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"Above the Best"




 
"Too Tall"
 
"The medal itself bears only one word, and needs only one: valor."
President George W. Bush, 16 July 2001

Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2004 Induction

MAJ Ed W. Freeman distinguished himself on Nov. 14, 1965, while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.

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 Vietnam's Ia Drang Valley. The infantry unit was almost out of ammunition, fighting off a relentless attack from a heavily armed enemy force. When the U.S. infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense enemy fire, Freeman risked his own life by repeatedly flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire to deliver ammunition, water and medical supplies to the besieged battalion.

After the pilots of medical-evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area because of the intense enemy fire, Freeman flew 14 rescue missions, evacuating some 30 seriously wounded soldiers. 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.

Freeman's selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission. He received the Medal of Honor for these actions.