Thank you for posting to the History Hub. The information you are seeking will be on your fathers Military Record.
His record can be obtained by downloading and completing a Standard Form 180 (https://www.archives.gov/files/sf180-request-pertaining-to-military-records-exp-april2018-1.pdf ).
Dear Mr. Muhonen,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Award Cards, 1942 - 1963 in the Records of the National Archives and Records Administration (Record Group 64). Based on the arrangement of the records, a Soldier Medal card for a member of the US Army Air Forces with the last name of Heleman should be in the file unit Air Force Award Cards [Soldier's Medal]: Leach, Frank - Pearson, Ralph that has been digitized and is available online. But we were unable to locate an image of such a card for your father. It may be that the newspaper article you located was mistaken, that he was recommended for the award but did not receive it, that the US Army Air Force inadvertently failed to create a card, or that the card was misplaced sometime prior to the records being scanned.
We did locate an award card for an Air Medal that may be for him. The file Air Force Award Cards: Mouat, John - Mullin, William contains a card for an Air Medal awarded to 1st Lt. Einer Mohonen under General Order Number 2045, Headquarters Far East Air Forces, September 28, 1945. This card is Image 745 of the file unit.
We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for officers of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after June 1917 and prior to 1958 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
The National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) has custody of microfilm copies of operational records relating to U.S. Army Air Force units. We searched the Air Force History Index to the microfilm and located FAR EAST AIR FORCES (FEAF) GENERAL ORDERS NUMBERS 2001 THROUGH 2100 (INCOMPLETE) that may include the citation for your father’s Air Medal. Please read the brief Abstract to determine which records you are interested in and click on the specific PDF icon. In the PDF listing, the IRISREF is the microfilm reel number and note the FRAME and FRAMELST numbers for the location on the reel. Please contact RDT2 via email at email@example.com and provide that information.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. Also, the National Personnel Records Center is servicing only urgent requests related to homeless veterans, medical emergencies, and funerals which may be faxed to 314-801-0764. We thank you for your patience and look forward to resuming normal operations when the public health emergency has ended.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!