Hassan Basagic, Jr.
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Parents, Hassan & Rose Basagic
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6/2/1942 – 1/5/1945
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Hassan Basagic was born and raised in Monongah, West Virginia, the son of Yugoslavian immigrants Hassan Senior and Rose Basagic. He graduated from Monongah High School in 1941; little else is known of his pre-war life, but when he joined the Marine Corps in June of 1942, the news was reported in papers from as far away as Charleston.
Basagic went through boot camp at Parris Island, and from there was sent to the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he attended clerical school. He did well, earning a promotion to Private First Class in October 1942; shortly thereafter, Basagic was promoted to corporal and given a coveted assignment to a combat unit. The young man from Fairmont became the head clerk of Company D, First Separate Battalion at Camp Lejune in North Carolina. In early 1943, shortly after his promotion to sergeant, Basagic’s unit was re-designated as Dog Company, First Battalion, 24th Marines.
For the rest of 1943, Sergeant Basagic oversaw the clerical output of his battalion’s heavy weapons company. However, he was struck down by illness or injury on December 13; the length of time required for recuperation meant he missed the division’s departure for combat. On January 19, 1944, Sergeant Basagic was formally transferred out of the battalion and assigned to the staff of Camp Pendleton, California. Health problems plagued him throughout the year, and on January 5 1945, Hassan Basagic was formally surveyed out of Marine service. He was probably proud of and worried for his younger brother Julius “Butch” Basagic, flying with a Marine bomber squadron, but luckily the brothers were reunited when Japan surrendered in 1945.
Following his discharge, Basagic returned to West Virginia. He operated a bar called the “52-20 Club” in Monongah, but ran afoul of the law in 1948 for allowing gambling on the premises. Despite this, Basagic seems to have been a successful bar owner for quite some time.
Hassan Basagic passed away in Clearwater, Florida in 1980. He is buried in Mohammedan Cemetery, Monongah, West Virginia.