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12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 2/9/2007 7:12:57 PM EST
Army Aviator to be Awarded Medal of Honor
Feb 09, 2007
BY Heike Hasenauer

Bruce Crandall's command photo taken at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. in 1971 as the 5th Engineer Battalion Commander. Photo by The Crandall Family

Related Links
Bruce Crandall Medal of Honor Website

Bruce Crandall imagery and Medal of Honor downloads

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 9, 2007) - The White House announced today that President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Bruce P. Crandall in recognition of his actions at Landing Zone X-Ray during the Battle of Ia Drang, Vietnam, in November 1965.

Crandall will 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 - even after the LZ had been closed.

"Due to policy at the time, medevac pilots weren't allowed to land on a landing zone until it was 'green' for a period of five minutes, meaning it wasn't being relentlessly attacked," Crandall said.

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 taken 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, encountering 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.

Retired Col. Ramon Nadal was an eyewitness and former commander for the 1st Bn., 7th Cav. Regt. Of the pilots' bravery, he said: "Without their support, both by resupplying us with ammo and bringing the reinforcements, we might well have been over-run.

"X-Ray was not the only time Bruce did good things for A Co.," Nadal said. "Months later, in Bong San, he volunteered to evacuate some of my Soldiers from a nighttime battle in the middle of a Vietnamese village when no one else would fly into the tiny landing zone under enemy fire."

A grateful ground commander, retired Lt. Gen. Harold Moore, who was a lieutenant colonel leading the Ia Drang battle, said that without Crandall's "extraordinarily heroic effort" that day, "we on that field would have gone down."

In 1966 Crandall received the Aviation and Space Writers Helicopter Heroism Award for rescuing a dozen Soldiers from another battlefield under fire. In 1996 he was inducted into the Air Force's Gathering of Eagles, an association of aviation pioneers and distinguished flyers. In 2004 he was inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.

Crandall retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1977, and in civilian life served as city manager for Dunsmuir, Calif., and in other public works positions in Arizona. The package nominating him for the Medal of Honor was forwarded by Senator John McCain.

For more information on the Medal of Honor and Crandall, see www.army.mil/medalofhonor/crandall

(Heike Hasenauer writes for "Soldiers" magazine.)
Link Posted: 2/9/2007 7:21:56 PM EST
Hal Moore spoke highly of Crandall in "We were soldiers once...and young". Sounds like the MOH is deserved.
Link Posted: 2/9/2007 7:25:23 PM EST
what takes so long for us to recognize our heros properly?
Link Posted: 2/9/2007 7:26:55 PM EST
Who else read the title as Bruce Campbell and pulled a huge WTF?
Link Posted: 2/9/2007 7:39:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
Who else read the title as Bruce Campbell and pulled a huge WTF?


Link Posted: 2/9/2007 7:46:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/9/2007 8:07:50 PM EST by warlord]
Its about time, albiet a bit late. Those guys have the "balls of steel."
Link Posted: 2/9/2007 7:57:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/9/2007 8:00:59 PM EST by Charging_Handle]
Richly deserved I might add. Just a damn shame it wasn't awarded much sooner. Ed "Too Tall" Freeman (a flight leader serving in Crandall's unit at the time also was awarded the MOH in recent years for his actions in the Ia Drang battle).

This makes at least 3 MOH's I can think of awarded for action in the battle at LZ X-Ray. There were some brave, brave men who fought there in that scrub brush and there were some equally brave men who kept them supplied with ammo, water, and rations while also taking extra risks to take out the wounded.....a job that was suppose to be performed by actual medevac crews.

Here's the MOH citations for "Too Tall" and Walter Joseph Marm Jr:


The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to



for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

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 super 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.


Rank and organization: First Lieutenant (then 2d Lt.), U.S. Army, Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). place and date: Vicinity of la Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam, 14 November 1965. Entered service at: pittsburgh, pa. Born: 20 November 1941, Washington, pa. G.O. No.: 7, 15 February 1967. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. As a platoon leader in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 1st Lt. Marm demonstrated indomitable courage during a combat operation. His company was moving through the valley to relieve a friendly unit surrounded by an enemy force of estimated regimental size. 1st Lt. Marm led his platoon through withering fire until they were finally forced to take cover. Realizing that his platoon could not hold very long, and seeing four enemy soldiers moving into his position, he moved quickly under heavy fire and annihilated all 4. Then, seeing that his platoon was receiving intense fire from a concealed machinegun, he deliberately exposed himself to draw its fire. Thus locating its position, he attempted to destroy it with an antitank weapon. Although he inflicted casualties, the weapon did not silence the enemy fire. Quickly, disregarding the intense fire directed on him and his platoon, he charged 30 meters across open ground, and hurled grenades into the enemy position, killing some of the 8 insurgents manning it. Although severely wounded, when his grenades were expended, armed with only a rifle, he continued the momentum of his assault on the position and killed the remainder of the enemy. 1st Lt. Marm's selfless actions reduced the fire on his platoon, broke the enemy assault, and rallied his unit to continue toward the accomplishment of this mission. 1st Lt. Marm's gallantry on the battlefield and his extraordinary intrepidity at the risk of his life are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Just reading about what these awesome men have done leaves me humbled.

Congrats to Ancient Serpent 6 (aka Snake Shit). Too bad it has taken 40 years to get you this award you so highly deserved.
Link Posted: 2/9/2007 7:59:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By scottfire1957:
Hal Moore spoke highly of Crandall in "We were soldiers once...and young". Sounds like the MOH is deserved.


Maj Crandall and his unit's 'job' was to fly in reinforcements and supplies...

Not only did he and his pilots continue to do this under heavy enemy fire, but when the medevac unit refused to fly into the LZ on the grounds that it was too 'hot', they began running medevac flights as well, picking up wounded troops & taking them back to base, where they were transferred to medevac flights... They'd then head back with whatever cargo was required, dump it, pick up more wounded troops, and return...

There are alot of folks out there who deserve honors they will never receive...

At least we've gotten around to recognizing this one...
Link Posted: 2/9/2007 8:52:46 PM EST
Humbling is an understatement.

While it is certainly good that this soldier will claim the Honor that his courage earned him, it is a damn shame it took 40 years.

Link Posted: 2/9/2007 9:54:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
Who else read the title as Bruce Campbell and pulled a huge WTF?

Guilty as charged...

Link Posted: 2/9/2007 10:00:45 PM EST
I have no fucking clue who Bruce Campell is, and don't care. The topic is Bruce Crandall.
Link Posted: 2/9/2007 10:14:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By A_G:
Humbling is an understatement.

While it is certainly good that this soldier will claim the Honor that his courage earned him, it is a damn shame it took 40 years.

Most of the surviving MOH awardee's will tell you that they did nothing special, just did thier duty and will tell you they wear the award for the real heroes, the one's who didn't make it home. A very humble group of warriors!!!!

Helicopter pilots/crews have tended to be a special breed, the countless incidents of them putting themselves in harms way in a very vulnerable helicopter to rescue their fellow brothers even when the odds are totally stacked against them is very -- shit I can't find a word to describe it.
Link Posted: 2/10/2007 9:36:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By scottfire1957:
I have no fucking clue who Bruce Campell is, and don't care. The topic is Bruce Crandall.

Go watch Army of Darkness. It should be Arfcom required watching.

Link Posted: 2/17/2007 1:50:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2007 1:51:21 PM EST by 2A373]
Link Posted: 2/17/2007 2:01:34 PM EST
This old cav graduate says "Thanks!" God Bless!
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 10:47:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By FortyFiveAutomatic:

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
Who else read the title as Bruce Campbell and pulled a huge WTF?




Me too.
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