Guttersen, Laird, Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1973-1974, Air Force Institute of Technology
Service Years
1943 - 1974
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

86 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Alan Guttersen-Family to remember Guttersen, Laird, Col USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Last Address
Tucson, Arizona

Date of Passing
Jun 13, 2006
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
American Ex-POW AssociationNam-POWSAir Force Memorial (AFM)
  1973, American Ex-POW Association - Assoc. Page
  1973, Nam-POWS
  2016, Air Force Memorial (AFM) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He served his country in 3 wars. He served 4 tours in Vietnam. In the 4th tour, he was shot down twice. He was rescued after the 1st; but after the 2nd, he spent 1,847 days as a POW in North Vietnam, over 2 years of it in solitary confinement.
He was cremated; the location of his ashes is unknown.

His Silver Star citation:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel Laird Guttersen (AFSN: 17144156), United States Air Force, for gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during February 1968, while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions, and propaganda materials. Colonel Guttersen resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Action Date: Feb-68

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)
Other Comments:

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Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight SchoolAdvancement Schools and CoursesAir Force Reserve Command 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing
Squadron Officer School (SOS)346th Troop Carrier Squadron (Assault, Fixed Wing)497th Tactical Fighter Squadron - Night OwlsPrisoner Of War (POW)
Air Force Institute of Technology
  1943-1945, AAF MOS 770, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1944-1944, 1111A, Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell AFB
  1946-1951, AAF MOS 770, Air Force Reserve Command
  1952-1953, AAF MOS 1055, 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing
  1956-1957, Squadron Officer School (SOS)
  1964-1967, 1111A, 346th Troop Carrier Squadron (Assault, Fixed Wing)
  1967-1968, 1115A, 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron - Night Owls
  1968-1973, POW North Vietnam
  1973-1974, Air Force Institute of Technology
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1945 World War II
  1952-1953 Korean War
  1965-1966 Vietnam War
  1965-1973 Vietnam War
  1967-1968 Various Air Missions over North Vietnam
 Colleges Attended 
Air Force Institute of Technology
  1973-1974, Air Force Institute of Technology
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-25 Mitchell  P-51/F-51 Mustang  F-86 Sabre  C-130 Hercules  
F-4 Phantom  
  1945-1946, B-25 Mitchell
  1952-1953, P-51/F-51 Mustang
  1953-1953, F-86 Sabre
  1964-1967, C-130 Hercules
  1967-1968, F-4 Phantom
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