Local Medal of Honor recipient dies

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Charles C. Hagemeister

Medal of Honor recipient and longtime Leavenworth resident Charles C. Hagemeister died last week.

Hagemeister died May 19. He was 74, according to an obituary posted on the website of Belden-Larkin Funeral Home.

Hagemeister grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska.

He was drafted into the Army in 1966. He ended up serving 24 years in the Army.

Hagemeister received the Medal of Honor for actions he took March 20, 1967, while serving as a medic in Vietnam.

Hagemeister’s platoon became surrounded on three sides by enemy soldiers.

“For the next seven and a half hours, Hagemeister unhesitatingly faced the heavy fire several times to reach the wounded, offering medical aid and encouragement,” according to a news release from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

“Prevented from evacuating the wounded by the hostile fire, he seized a rifle and eliminated a sniper, an enemy machine gun, and three enemy soldiers trying to encircle his position,” the news release continues. “With his men pinned down, Hagemeister ran to secure help from nearby platoon and positioned them so that he could more safely remove the wounded. He continued to evacuate the wounded as the enemy continued firing.”

He retired from the Army in 1990 with the rank of lieutenant colonel, according to his obituary.

A sign on South Fourth Street honors Charles Hagemeister as one of two Medal of Honor recipients to call Leavenworth home.

Hagemeister and his family remained in Leavenworth after he retired from the Army.

Friend Diana Pitts said Hagemeister was someone who “was there to help people to make sure that what needed to get done got done.”

“Chuck was somebody who would do something for anyone,” she said.

Hagemeister is survived by his wife, Barbara, two children and two grandchildren.

His funeral will take place at 11 a.m. today at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Interment with full military honors will take place at 1:30 p.m. today at Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR