Ed W. Freeman
Major Ed W. Freeman (U.S. Army, Retired) Medal of Honor Recipient Major Ed W. Freeman (U.S. Army, Retired), passed away on Aug. 20, 2008 at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, due to complications from Parkinson's Disease. He was 80 years old. Ed was born on Nov. 20, 1927 to William Ed and Caroline Freeman in Neely, Miss.; the sixth of nine children. He married Barbara Morgan on April 30, 1954. Ed and Barbara had two sons, Mike, born in 1956 and Doug, born in 1962. At age 17, Ed enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Cacapon for two years. Upon return to Neely, Ed graduated from high school and then enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was a Master Sergeant in the Army Corps of Engineers, but he fought in Korea as an infantryman. He took part in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and was awarded a Battlefield Commission, which enabled him the opportunity to apply to flight school. However, standing at 6'4", the 6'2" height restriction prevented him from being eligible, earning him the nickname "Too Tall." In 1955, the Army regulations changed, thus allowing Ed to attend flight school. He earned his wings at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. Ed began flying fixed-wing aircraft, then switched to helicopters. After logging thousands of hours in choppers, Ed was sent to Vietnam in 1965, assigned to the 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile). He was second in command of a sixteen-helicopter unit responsible for carrying infantrymen into battle. On Nov. 14, 1965, Ed's helicopters carried a battalion into the Ia Drang Valley for what became the first major confrontation between large forces of the American and North Vietnamese armies. Back at base, Ed and the other pilots received word that the soldiers they had dropped off were taking heavy casualties and running low on supplies. In fact, the fighting was so fierce that Medevac helicopters refused to pick up the wounded. When the commander of the helicopter unit asked for volunteers to fly into the battle zone, Freeman alone stepped forward. He was joined by his commander, and the two of them began several hours of flights into the contested area. Because their small emergency-landing zone was just one hundred yards away from the heaviest fighting, their unarmed and lightly armored helicopters took several hits. In all, Freeman carried out fourteen separate rescue missions, bringing in water and ammunition to the besieged soldiers and taking back dozens of wounded, some of whom wouldn't have survived if they hadn't been evacuated. For these actions, Ed was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on July 16, 2001, by President George W. Bush. Freeman left Vietnam in 1966 and retired from the Army the following year. He flew helicopters another 20 years for the Department of the Interior, herding wild horses, fighting fires, and performing animal census. Then he retired altogether, deciding to spend time with his family. Ed is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara Freeman, his sons Mike (Anita) Freeman and Doug (Tina) Freeman, four grandchildren, Cori (Brad) Dalton, Scott Freeman, Haylee Freeman, all residing in Boise and Joshua Freeman of San Diego, Calif., three great-grandsons, Cooper and Bronco Dalton, and Trace Freeman, of Boise, as well as his sister, Betty Waters of Warner-Robbins, Ga. and brother Charles Freeman of Mobile, Ala. Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Caroline and William Ed Freeman, his brothers Pete, Joe, Loren and sisters Miriam, Louise, and Marcella. Ed's life will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008 at 11 a.m. at Capital Christian Center, 2760 E. Fairview, Meridian, Idaho. A committal service with full military honors will follow at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. Services are under the arrangement of Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel. The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at St. Alphonsus, Idaho Veteran's Service organizations and the Idaho Army National Guard. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Parkinson's Foundation at 1501 NW 9th Ave. Miami, Fl 33136-1494, www.parkinsons.org or the National Veteran's Foundation, www.nationalveteransfoundation.org.
Published by Idaho Statesman on Aug. 22, 2008.
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800 Entries
I hope I will have the pleasure of meeting you in heaven one day! I´m in awe of your service to our country and can only say that you´re an incredible human being!
Sue Decoretz
August 4, 2021
Condolences to the family. Thank-you for your service and bravery in the face of the enemy, sir.
August 4, 2021
Thank you for your service to our great country, please accept our condolencezms. What a great man.
Southeast Texas
August 4, 2021
This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever read. It made me cry to know that anyone could be so selfless. Amazing human being. God bless you, sir. Thank you for your service and for being you.
Linda Sindeldecker
August 3, 2021
Captain Freeman. Thank you for your service to our country, you are a blessing. Freeman family, be thankful for having a man of his stature in your lives all these years. Blessings upon you all. Tim
Tim Spaulding/Ocala Florida
August 3, 2021
This is an Amazing human being and what he did was incredible R.I.P. Sir ! Today we Honor and Remember YOU !
Trish Meddles
May 31, 2021
They really - & I mean REALLY - don't come any braver than chopper pilots Freeman & Crandall. I'm still not sure how helicopters even fly, but to repeatedly steer them into a landing zone under intense fire & not only once but repeatedly is courage beyond my ability to comprehend.

On this Memorial Day, I remember with admiration & gratitude, combat veterans like these truly remarkable heroes (and thank legacy.com for the reminder, my shame in not thinking to beforehand.)

R-i-p Major Freeman - your glory basks in well-earned eternal light.
May 31, 2021
Thank you for your service and valor. My husband was in Vietnam. You were so brave and devoted and I thank you from my heart
May 30, 2021
This country needs more folks like Ed Freeman!!!! Rest in Peace and thanks for your service in so many ways.
October 30, 2020
Just watched an hour long YT interview of the man (a military museum's)m & tho I admired greatly the Ia Drang chopper heroes (Crandall & Freedom) before it; I didn't realize that unforgettable afternoon/evening a mere sliver of this definitive American man's story. What a remarkable - and quite humorous - man was Major Freeman.

I was humbled by his story, & now a proud privilege to know more about him. To say, I shall not forget, an understatement
Jack Jalove
October 29, 2020
Another year has gone by since Ed Freeman's death, but we are just as thankful today, for his unselfish bravery, as we were when he was actively serving our country. You, Ed's family, can continue to be very proud of his life and service!!
Joan Berwaldt
August 16, 2020
Andrea Snyder
August 4, 2020
I think of all the families-children, grandchildren that would not exist today if you had not volunteered to rescue these men. Your selfless act of heroism will live on for generations.
Mary Maness
September 27, 2019
Memories will stay with us and hearts will honor you Ed for your service on your anniversary on Tuesday, August 20.
MaryAnn Sarzynski
August 16, 2019
I Salute You Sir. You are an inspiration To All, Military and Civilians. A Great Man and Hero In My Eyes. God Bless and Keep Your Family Safe and Well. Rest In Peace. 5/7 AirCav., 68-69 Vietnam Veteran.
Van Norris
August 16, 2019
lisa Evans-Cooke
December 9, 2017
I salute this brave man.and hero that saved lives during the war.. God Bless him... May he rest safely in the arms ofour Father. Condolences to his loved ones . Many thanks. Becky Hart from Rogue River Oregon
August 2, 2017
God Bless You Colonel
Nick Palumbo
April 6, 2017
A truly great and gentle spirit. A life not wasted. Well done. Rest in peace Captain. You are at peace - you are home. God grant peace and comfort to your family.
LuAnne Bush
September 3, 2016
What a true American Hero. His courageous act should be national news each year. RIP
Mark Oldar
March 17, 2016
I am a stranger but was just sent an article about Major Freeman and his bravery. What a legacy he has left behind. My prayers for him and his family may God bless you all.
Kathy Oyler
February 7, 2016
Maj Freeman's career in the Navy and Army prior to the events in the la Drang Valley in 1965, indicate a consistently exceptional warrior. As I read his obituary, I confess I would have been more surprised if then-Captain Freeman HADN'T flown back into harms way rather than the fact that he did indeed. And he did it 14 times, when just a couple trips would have established his heroism.

What a privilege to hear about him all over again in 2016.
Craig Weddle
January 15, 2016
Having just read about Mr. Ed W. Freeman this December 2015, I am thankful for the freedom that has been fought for by true heroes that have made this world a better place. To know the difference that one dedicated person could accomplish is hard for the ordinary person to understand. My very belated condolences to Mr. Freeman's family.
Judy Ederer
December 13, 2015
Im glad to read the real story about this man, he was a very caring person i think.
Guy Playfair
December 2, 2015
Captain Ed Freeman and is the ultimate medivac pilot and the medivac pilots are the real, unsung heros of the war. May God hold you gently in His Ever Loving Hands and comfort your family.
Thank You,
Rand Pellegrino,
Purple Heart viet nam.
Rand Pellegrino
November 23, 2015
God Bless a true American hero.
Michael Chamberlain
November 17, 2015
A true hero in every sense of the word...May God bless his family...men like him are an inspiration and represent all that is noble and good in the world. Simple words cannot convey the deep feelings of pride and gratitude for this man's bravery and deeds. I am better for simply hearing of this man's life and sacrifice. May he rest in everlasting peace.
November 17, 2015
Mr. Freeman will continue serving because good young men need heroes to emulate.
Godspeed, Sir!
Richard Noar
November 16, 2015
A true hero. Bless you, sir. Thank you.
Rita Casady
November 15, 2015
God Bless the Captain and all those he loved. Rest in peace.
John Benson
November 13, 2015
What a wonderful man, I learned of his passing in an e mail and what a shame it is a true hero like him is not a news story, so sorry for your loss.
Polly Hollis
November 6, 2015
You did well good and faithful soldier.R.I.P.
Arthur Eggleston
October 23, 2015
Rest in peace, Captain Freeman. A true American hero.
JoAnn Porter
October 20, 2015
RIP, sir. I wish the world would pay more attention to the passing of this hero, who deserves all the respect we can muster up. Amitabha.
GB Talovich
October 9, 2015
Thank you Capt Freeman you are a true hero...RIP .. SP4 Richard Reyes
October 7, 2015
God Bless you for your bravery. You are an American hero. We will never forget.
Michelle Johnson
October 2, 2015
Hand Salute..!!

Michael Weldon SFC US Army, Retired
Michael Weldon
September 13, 2015
Thank you for your service. May God bless you.
The Henry Family
September 5, 2015
This man was born to be successful and a guardian angel to so many. Imagine if the Army had not changed their height regulations! Vietnam Veterans mean the world and all to me as my brother was KIA in Vietnam. I'm so thankful for all who were saved by Ed who stepped up to a dangerous mission. From the Buckeye State, sending my condolences, love, respect, and empathy to Ed's family, friends, and all whose lives were touched by this American Patriot. Sincerely, BindyXO
August 15, 2015
Thank you sir for all you did. You are a true hero.
August 11, 2015
I served with this great soldier in nam and I salute the legacy of this 100% soldier.
August 9, 2015
I salute you Sir, your duty done, stand easy.

A former British Soldier.
August 9, 2015
Having just learned about the heroic and selfless actions of Captain Freeman, I wanted to say"thank you, sir" and to tell his precious family (yet, another beautiful legacy) that prayers are with you, seven years later. Thank you for sharing this brave hero's story with us. May we always remember.
Lindsay Smith
August 8, 2015
Jeremy Strickland
August 8, 2015
I write this many years after his death, with sorrow in my heart for your families as well as this countries loss and a shinning admiration for this courageous man.
G. Grimsley
August 8, 2015
I just discovered the story of Mr. Ed Freeman on Facebook today. What a great man and true American hero! I will never forget Mr. Freeman from this day forward. To his family, be proud to have had such a wonderful man in your lives.
Brad Taggart
August 6, 2015
You were a true HERO, a mans man and someone that this country should strive to be.
Marty oxley
August 5, 2015
Mr. Freeman spoke at my sons' Boy Scout Unit once; he had quite an impact on both of them....they both went on to become Eagle Scouts and still speak of that evening.

My condolences to the family in your time of grief. He was, indeed, a great man.
Leanne Downs
August 4, 2015
Never knew who you were till today but thank you for all you did ~ May you know how much a hero you truly were .....
August 4, 2015
My condolences to the Freeman family for the loss of a great man and patriot. His bravery saved many along with generations that followed. May God bless and keep you all. He is surely rewarded with eternal life by God the Father and is now at peace in heaven.
Ellen Boyle
August 3, 2015
I didn't know you, but I read about you. Thank you for your service, God bless you and your family. RIF
August 3, 2015
RIP, Ed "Too Tall" Freeman! Thanks a lot for your service.
July 31, 2015
Although I did not know your father personally and I being from a military family can relate to the great service your father has given to this great country of America. He is man of great honor and is so appreciated for what he has done for this nation. I wish I had known of him before his death. Rest in Peace, Capt. Ed Freeman!!!
Chro MacanAichinnigh
July 30, 2015
To the family of this honored veteran:
God bless you ALL as you continue to live with his memories. Such a valiant man - a true hero!
~Marian Gleason, Sacramento, CA
July 28, 2015
God bless him & his family. He was a true hero. I don't know if he ever rescued my brother, a Marine, or not, but thank you if he did. My brother spent 2 tours in Viet Nam, and live into his 60's. Thanks Ed.
Jolene Schwery
July 23, 2015
Family & friends, as well as those Americans who wish to honor a great HERO, please celebrate the life of Ed Freeman as he lived.The 80 years he spent on earth touched so many people in so many ways. I never served in the military but it is people like Ed who gave us the right to freedom. God Bless Ed & his family.
David Shinkle
July 20, 2015
I found his story today on facebook. I am touched by his bravery. Ed was an honorable man. Condolences to his family.
Kristie Slinkosky
July 3, 2015
My father was one of the soldiers you carried out. I wouldn't be here and neither would my own three children if not for courage and humanity. Thank you...Michelle (Partridge) Lander
Michelle Lander
June 26, 2015
While I was in school completely ignorant of what this wonderful man was doing....I never knew...I never knew and I am so sorry...God bless the Freeman family....
June 24, 2015
Ed Freeman was one of the finest soldiers ever. The lives he saved that day and on many other days will be with us forever in the shape of sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters for generations never ending. Thank you Ed for the lives of my friends and Countrymen.
Darrel Kelly
June 22, 2015
Ed Freeman is truly a hero. Condolences to his family
June 19, 2015
What a hero ...
June 18, 2015
You are the true meaning of the word "hero". Your actions in Viet Nam are exemplary! May you find eternal peace. - MSgt Michael A. Skoog USAF (retired)
Michael Skoog
May 27, 2015
Thank you for being unselfish in life. May God have a mansion for you and you live a peaceful life in Heaven.
May 18, 2015
The world lost a true hero. Hope there are Hueys in heaven.
Lewis (Cherokee) Stites Army SF
May 17, 2015
Toni Rader
May 14, 2015
Thank You Sir for all that you did.
Chris Austin
May 3, 2015
Ed is a true hero thank you for your service god bless
Arnold May
April 10, 2015
I just read about this TRUE AMERICAN HERO on a young Marine's FB page. Being a news junkie, I DO NOT REMEMBER hearing anything about him on the news when he passed away. AND THAT, Sir, is a shame. Be assured that these young Marines know of him though! (My son is a Marine)
Ann Wilson
April 2, 2015
Was there sametime as you(central highlands) you probably saved my life along with countless others. Thank you sir. Your a true American hero.
Robert stover 4th infantry
robert stover
March 31, 2015
A real HERO
Jim Canady
March 25, 2015
Thank you.
Dallas White
March 17, 2015
Thank you for what you did. God bless your family.
Dallas White
March 17, 2015
What a fantastic story about heroism and love for his fellow soldiers. The Good Lord was certainly with him on those missions and in reading the guest book comments, it brought tears to my eyes several times. And the one soldier that is still alive, that he rescued in La Drang Valley. Ed, thank you for your dedicated service for the United States of America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. George Held, US Army Veteran
March 17, 2015
This story should be shared by the news media on
every Veteran's Day. And on his birthday. He is an excellent example of "One of a "Few
Good Men". Thanks be to God for Him.
Phyllis Toler
March 17, 2015
Thank you for your service. Fair Winds and Following Seas shipmate.
Charlie Willey
March 16, 2015
With deepest of thanks for your service to your country!!!
Jeanette Hoffman... Boise, Idaho
Deepest sympathy to the family.
March 15, 2015
I served in the Army. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you and salute you.
Richard Ferguson
March 15, 2015
My Brother It is only in death that I find you. I was one of the wounded you carried out of the La Drang Valley. For my sons for my life for my very being I would not be writing this today if not for your courage. I returned to the Central Highlands and finished out my second tour. I hope I was worth the risk and the courage it took to save me. Rest in Peace My Brother
James Hawkins
March 13, 2015
This is truly amazing. This is the stuff you never hear about.
kathy cuthbert
March 11, 2015
I just learned about Captain Freemon in a email on 3/9/2015 and I wanted to say thank you for your service. He was an American hero. He will live eternally in heaven and on the internet so others may learn of his heroic actions and discover there really are heroes. Thank you.
Larry Wright
March 9, 2015
Thank you
joe bidwill
March 9, 2015
to a very dear man
danny carroll
March 8, 2015
Thank You for your service. I just read an article and felt I needed to search it our further and he was a true American Hero! RIP!
March 6, 2015
March 5, 2015
Thank you for your service. A true hero!
Chuck Prestwood
March 2, 2015
Words cannot describe a man like this. What an incredible thing he did for those men. I know he wasn't alone. I believe he was an instrument of God. God bless him and God Bless America. He will not be forgotten
Donna Sheposh
March 1, 2015
Thank you--M Harvey,NMCB-74
February 28, 2015
To the Freeman family. Just read about Ed's courageous action in Vietnam. I would follow him and be on his team any-time. He led by example.He has all my respect for his courage and valour.God bless all of his family. Myself and a mate were in the 1970 Australian call up for Vietnam.
Johnnie Wayne Hayden
February 25, 2015
Dear Mrs. Freeman, I just received an email from a friend about the story of your husband in Viet Nam.. I was only in the Army reserves during that time, never activated. I just turned 73 on 1-15-15, (his day). Reading the email, I cried. I have my internet access at my local library and had to "duck" a bit so as not to cause concern to the folks around me. I just felt compelled to send you my thoughts and will make a note in my daily missal of that date as I do for all my friends and relatives. and remember to pray for him on that day. (and tomorrow). I and you and your family know that he is God's hands; he's fine, so prayers will be sent to you and your family for strength and courage.
Prayers work,
Richard Plain, Sr.
February 25, 2015
Thank God for men of valor and honor. Although this great man passed away several years ago, I just read about him today. . .which shows his story is still being remembered. Blessings to his remaining family. . .you have much to be proud of.
Karen Peach
February 23, 2015
I just read on Facebook about this real American hero. Thank you for your service. God bless your family.
Patsy Asher
February 23, 2015
Read about Mr Ed Freeman on Facebook & wanted to pay my respects. A big thank you from the families of all those he saved.
Meg Targett
February 22, 2015
Just read about this brave soul. God has blessed you for your sacrifice to save others.Thank you.
Patty, Nampa,Idaho
February 20, 2015
I thank you "TOO TALL" for your patriotism and for keeping Americans like me safe. You are a true American who loves their country. RIP
February 19, 2015
A brave & courageous man who obviously went "above & beyond" his defined mission and I am sure the motivation was out of love and concern for his fellow man. RIP soldier.
Duke Barrett
February 19, 2015
A good man, with a love of his fellow soldier, who will not be forgotten...
Audrey Burtrum-Stanley
February 18, 2015
RIP Warfighter and Patriot. GP Mandis, US Marine
February 16, 2015
I just read the story of Ed on facebook. My condolences to his family and thanks to a great American. We need more Eds today. Pastor Gregg Fisher Bedford, KY.(USArmy)
February 16, 2015
Just read about this hero's death. He is the definition of bravery. Imagine all the lives he saved AND created by rescuing these men and giving them the ability to marry & raise families. Thanks you again Ed!
Tom Minicello
February 16, 2015
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