Remembering Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman –Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

The story of  a helicopter pilot, Major Ed Freeman, who flew his unarmed Huey into to the battle zone during the Viet Nam War multiple times to supply troops and evacuate wounded personnel after the MediVac helicopters were ordered to stop evacuations.  This act of courage earned Major Freeman the Flying Cross and decades later, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Truth:

The story of U.S. Army Veteran Ed Freeman is true.

He was a veteran not only of Viet Nam, but of World War II and Korea.

He was the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on November 14, 1965, at Landing Zone X-Ray, in the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam.

During the Vietnam War Freeman served as a helicopter pilot with the rank of Captain in US Army’s Company A, 229th, Assault Helicopter Battalion, First Cavalry Division Air Mobil.

On November 14th, 1965,  a US battalion was surrounded by the enemy. In the heat of the battle when all hope was lost,  an unarmed helicopter came to their aid, bringing water, much needed supplies and ammunition.

According to survivors of the battle, Captain Freeman returned 14 times with supplies and evacuated the wounded on each trip. More than 30 soldiers were flown to safety by Captain Freeman.

Freeman was decorated with the distinguished Flying Cross for his act of bravery but for decades those who survived this battle felt that a higher honor should be awarded to the helicopter pilot.  On July 16, 2001, Congress awarded the Medal of Honor to Freeman with the persuasion of Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Crandall, other survivors who were rescued by Freeman, and Senator John McCain.  That day, Freeman and his wife, Barbara, were invited to the Whitehouse  where President George W. Bush presented the Congressional Medal of honor before witnesses consisting of Vice President Cheney,  the secretary of defense, secretary of veterans affairs, the joint chiefs as well as members of the Joint Chiefs, Senator John McCain,  Senator Craig, Congressman Otter, and Congressman Simpson from the delegation of Idaho.

On August 20, 2008, Major Ed Freeman passed away from complications of Parkinson’s disease at the age of 80 and was laid to rest at the Veterans Cemetery in Idaho, where he settled.

The circulating eRumor claims that Paul Newman and Major Freeman died on the same day, which is incorrect. Paul Newman died on September 26, 2008, over a month after Major Freeman passed away.

In March of 2009, the United States Congress bestowed one more honor to Major Freeman.  They designated the US Post Office in his place of birth McLain, Mississippi, the “Major Ed W. Freeman Post Office.”

Click for CNN Transcript of President Bush’s presentation of the Congressional Medal of Honor.


updated 02/3/2015

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

‘Ed Freeman… A True Hero’

You’re an 18 or 19 year old kid. You’re critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley, 11-14-1965. LZ Xray , Vietnam . Your infantry unit is out numbered 8 – 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac 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 1/2 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.

Ed Freeman is coming for you. He’s not Medi-Vac, so it’s not his job, but he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs 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 2 or 3 of you on board.  Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.

And, he kept coming back…… 13 more times….. and took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.

Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise , ID ……
May God rest his soul…..

(Oh yeah, Paul Newman died that day too.) I guess you knew that.

He got a lot more press than Ed Freeman.