! We said, Dad, don't tell anyone that you were the Bombardier on the B-17, The Wandering Duchess, that did it!!!” “Besides mother getting her flag, it was arranged for us children to each receive one also. Very cool,” writes Terry Hagman. Willard was born March 27, 1923, in Minneapolis, Minn. He grew up in the Aitkin area. In 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served during World War II. He served in the 8th Air Force as a bombardier on a B-17. He flew 35 missions. He was discharged in 1945 and married Lois E. Nickander on May 26, 1945.  They dairy farmed in Kimberly Township until 1979. He was a proud member of the Minnesota Chapter of the 8th Air Force. Willard was a life member of the American Legion and VFW Posts in Aitkin. He was very proud to have been a part of the 8th Air Force and its work in the European theater.