Paul Lamar Freeman, Jr.
Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1929
Engagements: • World War II (1941 - 1945)• Korean War (1950 - 1953)
Paul Lamar Freeman, Jr.
Paul Lamar Freeman, Jr. was born on 29 June 1907 in the Philippine Islands. He was the son of Paul Lamar and Emma Rosenbaum Freeman. Freeman graduated from the U.S. Military Academy on 13 June 1929 (class rank 213) and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.
Freeman's first assignment was at Fort Sam Houston, TX, with the 9th Infantry Division. While in Texas, he married Mary Ann Fishburn on 18 August 1932, and had one daughter. A month after getting married, he reported to Fort Benning, GA, to attend the Officer's Course at the Infantry School. He was then assigned to Tianjin (then called Tientsin) in China with the 15th Infantry Regiment until 1936. Upon his return to the U.S. he was assigned to Fort Washington, MD, and was a Company Commander in the 12th Infantry Regiment. He later returned to Fort Benning for the Tank Course. Freeman then spent a year as company and battalion Maintenance Officer with the 66th Infantry Regiment.
World War II
At the time of the U.S. entry into World War II, Freeman was in China again. This time he was in Beijing as a language student and concurrently as Assistant Military Attaché at the American Embassy. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was assigned to the U.S. Military Mission to China, and a few months later reassigned to the staff of the China-India-Burma Theater as an instructor to the Chinese and Indian Armies. He remained on the Theater staff until September 1943, when he returned to Washington DC, as a staff officer.
In late 1944 he was sent to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as Director of Arms Training for the Joint Brazil-U.S. Military Commission, a position he held until October 1947. He returned to the Army General Staff in Washington, working in the Latin American Branch of the Plans and Operating Division, then from 1948 to 1950, served as a member of the Joint Brazil-U.S. Military Commission, and was also a member of the U.S. Army delegation to the Inter-American Defense Board.
With the outbreak of the Korean War, he was deployed to that theater as the Commander of the 23rd Infantry Regiment in the 2nd Infantry Division, and remained in command until he was wounded in February 1951 at the Battle of Chipyong-ni.
Returning from the Korean War, he attended the National War College and graduated in 1952. In 1955, he assumed command of the 2nd Infantry Division, and in 1956 took command of the 4th Infantry Division, at that time stationed at Fort Lewis, WA. After his Second Division command ended in 1957, he served as Senior Army Member to the Weapons System Evaluation Group in Washington DC. He was named Deputy Commanding General for Reserve Forces (CONARC) in 1960.
On 1 May 1962 he received his fourth star, and assumed duties as Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), serving in that capacity until 1965. His final assignment was as Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC) from 1965 to 1967.
General Freeman retired from the Army in 1967.
Medals and Awards
Distinguished Service Cross
Brazilian Order of Merit (Ordem do Merito)
Distinguished Service Cross Citation
The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel (Infantry) Paul Lamar Freeman, Jr. (ASN: 0-17704), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer of the 23d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division. Colonel Freeman distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of the Twin Tunnels area south of Chipyong-ni, Korea, during the period from 31 January 1951 through 15 February 1951. On 31 January 1951, Colonel Freeman was ordered to move his regimental combat team to the vicinity of the Twin Tunnels area south of Chipyong-ni and prevent the enemy from occupying the area. Colonel Freeman, with two battalions, entered the Twin Tunnels area without effecting contact with the enemy in the late afternoon of 31 January 1951. Realizing that the enemy forces were not yet emplaced, he deployed his troops in a tight defensive perimeter for the night. At 0450 hours on 1 February 1951, the enemy struck, pressing the attack with such fury that the regimental lines were penetrated in two places. The fighting was intense and the issue hung in the balance throughout the day; however, under the skillful leadership and personal example Colonel Freeman, the task force finally succeeded in routing the enemy at bayonet point, shattering two regiments of the 125th Chinese Communist Division. When the hostile force had been dispersed, 2,855 enemy dead were counted in front of the regimental positions. Reorganizing the combat team, Colonel Freeman led his command forward and occupied positions surrounding the town of Chipyong-ni, a critical point in the United Nations defense line. On the night of 13 February 1951, the enemy struck those positions with overwhelming fury, employing five divisions in the assault. For forty-eight hours the enemy pressed the attack, striking at all sides of the friendly perimeter and placing intense mortar end artillery fire on the positions. Skillfully directing the defense and personally exposing himself to the intense hostile fire to restore breaks in the line, Colonel Freeman so inspired his troops that they successfully routed the fanatically superior hostile force and counted over 5,000 enemy casualties surrounding their positions at the conclusion of the engagement. Although wounded in the final phase of the engagement, he reorganized the combat team and deployed it in defense of the secured area.
General Orders: Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea: General Orders No. 379 (June 1, 1951)
Death and Burial
General Paul Lamar Freeman, Jr. died on 17 April 1988 in Monterey, CA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 9, Site 5992.
|Honoree ID: 230||Created by: MHOH|