Chester County Veteran Turns 100, Is Honored as the Last Remaining WWII Helldiver Pilot

man in hat with certificate
Image via MyChesco.
Jack Freemann.
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, a key Navy weapon during World War II.
Image via the Aviation History Online Museum.

The surprise birthday party for Jack Freemann was a two-pronged event: It celebrated his 100 years and also marked his status as the final survivor as a WWII Helldiver Pilot. His big day was covered in MyChesco.

The Helldiver was a Navy bomber that overcame a troubled design and testing phase in World War II to become a legendary weapon. The Helldiver was designed as a long-range bomber to be operated in the Pacific and had a range of more than 1,100 miles, far distancing other planes’ 300-mile limits. It sank more tons of Japanese shipping than any other wartime aircraft, according to the Aviation History Online Museum.

Fellow residents and staff of Freedom Village at Brandywine, Coatesville, organized the surprise. Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan was an honored guest and presented Freemann with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his big day and his service.

“I am extremely grateful to my fellow residents and community for planning the celebration of my 100th birthday and service to our great country,” said Freemann. “I want to thank and recognize the brave men and women who have served in the United States military as we approach Veterans Day.”

More on this milestone birthday for a celebrated WWII helldiver pilot is at MyChesco.

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