Lewes in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Legacy of Ted Freeman
Theodore C. Freeman was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania on February 18, 1930. When he was fifteen months old, Ted's family moved to Lewes, Delaware. As Ted grew up, aviation became his passion. On his 16th birthday, Ted earned his pilot's license with 450 hours of flying time. During his high school years, the young aviator worked as a spotter pilot searching for schools of menhaden for Fish Products Company of Lewes, Delaware. In 1948, Ted graduated with honors from Lewes High School and that summer earned his commercial pilot's license.
Ted was nominated for the United States Naval Academy by U.S. Senator John J. Williams of Millsboro, Delaware – earning a Bachelor of Science degree from this prestigious institution in 1953.
Honoring his lifelong love of flying, Ted chose to enter the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. After two years of test-flying experience with advanced and high-performance aircraft, Ted was one of 14 candidates to graduate from aerospace school at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
On October 18, 1963, NASA selected him as one of the 14 astronauts for
Captain Freeman chose to make up routine flight hours near Ellington Air Force Base in Houston on October 31, 1964. Unexpectedly encountering a flock of snow geese caused both engines of his T-38A Talon jet to fail. Realizing he wouldn't clear military homes – some of which housed fellow astronauts – he desperately banked away from the houses. This unselfish act cost him his life. Capt. Ted Freeman became the first American astronaut to lose his life in the country's quest to get to the moon.
All 28 astronauts were in attendance at the funeral in Houston and burial at Arlington National Cemetery, an extraordinary occurrence in history when all of NASA's astronauts were gathered in the same place at the same time.
The Freeman Highway approach to the Cape May – Lewes Ferry forever recognizes and honors the contributions of local hero, Capt. Theodore C. Freeman, and his service to our country.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • Disasters • Science & Medicine.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes DE 19958, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Unknown Sailors' Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Delaware Pilots (within shouting distance of this marker); Breakwaters (within shouting distance of this marker); Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Menhaden Fisheries (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lighthouses (approx. 0.6 miles away); German Submarine at Cape Henlopen (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewes.
Also see . . .
1. Freeman, Theodore Cordy 'Ted'.
Freeman graduated from both the Air Force's Experimental Test Pilot and Aerospace Research Pilot Courses. He elected to serve with the Air Force. His last Air Force assignment was as a flight test aeronautical engineer and experimental flight test instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. (Submitted on March 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Plaque shares Lewes astronaut with new generations.
That’s why on June 18, 2014, Gov. Jack Markell and other officials unveiled a plaque at the ferry terminal honoring Freeman, and announced that another plaque will be placed along Freeman Highway for cyclists using a new trail connecting Rehoboth Beach and Lewes to see. (Submitted on March 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Deaths associated with US space programs.
31 October 1964 - Theodore Freeman was killed in the crash of a T-38 at Ellington AFB near Houston. The aircraft crashed after it was struck by a snow goose. The impact caused pieces of the canopy to enter both engines. He ejected, but was too low for his parachute to deploy completely. (Submitted on March 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 5, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 142 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.