2017 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: The Entire Membership

House Resolution 98

(As Adopted by House)


     WHEREAS, Mr. Bradford C. Freeman distinguished himself as a fearless soldier during World War II in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Company E of the United States Army, when he nobly put his life on the line to protect the freedoms of all Americans and rescue Western Europe from Nazi control; and

     WHEREAS, the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Company E, or Easy Company, was made famous by the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, which was executive produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, and Mr. Freeman was present for every fight, battle and victory, including the D-Day and Normandy landings, Operation Market Garden, Rhineland Campaign, Ardennes Alsace Campaign, Central Europe Campaign (1945)/Operation Plunder and Central Europe Campaign (1945)/Victory in Europe Day; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Freeman parachuted into German occupied France on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, with his company, Easy Company, and in a lethal shower of gunfire upon the shores of Omaha Beach, they took out a strategic 105mm Howitzers, and continued to capture several strategic German points, after which they led an assault of the French town of Carentan; and

     WHEREAS, after intense fighting from June 9 through June 14, 1944, the Allied forces relieved the town from the tight, insufferable grip of its Nazi foe and pushed back the German counter attack, and the company returned to Aldebourne, England, to replace the men who sacrificed everything for freedom during the D-Day campaign; and

     WHEREAS, the company fought on, training for their next assault on Holland known as Operation Market Garden, and on September 17, 1944, Easy Company made their jump into Holland with 154 total men, and with little resistance, the airborne armada placed the company on target, foreboding difficult times just beyond the horizon for Mr. Freeman and his comrades; and

     WHEREAS, for nearly ten days, Easy Company fought not only for their own lives but for the lives of other paratroopers that were just up the road from them, but the company successfully seized the objectives and kept the road open; unfortunately, however, the paratroopers were surrounded and had little firepower to combat the enemy, a deadly combination that left only 132 men to stand for the red, white and blue at the end of Operation Market Garden; and

     WHEREAS, from October 2 through November 25, 1944, the company held a steadfast defensive line in an area in Holland known as "The Island," while the 506th, Easy Company's parent unit, occupied a gap in the British lines that had been previously held by a British division that was roughly four times the size of the regiment, and the Easy Company had only 130 men to hold a sector that was three kilometers long; and

     WHEREAS, of the 130 men who had trekked to The Island, only 98 remained on November 25, 1944, when the company was pulled off the line and sent to France for a much deserved break, and after only a 2-week R and R break, Mr. Freeman and the Easy Company were alert, mobilized and "truck lifted" into the vicinity of the small Belgian town of Bastogne; and

     WHEREAS, on December 17, 1944, with minimal winter clothing during one of the harshest winters in European history and scarce ammunition and supplies deep behind enemy lines, Mr. Freeman and company moved into battle again, establishing a defensive ring around the town and defensive positions in the woods east of Bastogne-Foy Road while the 506th was in the northeast quadrant of the ring; and

     WHEREAS, the next 12 days proved to be some of the excruciatingly bitter, most grueling fighting in the history of the United States Army, with the freezing cold temperatures causing as much death and destruction as the Germans, and on December 22, 1944, the Germans offered to accept the surrender of the Easy Company, but General McAuliffe, in an intrepid display of bravery, replied to the Germans with the famous, morale-boosting, rally cry of "Nuts"; and

     WHEREAS, the 101st stood tall and resolute against the Germans, and on December 26, 1944, Patton's 3rd Army broke through to the "battered bastards of Bastogne," to offer relief and resupply to the Easy Company whose past 12 days had been anything but easy; and

     WHEREAS, despite the relief offered, the Easy Company, who had come to Bastogne with 121 men but left with less than 100 on New Year's Day 1945, was immediately placed on the offensive, and for the first two weeks of January 1945, the company fought to regain ground around Bastogne, and by the middle of January, the 506th was moved to divisional reserves; and

     WHEREAS, from January 18 until February 23, 1945, Mr. Freeman and his Easy Company comrades were placed into the lines in the town of Hagenau, and from there, they experienced the bombardments of a fanatical hostile foe followed by small arms exchanges that typify urban combat; and

     WHEREAS, the 506th PIR was pulled off the line on February 25, 1945, and moved to Mourmelon, France, where, for the first time since December 17, 1944, they were allowed to shower, cleansing themselves of the dirt, grime and blood that had caked their bodies for the past two months; they were served hot meals; and they could sleep in cots as opposed to the frozen tundra that had tormented them and left their nights restless; and

     WHEREAS, while the Easy Company was in Mourmelon, General Dwight D. Eisenhower personally awarded the 101st Airborne Division the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation, the first time in Army history the award had been given to an entire division, for their sacrifice and bravery and continuing the fight for freedom in the face of immense struggle, hardship, unbearable cold, destruction and death; and

     WHEREAS, during April 1945, the Easy Company occupied parts of Germany, remaining there until V-E Day in May 1945, and while in Germany, the company had the privilege of securing Hitler's Eagles Nest outside of Berchtesgarden, the final war time achievement for the accomplished Easy Company, as the post war was looming; and

     WHEREAS, when Easy Company stormed Omaha Beach and entered World War II on June 6, 1944, 140 men permeated its ranks, but by the end of the war, the company was destitute, as 48 of those men, who served in the Easy Company throughout the war, had perished, paying the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and justice for all, and more than 100 men in the company had been wounded, some more than once, but while their battle cry was "Currahee!" which means "Stands Alone," not one man in the Easy Company stood alone, they stood together as one; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Freeman's unceasing gallantry and indomitable valor during the war earned him some of the most prestigious and esteemed awards a fearless combatant can receive, including the American Campaign Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart with one oak leaf cluster (2 awards), the Army Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze oak leaf cluster (2 awards), the Europe/African/Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Silver Star and an Arrowhead Device (6 awards), the French Croix De Guerre Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Belgium Croix De Guerre Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal, the Netherlands Bronze Lion Medal, the Parachutist Badge with two Bronze Stars (2 combat jumps), the Combat Infantry Badge and the Rifle, Auto-Rifle and Bayonet Device; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Bradford C. Freeman's unflinching courage and bravery reflect lasting glory upon himself and uphold the noble traditions of the infantry and the military service; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to honor heroic Mississippians such as Mr. Bradford C. Freeman for his dauntless fortitude and his remarkable dedication to the United States of America and the people of the State of Mississippi, who are eternally appreciative, for without Mr. Freeman, the freedom they know and love would not be possible:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby recognize the courage and bravery of Mr. Bradford C. Freeman and commend his valiant service during World War II on behalf of this great nation.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Mr. Bradford C. Freeman and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.