John Frederick ("Fritz") Freund was born on 27 April 1918. Freund graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in the Class of 1940. Eye problems became an issue for him with the Navy and thus upon graduation he chose to be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Freund was commissioned as a Regular Army 2nd Lieutenant in the Artillery, and after, attended the Artillery School. He served as a battery officer and battery commander from 1941-1942. From April 1943 to July 1945, he served as executive officer and battalion commander of 433d Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion, 70th Infantry Division in Europe. His battalion was deactivated after V-E Day and he was assigned to Theater Service Forces, European Theater.
In 1946, Freund represented HQ, Army Ground Forces as Liaison Officer for Guided Missiles at the Wright-Patterson Air Development Center. He then entered the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Southern California in 1947, earning an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering. In 1949, Freund was assigned to the 1st Guided Missile Regiment, Fort Bliss, Texas, where he served until July 1952 as battalion commander, group officer, group executive officer and group commanding officer. He graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in 1953. During 1953 to 1957, Freund was assigned to the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
After graduation from the National War College in 1961, Freund remained in the Washington area, serving for one year on the Department of the Army General Staff and two subsequent years with the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In September 1964 he served as adviser to Army of the Republic of Vietnam Brigadier General Nguy?n H?u Có, the commander of II Corps and he played a key role in defusing the Buôn Ma Thu?t rebellion by the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races. During his time in South Vietnam, he performed duties as Deputy Senior Corps Advisor, Director of Training for Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), Assistant Director of the Joint United States Public Affairs Office, Special Assistant to the COMUSMACV General William Westmoreland.
Freund was the Commander of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was wounded in August 1967 during assault Operation Fairfax and was brought back to the U.S. in early September.
In October 1967, he was assigned to West Germany where he served as Chief of Staff of VII Corps. His promotion to Brigadier General was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 19, 1968. In January 1969 he returned to the U.S. where he was assigned to Washington D.C., serving as Special Assistant for Counter Insurgency and Special Activities, office of the Joint Chief of Staff, until August 1969. He served as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Army, until July 1971. On July 16, 1971 Freund was reassigned to Stewart Field, New York where he assumed command of the First Region, U.S. Army Air Defense Command.
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit (3 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "Valor" Device (1 OLC)
Air Medal (12 OLC)
Seven campaign ribbons and ten foreign decorations.
Awarded for Actions During Vietnam War
GENERAL ORDERS: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 46 (October 26, 1967)
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General John Frederick Freund (ASN: 0-23334), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General, 199th Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light), during the period from July 1964 to September 1967
Awarded for Actions During Vietnam War
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Brigadier General John Frederick Freund (ASN: 0-23334), United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force on 7 August 1967, while serving as Commanding General, 199th Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light), in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, elements from the 199th Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light) and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam were conducting a joint assault on an enemy force in the Hoc Mon District when General Freund was informed that several friendly soldiers had been wounded and six helicopters had been downed by enemy ground fire. Flying to the area, he located a number of the damaged helicopters and directed his pilot to land at each of the sites to determine if aid was needed. At one site where two helicopters had crashed near one another, the crew members had been subjected to enemy sniper fire which had wounded one soldier. General Freund instructed his pilot to land him at the crash site so that he could provide necessary assistance. After disembarking from the relative safety of the aircraft, he ordered the pilot back into the air to seek other injured personnel. Rapidly reconnoitering the area, General Freund moved to the beleaguered soldiers to personally bandage the wounded soldier. Satisfied that the man was not in serious condition, General Freund instructed the senior man how to place his men to most effectively defend the position. Throughout this period, General Freund was exposed to imminent hostile sniper fire. Despite this danger, General Freund continued his actions until he was certain that the men were properly positioned. Radioing for his pilot to land and pick him up, General Freund returned to the air, instructing his pilot to fly at a low level over the dense jungle foliage to locate any additional wounded soldiers who might have strayed into the thick undergrowth. While circling the area, he spotted two crew members located about one hundred fifty meters in front of the friendly forces, a location extremely susceptible to action by enemy soldiers in the vicinity. Courageously descending to tree top level, he motioned for the soldiers to conceal themselves until a rescue could be attempted. After calling for gunships to provide covering fire, General Freund instructed the pilot to land in the battle area to extract the soldiers. The helicopter descended, hovering about two feet above the ground. As he was about to jump from the aircraft, the enemy unleashed a hail of automatic and small arms fire from concealed positions on both sides of the aircraft. Realizing that further rescue efforts would seriously endanger the lives of the crew members and might result in destruction of the aircraft, he reluctantly directed the mission to be discontinued. As his helicopter gained altitude, it was struck by savage enemy ground fire, severely wounding himself and his aide-de-camp. After alerting the ground crew at Saigon to have an ambulance waiting for his profusely bleeding aide, General Freund personally administered emergency first aid. Although his own wound was extremely painful, General Freund refused medical treatment, insisting that his aide was more urgently in need of attention than himself. As a result of his quick thinking and rapid actions, the life of his aide was saved and needless additional casualties were avoided. General Freund's courageous actions in the face of an armed enemy force were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Colonel (Field Artillery) John Frederick Freund (ASN: 0-23334), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious service while serving in a position of responsibility as a Member of the General Purpose Forces Branch, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Special Studies Group, J5, Plans and Policy Directorate, Joint Chiefs of Staff, from July 1962 to May 1964. Through his professional skill, foresight, diplomacy, and steadfast devotion to duty, Colonel Freund contributed materially to military studies for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. He was primarily responsible for the timely preparation and presentation of major portions of many studies, including the development of several general purpose force studies which had a significant impact on policy at national and international levels. His professional knowledge, diligence, and discernment, combined with his inspiring leadership, wholehearted efforts, and sound judgment, insured the successful completion of studies of great importance to the defense posture of the Nation. Colonel Freund's distinguished performance of duty throughout this period represents outstanding achievement in the most cherished traditions of the United States Army and reflects the utmost credit upon himself and the military service.
Awarded for Actions During World War II
Battalion: 433d Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AW) Battalion
Division: 70th Infantry Division
GENERAL ORDERS: Headquarters, 70th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 37 (May 11, 1945)
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Bronze Star Medal to Major (Field Artillery) John Frederick Freund (ASN: 0-23334), United States Army, for heroic achievement while serving with the 433d Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion, 70th Infantry Division, in action on 18 March 1945, near Klarenthal, Germany. Under direct enemy fire, Major Freund and another officer conducted a daylight reconnaissance near the Saar River to site anti-aircraft automatic weapons in support of infantry. When his fellow officer was seriously wounded, Major Freund carried him to safety and gave first aid. After the officer had been evacuated, he returned and completed the reconnaissance. On the following day, he repeatedly exposed himself while emplacing the guns and directing their fire. Major Freund's courageous action contributed greatly to the successful crossing of the Saar River.
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