A graduate of Bonham High School, Bill attended college at East Texas State University and Texas A&M prior to entering flight school in Corpus Christi. He finished flight school on Dec. 5, 1941 and the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor two days later. He was sent directly to California, and then on to the Solomon Islands. Flying a Grumman-Wildcat, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for six aerial combat victories over Imperial Japanese forces at Guadalcanal. In addition, he and Charles Lindbergh collaborated on design modifications to improve the performance of the Vought Corsair, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. They continued their professional association after the war, working on further design modifications to improve the Corsair’s performance. As a World War II Marine Corps aviator and Ace fighter pilot, he earned many military honors including a Presidential Citation. In 1944 Bonham held a “Bill Freeman Day,” and he was honored with a parade. After the war Bill returned to Bonham and married a hometown girl, Alice Virginia Broadfoot, daughter of Judge Albert Sidney Broadfoot and Jessie Butler Broadfoot. The couple had three children, Bill Freeman Jr., Rebecca and Alisa.
Following WWII he entered Annapolis, completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering, and then he entered MIT and earned his Master’s Degree, also in Aeronautical Engineering. After earning the degrees he worked on weapons development for the Marine Corps. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1954 as a Lt. Col. He then went to work in the aeronautical industry for a number of years, and then returned to public service in Washington, D.C., first at the Department of the Interior, and later at the newly formed Department of Energy. In 1982, after retiring from the Dept. of Energy, he returned to Bonham to be close to his mother and to look after his land investments.
This is an official Autogrpah!
Lieutenant Colonel William B. Freeman Autograph
Smoky Mountain Relic Room offers a 30 return policy with proof of purchase.
-Limited Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee-
The Smoky Mountain Relic Room stands behind the items we sell with a limnited lifetime guarantee. We will exchange any item for store credit if the item sold is found by a certified authenticator not to be the authentic artifact, fossil, meteorite or mineral that we advertised it as being. A letter, specific to the artifact, fossil, meteorite or mineral in question, from a certified authenticator (in the business under the occupation specific to the item in question) must be brought in with the item for the return to be acceptable. This guarantee is for the lifetime of the initial purchaser only. See the Relic Room Manager, downstairs inside Smoky Mountain Knife Works, for more information. Original receipt required for exchanges.
Your purchase will be shipped in 1-3 business days via USPS or UPS.