Retired Aug. 1, 1970.
Brigadier General Walter Russell Hedrick Jr., is director of space, Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, U.S. Air Force. In this capacity he is responsible for space and space related development activities, and is the Headquarters, U.S. Air Force focal point on space matters to include coordination and liaison with other government agencies.
General Hedrick was born in Hawley, Texas, in 1921. He attended Texas Technological College at Lubbock from 1938 until 1941 when he joined the Army Air Corps and entered the aviation cadet program.
During World War II, he served in 1943 with the 86th Fighter-Bomber Group in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.
In January 1947 he was assigned to the Tenth Air Force at Brooks Field, Texas, and later to the Fourteenth Air Force at Orlando Air Force Base, Fla.
After serving as a project officer under Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington, General Hedrick entered the University of Maryland in 1950, where he received his bachelor of science and master's degrees in physics.
General Hedrick has been a participant in nearly all of the Air Force's major nuclear test operations. He was first associated with nuclear testing in the Test Branch of Air Force Office of Atomic Energy (AFOAT-1) from 1952 to 1955. In 1955 he was assigned as chief of Technical Operations Division, Air Force Special Weapons Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and in 1957 took command of the 4951st Support Squadron at Eniwetok. He returned to Kirtland in 1958 to serve with the 4925th Test Group as assistant to the group commander and later as air commander.
He was assigned to the Space Systems Office of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, Los Angeles, Calif., in October 1960. In July 1965 he took command of the Air Force Satellite Control Facility, He was assigned deputy commander for space, Air Force Systems Command Sept. 1, 1966.
General Hedrick became director of space, Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, in March 1967.
He is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours. During World War II, he flew 53 aerial combat missions - 40 as flight leader - totaling 83 combat hours.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal.