Edward A. Hagan Interview

Dublin Core


Edward A. Hagan Interview


Vietnam 1969-1970


53 min


Edward Hagen is a Vietnam Veteran that served from 1969-1970. He is now currently an English professor here at Western Connecticut State University. Ed was in ROTC at Fordham University, and was brought into the war as an intelligence officer. He was assigned to the S-2 advisors office in Phong Dinh Province on October 29th 1969, where he went to work for the pacification effort in Can Tho City. He was a member of a team of about 150 army and civilian intelligence advisors. Ed discusses how “preposterous” the idea was of a 22 year old man advising people that were twice his age.
Generally speaking, although there really is no such thing when talking about war, his duties were to read and draft intelligence reports, go on scouting missions in the helicopter to spot the VC, and to advise the South Vietnamese, in their efforts against the VC. Ed also discusses the lack of a coherent strategy for the United States in terms of bringing about victory. He talks about why pacification isn’t a winning strategy. Ed elaborates on his experience of being in a helicopter that was shot down by the VC. He said they were flying too low and as a result they were shot down. The co-pilot was killed in this incident; remarkably, everyone else survived.
Ed explains why he believes the United States should have stayed out of Vietnam. He also gives his opinion on the “fighting godless communism” and the domino theory. Ed gives his thoughts on staying quiet about the war, and what compelled him to write his memoir.


Cody Clark




Recorded interview

Alternative Title

Vietnam War Interview

Date Created

October 12th, 2016

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Time Summary

0-5min: Introductions; ROTC; Fordham University; Draft Discussion; Draft Test; War Opposition;
5-10min:POW/MIA; Draft Board; College Graduation; Military/Family History; Military Skepticism;
10-15min:Arriving in Vietnam; Intelligence Officer; S-2 Advisory Team; General Responsibilities; Scouting and Reconnaissance;
15-20min:Intelligence Briefings and Reports; CIA;
20-25min:Buying Intelligence Reports; Major Ambush; Advisors; Maycon Delta;
25-30min: Major Incidents; Ambush; Strategies for Victory; Pacification; Peace Corps Programs;
30-35min:"Normal Day" in Vietnam; Briefings; Directives; Casualties;
35-40min:What kept the war going?; Going to war anonymously; Going Home; Helicopters and Gunships;
40-45min:Helicopter Shot Down; VC Confrontation; Friendly's and Civilians;
45-50min:War Opposition; Was it a war for the U.S. to be in?; Politics of the 1960's; Goldwater; Laos; Cambodia; Better Dead Than Red; Godless Communism;
50-55min:Staying Quiet; Writing a Memoir;




Florio, Alec and Cody Clark. “Edward A. Hagan Interview.” Vietnam Oral Histories. WCSU Archives, 10 Apr. 2019. Accessed on the Web: 22 Jan. 2020.


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