Died July 21,2002
Lieutenant General Earl C. Hedlund is the U.S. Representative to the Permanent Military Deputies Group, Central Treaty Organization, and chief, U.S. Element CENTO, Ankara, Turkey.
General Hedlund was born in Valparaiso, Neb., in 1916. He graduated from Deuel County High School in 1933. He received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Nebraska in 1938 and his master of science degree at the University of Illinois in 1939. He then accomplished two years of graduate work toward his doctorate degree, but this was interrupted by his entry into military service in 1941. He completed requirements with the University of Illinois and received his doctor of philosophy degree in 1948.
General Hedlund was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve in June 1938 through the Reserve Officers Training Corps program at the University of Nebraska, and received his pilot training at Randolph and Foster fields, Texas, graduating in 1942.
He served as a fighter pilot, squadron commander, group commander, and deputy wing commander in the Pacific and European theaters of operations from August 1942 to August 1947. He was credited with the destruction of 15 enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground. Flying duty was interrupted in April 1945 when his P-38 aircraft was shot down by ground fire. Although suffering from second degree burns, he was able to parachute from the burning aircraft only to be captured by the Germans. He later escaped and made his way back to the American lines.
During World War II, he flew 67 fighter missions totaling 180 combat hours in the Aleutian Islands, and 103 fighter missions in the European Theater for 367 more combat hours.
In 1949 General Hedlund was assigned to the Joint Military Transportation Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he served until 1951. From 1951 to 1952, he was chief, Transport Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. After attending the Naval War College, Newport, R.I., in 1952-1953, he was assigned as director of transportation, Headquarters Far East Air Forces, Tokyo, Japan.
In 1956 he became deputy director of transportation, Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and in August 1956 was appointed director of transportation. In July 1961,General Hedlund was appointed deputy commander, Ogden Air Materiel Area, Air Force Logistics Command, with headquarters at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and in August 1963, he was named commander, Warner Robins Air Materiel Area (Air Force Logistics Command), with headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
General Hedlund became deputy director, Defense Supply Agency, in August 1966 and director of the agency in July 1967. He was assigned as the U.S. Representative to the Permanent Military Deputies Group, Central Treaty Organization, and chief, U.S. Element CENTO, Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 1, 1971.
He is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 19 oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, British Distinguished Flying Cross, French Croix de Guerre, and Belgium Fourragere.
He was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general effective July 1, 1967, with date of rank June 28, 1967.
(Current as of Oct. 15, 1972)