The Story of Eddie Wagner

Wagner Building, on Penn State’s University Park campus, is named for a 1941 alumnus named Harry Edward “Eddie” Wagner, who was killed in World War II. A paratrooper, Wagner was part of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. The C-47 transport plane inadvertently dropped him far inside enemy territory in France, 20 miles from the assigned drop zone. Wagner spent more than a week hiding, hiking, and fighting behind German lines before being able to rejoin his regiment, which was then sent back into the fight to push German forces out of Normandy.

On June 28, 1944, he was in charge of his battalion command post when it was hit by German shells. Wagner, 24, was killed by exploding shrapnel. His parents chose to have him buried in France, and his grave can be found in the American military cemetery near Omaha Beach.

In 2006 the Penn Stater magazine ran a lengthy feature about Wagner, written by Walton Collins. You can read and/or download that story here.

Tina Hay, editor

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