Captain Ed W. Freeman _ Medal of Honor
There is an email chain about Ed Freeman which has been everywhere around the world on the web. Here is what a current version of that email chain says –
-begin partial text from email-
You’re a 19 year old kid.
You’re critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam .
It’s November 11, 1967. LZ (landing zone) X-ray.
Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 yards away, that your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in.
You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you’re not getting out.
Your family is half way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you’ll never see them again.
As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.
Then – over the machine gun noise – you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter.
You look up to see a Huey coming in. But.. It doesn’t seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it.
Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you. He’s not MedEvac so it’s not his job, but he heard the radio call and decided he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway. Even after the MedEvacs were ordered not to come. He’s coming anyway.
And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 3 of you at a time on board. Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety.
And, he kept coming back!! 13 more times!!
Until all the wounded were out. ….
He took 29 of you and your buddies out that day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey.
-end partial copy of email-
The email does not do justice to Ed Freeman, though it does perpetuate the extension of his name. There are better sources.
From this link on January 11, 2012 –
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to
CAPTAIN ED W. FREEMAN
UNITED STATES ARMY
for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The unit was almost out of ammunition after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights had a direct impact on the battle’s outcome by providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, without which they would almost surely have gone down, with much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area due to intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life-saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers — some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. All flights were made into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the attacking elements. Captain Freeman’s selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a super example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain Freeman’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
A video tribute:
Note: the link above by “urban legends” has a listing of news outlets which did carry Ed Freeman’s story.
From August 20, 2008: http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/27180989.html
Medal of Honor recipient Ed Freeman dies
BOISE – Idaho Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Ed Freeman has passed away.
He was 80 years old.
Freeman, who lived in Boise, died at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday from complications from Parkinson’s disease, a family member said.
Freeman was a Vietnam veteran who was honored for his heroic services. He piloted a helicopter and saved more than 30 men during the war.
His heroics grew nation wide attention when his character was featured in Mel Gibson’s war movie, “We Were Soldiers.” Actor Mark McCracken played the character of Ed “Too Tall” Freeman in the popular flick.
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