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Pilot Wins Medal of Honor for Rescues at Ia Drang

By James T. McKenna | February 12, 2007

President Bush plans to present the Medal of Honor to Bruce Crandall in recognition of his actions at Landing Zone X-Ray during the Battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam in November 1965. 

Crandall is to receive the medal during a Feb. 26 White House ceremony for repeatedly flying into a landing zone under intense enemy fire to rescue and resupply 1st Cavalry ground troops. 

Then a major, Crandall decided to fly the medevac missions, and was joined by his friend of 10 years, then-Capt. Ed Freeman. 

Witnesses said the actions by Crandall and Freeman on the first day of the battle, Nov. 14, kept the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, resupplied and reinforced, and gave wounded soldiers a chance at life. 

The two aviators flew 14 missions, risking intense enemy fire to bring the much-needed aid and fly more than 70 casualties to safety. For his actions that day, Freeman was awarded the Medal of Honor in July 2001.

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