Come visit us at The Museum of Military Memorabilia. We have thousands of military artifacts from all branches of the Military. The Museum is located in the Naples Municipal Airport which was originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers to train pilots for the pacific theater in WWII.

What has begun as a Museum Honoring Military Aviation in WWII has evolved into so much more. You can now see historical artifacts dating back to the Revolutionary War and all the way up to the present day Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts.


2012 marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Naples Airport as a WWII Army Air Forces Training Base.


Ed Freeman

Ed W. “Too Tall” Freeman

Ed Freeman (November 20, 1927 – August 20, 2008) was a United States Army helicopter pilot who received the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. During the battle, he flew through gunfire numerous times, bringing supplies to a trapped American battalion and flying dozens of wounded soldiers to safety. Freeman was a wing-man for Major Bruce Crandall who also received the Medal of Honor for the same missions
.Early life
Ed Freeman was born in Neely, Greene County, Mississippi, the sixth of nine children. When he was 13 years old, he saw thousands of men on maneuvers pass by his home in Mississippi. He knew then that he would become a soldier. He grew up in nearby McLain, Mississippi McLain and graduated from Washington High School.  At age 17, before graduating from high school, Ed enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served, during World War II, on theUSS Cacapon (AO-52) for two years. Once the war was over, he returned to his hometown and graduated from high school. Immediately afterwards, he joined the Army.
On April 30, 1954, he married Barbara Morgan. They had two sons, Mike, born in 1956 and Doug, born in 1962.Military service Beyond his service in the Navy in World War II, he reached the Army rank of first sergeant by the time of the Korean War. Although he was in the Corps of Engineers, he fought as an infantry soldier in Korea. He participated in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and earned a battlefield commission as one of only 14 survivors out of 257 men who made it through the opening stages of the battle.
His second lieutenant bars were pinned on by General James Van Fleet personally. He then assumed command of B Company and led them back up Pork Chop Hill.
 The commission made him eligible to become a pilot, a childhood dream of his. However, when he applied for pilot training he was told that, at six feet four inches, he was “too tall” for pilot duty. The phrase stuck, and he was known by the nickname of “Too Tall” for the rest of his career.In 1955, the height limit for pilots was raised and Freeman was accepted into flying school.
Ed Freeman first flew fixed-wing Army airplanes before switching to helicopters. After the Korean War, he flew the world on mapping missions. By the time he was sent to Vietnam in 1965, he was an experienced helicopter pilot and was placed second-in-command of his sixteen-craft unit.
Ed Freeman served as a captain in Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).  Vietnam War on November 14, 1965, Freeman and his unit transported a battalion of American soldiers to the Ia Drang Valley. Later, after arriving back at base, they learned that the soldiers had come under intense fire and had taken heavy casualties.
Enemy fire around the landing zones was so heavy that the landing zone was closed to medical evacuation helicopters. Freeman and his commander, Major Bruce Crandall, volunteered to fly their unarmed, lightly armoredUH-1 Huey in support of the embattled troops. Freeman made a total of fourteen trips to the battlefield, bringing in water and ammunition and taking out wounded soldiers under heavy enemy fire in what was later named the Battle of Ia Drang.Ed Freeman was subsequently promoted to the rank of major, designated as a Master Army Aviator, and was sent home from Vietnam in 1966.
Medal of Honor Freeman’s commanding officer nominated him for the Medal of Honor for his actions at Ia Drang, but not in time to meet a two-year deadline then in place.  He was instead awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  The Medal of Honor nomination was disregarded until 1995, when the two-year deadline was removed.
 http://www.museum-mm.org
Ed Freeman was formally presented with the medal on July 16, 2001, in the East Room of the White House by President George W. Bush.
                                                                                                              http://www.museum-mm.org
                            Ed Freeman’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). 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 the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The unit was almost out of ammunition after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights had a direct impact on the battle’s outcome by providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, without which they would almost surely have gone down, with much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area due to intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life-saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers — some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. 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. Captain Freeman’s selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain Freeman’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.Military awards


On November 14, 1965, Captain Ed Freeman made repeated flights into the Ia Drang Valley under intense fire to bring in supplies and evacuate the wounded. Due to a statute of limitations being lifted, Freeman was awarded the Medal of Honor on July 16, 2001.


 

Ed W. Freeman
 http://www.museum-mm.org

Ed Freeman (left) is congratulated by President George W. Bush after receiving his award

 

http://www.museum-mm.org

The Medal of Honor

Ed Freeman (left) is congratulated by President George W. Bush after receiving his award.
Nickname(s) Too Tall
Born November 20, 1927 Neely, Mississippi
Died August 20, 2008(aged 80) Boise, Idaho
Buried at Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, Boise, Idaho
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy United States Army
Years of service 1944–1946 (Navy) 1946–1967 (Army)
Rank Major
Unit 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Battles/wars World War II Korean War • Battle of Pork Chop Hill Vietnam War • Battle of Ia Drang
Awards Medal of Honor

 

Awards and decorations

  • US Army Master Aviator Badge.png Master Army Aviator Badge
Medal of Honor
Distinguished Flying Cross
V

Bronze Star with “V” Device
Purple Heart
Silver oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Air Medal (17 awards)
Army Commendation Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Area Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg Army of Occupation Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal (2 awards)
Bronze star

National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star

Korean Service Medal with three bronze campaign stars
Bronze star
Bronze star

Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze campaign stars
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Gallantry Cross Unit Citation.png Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm
Civil Action Unit Citation.png Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation
United Nations Service Medal for Korea
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal

 

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