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He flew P-38 combat missions in the Aleutians and in Europe and was credited with 1 shared aerial victory plus the destruction of 15 enemy aircraft on the ground.
He was shot down and made a POW Apr 18, 1945 but escaped Apr 29 and made it back to allied lines.
He retired from the AF Oct 1, 1973.
Synopsis of his DSC citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major (Air Corps) Earl Clifford Hedlund (ASN: 0-362396), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-38 Fighter Airplane in the 79th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 23 August 1944. Major Hedlund's unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 8th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 13 (1945)
Action Date: 23-Aug-44
Service: Army Air Forces
Company: 79th Fighter Squadron
Regiment: 20th Fighter Group
Division: 8th Air Force