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Minnesota National Guard
Duluth WWII vet finally gets his battle medals

Gail “Bud” Freeman got his medals on Saturday — 65 years after he earned them in World War II


Freeman, 90, who lives at St Ann’s Residence in Duluth, received the eight battle medals from US Sen Al Franken, with friends, family and an Honor Guard in attendance

He was one of the more than 600 125th Field Artillery Battalion members of the Minnesota National Guard who were inducted into federal service on Feb 10, 1941, and became part of the 34th Red Bull Division That division served 517 days in combat, more than any other unit in the war

Freeman and the rest of his division fought in Africa and Italy

In an interview, Freeman said he doesn’t know why he didn’t receive the medals after the war He received a letter a couple of months ago saying the medals were coming He heard nothing more until someone from Franken’s office called him a few days ago

The medal Freeman hoped to get was a Purple Heart, given to military members who are wounded while serving their country

Freeman was in the artillery, but he was attached to the infantry as a forward observer While fighting in Africa, he was wounded in the leg He went to an infantry aide station where the shrapnel was removed, but “it was never recorded that I was wounded,” he said

Still, he has compelling evidence that he was wounded “I’ve still got that piece of shrapnel,” he said

After the war, Freeman worked as a manager and buyer for Boyce Drug in Duluth, and then worked for 19 years as an engineer for Duluth schools

He is among the Red Bull Division veterans who have been gathering at the Pickwick restaurant every second Tuesday of the month since 1947 He said he doesn’t know where they’ll meet if the Pickwick hasn’t reopened by the second Tuesday of May

April 25 2010

Article source: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/166890/

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Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
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