Monday, 29 September 2008

In Memory Of A Hero, Ed Freeman

I carried out two tours of duty in the far east during the time of the Vietnam war. Based in Singapore and then Hong Kong and I visited Thailand and many other places.

During this time I met and drank with hundreds of US Servicemen who always asked the same question. "Why arnt you with us and helping?". The ANZACS were there doing their bit and I and fellow British servicemen felt ashamed that we were not there also.

Especially if the walking wounded came into a bar from an hospital ship that had called into port. We were young and as Gung Ho as any American or ANZAC trooper.

Many years later, I read the book Chickenhawk, the greatest book ever on the experiences of a "chopper" pilot in Nam. So detailed is the book that you felt you could fly one after reading just a few chapters.

This video is a tribute to one of those chopper pilots who recently died. Paint it black.

You're a 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 outnumbered 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.

Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see a Huey, but it doesn't seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.

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 70 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.

Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman died last Wednesday 24th at the age of 80, in Boise, ID...May God rest his soul...



Anonymous said...

Here Here, top man.

And it makes this video that Iv come across A Powerful Reminder Of what our forefathers did for us, and why we can never let their actions die through political correctness, or just plain apathy.

Anonymous said...

The vid is of course just as applicaple to today in Helmand province ...

Except that if any news crew tried to capture footage like this in afghanistan today they'd be shot by the americans for un-american activity.

alan143 said...

Some of us did their bit for Vietnam by enlisting in the USAAF, including a schoolmate of mine.

A real character too - on his last day in England he flew a plane under Tower Bridge.

MIA, November 1970, age 20.