Blair, Freeman, Pvt

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 Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
0331-Machine Gunner
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
1942-Present, 0331, MIA - WWII
Service Years
1941 - 1942
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Golden Dragon Certificate



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 Personal Details 

179 kb

State of Birth
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Roger Rape (Mouse)-Deceased to remember Marine Pvt Freeman Blair.

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 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1942, World War II Fallen

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Birth and Early Life:
Freeman was the son of  William and Leah Leitzel of Snyder, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1924, and raised on the family farm.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Within days after the attack of Pearl Harbor, seventeen-year old Freeman was swearing his allegiance to the United States Marine Corps. He was sent to Parris Island for training  with the Fifth Recruit Battalion, and was posted as a private to Company D, First Battalion, First Marines at New River in the spring of 1942.
Wartime Service:
As a member of his battalion's heavy weapons company, Private Blair would have learned to use a water-cooled machine gun or an 81mm mortar. He practiced in camp at New River, North Carolina before sailing for New Zealand and then the beaches of Guadalcanal in August, 1942.
Date Of Loss:
On the morning of August 21, Freeman's company in division reserve heard heavy gunfire from the area where their regiment's Second Battalion was standing guard. The battle of the Tenaru was being fought; a Japanese regiment under Colonel Ichiki was throwing itself against the American defenses and being utterly destroyed. When daylight came and it was sure that Second Battalion could hold, the First Battalion including Blair's company crossed the Ilu River to counterattack the enemy. The fighting lasted all day but, supported by a few light tanks, the Marines wiped out nearly every member of Colonel Ichiki's detachment, and scattered the survivors into the jungle. Private Freeman Blair was killed during this counterattack, but his tenacity in his final fight won him the notice of an officer. He was awarded a posthumous Silver Star.
Next Of Kin:
Guardian, Mr. William Leitzel
Status Of Remains:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
Other Comments:
Silver Star
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private Freeman Bright Blair (MCSN: 341404), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as a member of a patrol of Company D, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 21 August 1942. While engaged with several hostile patrols in the vicinity of the Tenaru River, Private Blair received a severe bullet wound in his side. Fighting on, despite intense pain and waning strength, he was eventually incapacitated by a bullet wound in his shoulder. While being carried to the rear for treatment of the second injury, he was struck in the head and killed by hostile fire. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Action Date: August 21, 1942
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Rifle Expert (Pre 1959)USMC Basic Qualification Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, Boot Camp (Parris Island, SC)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
MCRD (Cadre) Parris Island, SC1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment  (1/1), 1st Marine RegimentMissing In Action
  1942-1942, 0300, MCRD (Cadre) Parris Island, SC
  1942-1942, 0331, D Co, 1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (1/1)
  1942-Present, 0331, MIA - WWII
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)/Battle of Tulagi (including First Savo)
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