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Edward Andrew Dickson was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania, on September 3, 1937, son of Edward F. and Stella Barbara (Kuzma) Dickson. He graduated from Pittston (Pennsylvania) Catholic High School in 1955, then attended King’s College, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Enlisted in the US Naval Reserve on August 18, 1957, he subsequently had flight training, under the Aviation Cadet V-5 Program, and was designated Naval Aviator and commissioned Ensign on May 23, 1961. He advanced progressively in rank to that of Lieutenant, to date from November 1, 1964.
After receiving his commission in 1961, he was assigned to the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Memphis, Tennessee. He remained there until October 1961, then joined Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE. In May 1962 he transferred to Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTY FIVE, which operated off USS Coral Sea in the Vietnam combat area. He was killed on February 7, 1965, when he ejected from his burning plane, which sustained combat damage while on a retaliatory air strike in the Dong Hoi, North Vietnam area. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and cited as follows:
“For extraordinary heroism on February 7, 1965 while serving as a jet attack pilot with Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), during a retaliatory air strike against the Dong Hoi Army Barracks and staging area in North Vietnam. When his aircraft was struck by antiaircraft fire on the low-level run-in to the target area and burst into flames, Lieutenant Dickson elected to remain with his burning plane until he had released his bombs on the target area. Following his attack, he headed toward the sea, where he ejected from his flaming aircraft…”
He was also entitled to the Ribbon for and a facsimile of the Navy Unit Commendation awarded USS Coral Sea.
In addition to the Navy Cross and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Lieutenant Dickson had the Purple Heart Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam) and the National Defense Service Meal. The Republic of Vietnam awarded him the following decorations: National Order Medal, Fifth Class; Military Merit Medal and the Gallantry Cross with Palm.
He died February 7, 1965.