419 Commanding Officer Aug. 1944 to Jan. 25 1945

Prepared by Jim Cave

Douglas Creswell Hagerman of Surbiton Saskatchewan was born in September 7, 1920 and enlisted in in the RCAF, Saskatoon, 29 April 19411. After spending time at # 2 Manning Depot, Brandon, # 7 Equipment Depot, Winnipeg and # 4 Initial Training School (I.T.S.) in Edmonton Alberta, Hagerman began his training at # 16 Elementary Flying Training School (E.F.T.S.) August 20, 1941. His first solo was recorded on September 14, for 30 minutes. His last flight at # 16 E.F.T.S. was recorded on October 9. He then proceeded to #4 Service Flying Training School, (S.F.T.S.) at Saskatoon on October 11 and recorded his first “Familiarization” flight on the twin-engine Cessna Crane with P/O Statham on October 13 and his first solo on the type on October 22. His night flying training began on November 30 with his first solo recorded on December 1. On December 30, 1941, Hagerman was assessed as an “Average” Pilot and “Average” T.E. Pilot with no outstanding faults and graduated 2 January 1942, receiving his commission as “Pilot Officer”.

P/O Hagerman proceeded overseas on the S.S. Vollundam in early 1942 and arrived at #3 P.R.C. in Bournemouth Dorset. On April 4, 1942 he proceeded to the #6 Advanced Flying Unit (A.F.U.) at RAF Little Rissington and to 1513 Beam Approach Training (BAT) on May 31, at Honington. He was posted to #16 Operational Training Unit (O.T.U.) at Upper Heyford on June 21 through September 9. P/O Hagerman completed his first flight as second pilot on the Wellington aircraft on June 6 and his first solo on the type the following day on June 7. He completed his last flight at the unit on August 31 and was assessed as an “Average” Pilot with aptitude as Pilot/Navigator and with 338 hours flying time. On September 16, 1942 P/O Hagerman was posted to No. 12 RAF Squadron initially at Binbrook but then relocated to Wickenby on September 25. On September 30, P/O Hagerman completed his first Operation as first pilot on a mine laying trip to Trefoil.

On October 2, P/O Hagerman flew as 2nd pilot with P/O Weyle on a bombing operation to Krefeld and again as 2nd pilot with P/O Weyle to Aachen. His first bombing operation as 1st pilot was on October 6 to Osnabruck. On October 13, on an operation to Kiel, P/O Hagerman “arrived at enemy coast ok. Me.110 reported 500’ above ½ minute later collided with another A/C wing damaged.” The 12 Squadron ORB records the operation was abandoned at 55o20’N 08o43’E at 2045 hours and 15,000 feet following head on collision with unidentified aircraft, twin-engined. The bomb load was jettisoned. Coincidentally, on the same raid to Kiel recorded as 5 minutes earlier at 2040 hours, P/O Hyman of RCAF 420 Squadron had a collision with a twin-engined near the coast of Denmark (ref 2) at a height of 14,000 feet on a weave to towards the north, an a/c suddenly came head on. Due to poor visibility, he did not see the a/c until it was approximately 200 yards away and a slight jar was felt. The WOP reported the tail broken. Bombs were jettisoned and the raid was aborted. The port wingtip and port wing geodetics were damaged and one foot was cut off the tail fin and rudder. The timing, location and height indicate this may have been the aircraft that collided with P/O Hagerman’s a/c although there is no definitive record of the two instances as being linked. P/O Hagerman did not fly again until November, completing two mining operations, on November 3/4 to Hoedic Island and November 17/18 to Pellworm Island. On November 15, the Squadron began conversion over to Lancaster I aircraft and training was laid on throughout November and December 1942. All conversion training occurred at the Squadron with instructors and 25 flight engineers from a number of Conversion units being transferred over and flying instructors were transferred from 103 Squadron. Hagerman first soloed on the type on November 25.

P/O Hagerman completed his first operation on Lancasters on January 9/10 1943 on a raid to Essen, flying 3 consecutive trips to Essen over a period of 2 weeks and a total of 4 trips during January. The trip to Dusseldorf on January 27 was abandoned due to engine trouble. He was promoted to the rank F/O that month. Hagerman flew 8 trips in February and is recorded as F/Lt Hagerman in the 12 Squadron ORB on the operation to Wilhelmshaven on February 11. He recorded a further 6 trips in March, not including the raid to Hamburg on March 3 which was abandoned due to overheating engines. Hagerman completed his tour with 3 more trips in April, not including his last trip to Essen which was abandoned due to two overheating engines. He was rated “Above the Average” with 617 hour flying time, and on May 24, F/Lt. Hagerman was posted to 1662 Conversion Unit at RAF Blyton, upon completion of his first tour. F/Lt. Hagerman was awarded the DFC in June 1943 and in a letter to his parents, the Minister of Defence, Charles Power wrote:

“Flight Lieutenant Hagerman has taken part in attacks against targets at Keil, Essen, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Milan, Hamburg and Berlin each time encountering heavy opposition. In October, 1942, during a sortie to Kiel, his aircraft became involved with a collision with another bomber. The aircraft became uncontrollable and fell 6,000 feet. Displaying skill courage and determination, this officer then regained control and extricated his crew from a perilous situation. Under a calm and quiet manner, Flight Lieutenant Hagerman’s fine fighting spirit has inspired confidence in his crew.”

Hagerman was promoted to S/L in January 1944 and was posted from 1662 Conversion unit to 419 Squadron May 18, 19443 with 935 hours flying time and immediately assumed command of “A” flight (ref 4) from S/L Dyer who on the completion of his tour was posted from the Squadron to 1695 (B) D.T. Flight on May 19, 19445. Hagerman completed his first operation with 419 Squadron on a raid to Mount Couple on May 31, 1944. He completed 7 trips in June 1944, to Calais, June 4; Merville, June 5 when he was attacked by a Ju.88 that was successfully chased away by return gunfire from the rear gunner Sgt. Byre; Coutances, June 6; Le Mans, June 9; Cambrai, June 12; Bientque, June 23, Bamiere, June 24. He only completed one trip in July, on the 6th, to Siracourt. Upon returning to operations, he flew to Bois de Cassan, August 4; Leu d'Esserent, August 5; Acquet August 9, Falaise August 12 and Stettin, August 16. With the posting out of W/C Pleasance to RCAF Overseas upon completion of his tour,(ref 6) W/C Hagerman assumed command of 419 Squadron on August 217.

“On his second tour of operations, S/L Doug Hagerman, DFC of Saskatoon confers over mugs of tea with F/L F.T. Judah of Edmonton, right, Moose Squadron navigation leader, on his return from a sortie against Stettin [August 16/17, 1944]. In the centre is F/O T.L. Steele of New Westminster, B.C., a navigator with 37 trips. S/L Hagerman won his DFC on his first tour for bringing home his badly damaged Wellington after colliding with a Nazi.” RCAF photo PL-31965 (ex UK-14219 dated 24 August 1944)

Hagerman completed two operations in September, one to Wilhelmshaven on the 14th and Kiel on the 15th. He completed 5 trips in October: to Bochum, October 9; Duisburg, October 14/15; Stuttgart, October 19/20; Cologne, October 30/31. In November Hagerman went to Munster, November 18 and Castrop Rauxel, November 21. In December, Hagerman went to Hagen, December 2 and his last trip to Scholven Buer, December 29, 1944. On his last trip, “W/C D.C. Hagerman finished his second operational tour on this attack, flying with a brand-new crew. He had the misfortune of having to return with all his bombs to the jettisoning area and then having considerable difficulty in getting rid of them (ref8).”

W/C Douglas Creswell Hagerman was posted to F.E. School effective January 26, 1945

Hagerman died April 6, 1997, age 76, Sherwood Park Alberta.

Transcript of audio recording of the memoirs of F/Lt. H.H.M. Cave of his service during WWII. Recorded circa 1986.