Branch: U. S. Army

   Rank:  Private

   Status: Killed in action

   Date of Service: WWII

   Home Town: Cosmos, MN

1st Armored Division Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Harold Bernard Hagstrom was born May 31, 1914 in Meeker County, Minnesota to Gustaf W and Ida Benson Hagstrom. Gustaf was the son of Swedish immigrants who was raised on a farm in Collinwood Township of Meeker County. After his marriage to Ida on January 14, 1903, he continued to farm in that township. Gustaf and Ida had seven children: Mabel, Agnes, Helmer, Helen, Harold, Henry and Hazel. The children attended school through the 8th grade, then the boys helped their father out on the farm.

The family had a string of tragedies in the 1920s. Mother Ida died in July of 1923, Mabel, age 21, died in 1925, and Helen, age 17, died in 1928. Gustaf packed up the family and moved them to a farm in Brookfield Township of Renville County during the Great Depression. The farm was not far from the town of Cosmos, good farming country.

Harold was employed by his father on the home farm when he registered for the draft in 1940. He was 26 years old, 5’8”, 140 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair.

The exact date Harold was drafted in unknown, but he became a member of the 6th Armed Infantry Battalion, 1st Armored Division. Unfortunately, this was the first armored division of the U.S. Army to see battle in WWII. The 6th staged at Fort Dix, New Jersey on April 8, 1942, readying for departure to Ireland on May 31 from the Port of New York. They arrived in Ireland on June 11 and then prepared for their entry into North Africa. They arrived in North Africa on December 21, 1942, but Harold never got to see the New Year. He was killed in action in North Africa some time within the next 10 days. He was 28 years old.

Harold’s family buried him in Stockholm Lutheran Church Cemetery, Stockholm, Wright County, Minnesota, near his mother and sisters.