Ed Freeman, 80 years of age, of Boise, Id, passed away on Wednesday, 20 August, 2008. His obituary, at least in my paper, was overshadowed by the obituary for Gene Upshaw. No surprise, as the AP posted both obituaries. Ed Freeman was awarded the Medal Of Honor, for his actions at the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in South Vietnam, while flying a helicopter.
Captain Freeman and helicopters from Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry division, lifted in the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry to the Ia Drang Valley. The 1st Battalion, 7th Cav was commanded by then-Lt. Colonel Hal Moore.
When the North Vietnamese reacted and tried to over-run the battalion’s landing zone, Col. Moore closed the landing zone, because the enemy were too close to the LZ and the helicopters would be exposed to direct fire.
Captain Freeman delivered water, ammunition and supplies to the landing zone. When medevac helicopters refused to land to pick up wounded soldiers, Freeman made fourteen flights to pick up wounded soldiers, many of whom would have died had they not been medevaced.
Freeman’s commanding officer, Bruce Crandall, had asked for volunteers to make the deliveries, Freeman stepped forward. Crandall and Freeman were the ones who made the flights. Crandall nominated Freeman for the Medal of Honor.
He stated that he’d taken the men there, and he wasn’t about to let them die.
Ed Freeman was a Master Sergeant in the Korean War, assigned to Bravo Company, 36th Engineer Battalion, and fought at Pork Chop Hill. 257 men comprised Bravo Company when the battle began, 14 men survived the opening stages of the battle for Pork Chop Hill, and Ed Freeman was given a battlefield promotion to Lieutenant for his actions on that hill.
We’re all a little better off because of men like Ed Freeman.
Rest in Peace, Soldier.