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It was my pleasure this past week to play a small role in preparing an exposition for a Dutch military museum, Museum Militaire Traditie in Driebergen.

A native of Holland, August Hagers, was killed in a flying accident in Wallowa County in 1952. He was conducting aerial spraying of trees when his plane went down.

One of the museum’s curators, Goos Hageman, contacted me to see whether the Chieftain had covered the incident. Turns out we had, so I photographed all of the pertinent pages and sent them back to Goos.

“For our exposition, we would like to revive the last weeks of his life,” Goos said.

The exposition shows the personal items, medals, logbooks, diary and photobooks belonging to Hagers. He was a lieutenant in the Dutch East Indies NEI Air Force in WW II, and after the fall of Java became a top bomber pilot. Hagers was not only a bomber pilot but also flew a lot of secret missions for the Netherlands East Indies Forces Intelligence Service in 1944.

After the war, Hagers and his wife Lien (Linda) Burks emigrated to the USA where he continued his flying career. They apparently resided in Wallowa County for a short period of time prior to the crash.

The reports indicated several of the Hagers’ neighbors helped Linda with arrangements and getting her hooked up with the Dutch Consulate in Seattle.

Goos believes the company Hagers worked for when his plane crashed was owned by Abe Zahn, although we were not able to corroborate that information. If you have any other information about the Hagers you would like to share, contact me, and I will send you Goos’ email address.

Driebergen is located around an hour south and east of Amsterdam. Goos sends an invitation to any Wallowa County residents who would like to stop by and see the display. If you go, please bring me back some Stroopwafel.

THIS WEEK we are publishing an exhaustive list of events related to Halloween. Looking back on past pre-Halloween editions, this appears to be the largest collection of gatherings perhaps in the county’s history.

There are at least two new events on the calendar this year. Check out as many as you can.

Who knows what the weather will be like on Oct. 31. I remember trick-or-treating in the snow as a child in North Dakota. Several people have told me about snow on Halloween in Wallowa County as well.

ELECTION SEASON is coming to an end. Your ballot should be in your mail or arriving soon.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted letters and guest columns on the panoply of issues out there. To my knowledge, if you are a Wallowa County resident, your submission has been printed or is in the queue to be printed.

And thanks also to everyone for following the rules of engagement. I haven’t had to send one contribution back this year because of objectionable or inappropriate content. I think that speaks well of Wallowa County.

Next week, the Oct. 31 edition, is the final version before the election period ends.

It should be interesting to track the results nationwide on the morning of Nov. 7.


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