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O/T Helicopter Pilot

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by willing, Sep 25, 2008.

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  1. willing

    willing Member

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    Ed Freeman; Helicopter Pilot



    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 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 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...

    Bill
     
  2. locdoc

    locdoc Member

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    He is what heros are made of. God bless him.
     
  3. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    One hell of a man!

    Hauxfan!
     
  4. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    The story gave me chicken skin. That is a real American. R.I.P.
    Bulge
     
  5. H82MIS

    H82MIS TS Member

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    bless you Ed,,and thanks,,
     
  6. blade819

    blade819 Well-Known Member

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    Ed was a true hero and while I was privilaged to been in that same general scenic area one year later, I met many, many, many more like him. My best friend was shot down 4 times and still refused to return to the US as he was entitled to. He came home with 6 rows of ribbons on his chest. Welcome Home Vets!!!!!!!!
     
  7. bill1949

    bill1949 Well-Known Member

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    RIP HERO...Bill
     
  8. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    "Chickenhawk" by Robert Mason is a great book about the Huey pilots in Vietnam.
     
  9. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Well-Known Member

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    WOW!!! Eisenhower said "a hero was someone who does what he can". Dosn't seem appropriate it this fellow.
     
  10. WesleyB

    WesleyB Well-Known Member

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    what a man!
     
  11. gotbass

    gotbass Member

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    42 or 43 years old at the time, makes it just that much more impressive. Thanks for sharing and RIP.
     
  12. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    WOW, what a courageous MAN!! I wonder if John Kerry was friends with Ed Freeman??
     
  13. Desert Breeze

    Desert Breeze TS Member

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  14. ESMDHokie

    ESMDHokie TS Member

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    wow, found out that this was the pilot nicknamed "Too Tall", which had a cameo in "We Were Soldiers". *salute.
     
  15. H82MIS

    H82MIS TS Member

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    frank c,,,john kerry doesn't have any friends,,,
     
  16. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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  17. unioncracker

    unioncracker Member

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    Can any of you Marine, Navy guys recall, new, or new people associated with a Auburn Dale McComb, Navy medic assigned to Marine Corps.

    Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class
    MAG-16, 1ST MAW
    United States Navy
    03 May 1935 - 14 May 1967
    Gainesville, FL
    Panel 19E Line 120

    Incident Date 670514 UH-34D 148613
    KIA: McComb, Auburn Dale HM2 (USN) Corpsman

    I was co-pilot on med-evac duty 13May67. Capt Wayne Hyatt was Aircraft Commander. Went out about mid-night for Emergency medevac (1). Attempted to locate zone, but friendlies would not mark zone for fear it would give away their position. Made numerous attempts to land, but was always told “you are not at our position.” Returned to MMAF twice to refuel; after second refueling the emergency med-evac count was up to 18. At this point it should have been apparent that "Charlie" damn sure knew where we were, and if he didn't it would become crystal clear where it was when we put a 16 foot tall UH-34 in the middle of the zone.

    On our third refueling trip back to MMAF we were informed that the day med-evac crew was in place and we could quit. Capt Hyatt volunteered that we had a pretty good idea where the zone was and with day light and a VMO-2 gun bird we could probably get them. He asked who wanted to go back with him. Corpsman McComb volunteered to go; the crew chief and gunner decided to be replaced.

    On this attempt we were escorted by the VMO-2 gunship and the two H-34 day med-evac helo's. Upon arrival in the area the friendlies reported they were east of the burning hut. (There were 3 burning huts). We made our approach and just as our tail wheel was touching down (still no smoke popped) we became the marksmanship award to target shooting.

    The plan was for the corpsman to throw out the 18 stretchers, thinking that while we had to wait for our Marines to be put on them, other patients could be loaded on the stretchers, allowing the next two birds reduced exposure time in the hot zone.

    Capt Hyatt was hit in the left shoulder, but bullet bouncer stopped the round while cutting his left shoulder strap. I was hit in right chest. (Yes, a sucking chest wound IS God's way of letting you know you are in combat). Corpsman McComb was hit in the left shoulder and it exited out his right hip. He was bending down throwing out the stretchers when he was hit. It was his third Purple Heart.

    McComb was married and had two daughters. A Corpsman I talked to at the Las Vegas Reunion knew him very well. He asked me to sign his memorial service program. Capt Larry Delmore, Col, USMC(Ret) was HAC on the day med-evac and said over radio that after we landed at G-4 Med he would fly the bird over to MMAF and his co-pilot could fly his bird back.

    After a quick walk around Larry decided that the helo should be towed back to Marble. Metal shop personnel later told me that we had taken enough hits from the machine gun that they counted 110 holes, some incoming some out going. Just like a Timex watch "takes a licking but keeps on ticking" - the H-34.

    Capt Wayne Hyatt was killed on his second tour, 18 Feb 1971, flying a CH-53.

    Submitted by Bill Woidyla, Major USMC (ret), Co-pilot on mission.


    I dated his daughter for over a year. She keeps his burial flag in closet collecting dust. For some reason thinks that dad was no hero. Was looking for people that new him close probably to hear from them since most of what she got was from mom. Mom and dad divorced at the time. Young girl was 10 at the time.

    Thanks

    Buddy
    nhcs1957@yahoo.com
     
  18. rooferbob

    rooferbob Active Member

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    A very big "HERO RIP OLE BUDDY"! and prayers for the family
     
  19. Desert Breeze

    Desert Breeze TS Member

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  20. BLACKDOG

    BLACKDOG TS Member

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    This what make's our country GREAT, NOT the crap in the headlines TODAY
     
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