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Bengt Fredman
Birth name Bengt Gösta Olof Fredman
Born (1916-04-22)22 April 1916
Died 31 December 2008(2008-12-31) (aged 92)
Place of birth Östersund, Sweden
Allegiance Sweden
Service/branch Swedish Army
Years of service 1939–1970s
Rank Lieutenant colonel
Unit Västernorrland Regiment
Jämtland Rifle Regiment

Congo Crisis

Bengt Gösta Olof Fredman (22 April 1916 – 31 December 2008) was a Swedish Army lieutenant colonel, mostly known for his actions during the Congo Crisis in 1963.

Career[edit | edit source]

Early life and career[edit | edit source]

Fredman was born in Östersund, Sweden, the son of Reinhold Fredman, an accountant, and his wife Astrid Dahlström. He passed studentexamen in Sundsvall in 1935 and became fänrik in Västernorrland Regiment (I 21) in Sollefteå in 1939. Fredman was promoted to lieutenant two years later and atteneded the Royal Swedish Army Staff College becoming captain in 1947. He served as secretary in the Västernorrland County's officer training union from 1948 to 1959 and was a member of the Central Union of Officer Training (Centralförbundet för befälsutbildning) from 1956. Fredman served as major in the staff of Härnösand's defence area in 1958.[1]

Congo[edit | edit source]

Fredman was commding officer of the Swedish Battalion XVIII K between October 1962 and May 1963.[2] He was handpicked for the post deputy of battalion commander but as the regular battalion commander was asked to become head of sector Kamina in the State of Katanga, Fredman received direct command and responsibility of the battalion. Thus, it was he who with short notice, planned, led the attack and captured the town of Kaminaville during Operation Grandslam on New Year's Eve in 1962. The attack occurred without loss to the Swedes and without destruction of either the white or African district. The larger of the two captured Gendarmerie camps in Kaminaville was named by a soldier very frivolously to Camp Fred which also became the future name. The name (Fred, Swedish word for "Peace") partly referred to their mission as peacemakers and the UN peacekeeping mandate and partly as a tribute to their battalion commander Bengt Fredman.[2]

Early in the morning of 12 January 1963 in Kabundji, Fredman and his battalion surprised two Gendarmerie battalions on their payday and were disarmed, demobilized, were paid with their own war chest, declared to be civilians and sent home to their respective hometowns.[2]

Later career[edit | edit source]

Back in Sweden in 1963, Fredman began serving in the Jämtland Rifle Regiment (I 5) and in 1966 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed head of the staff department and adjutant to the military commander of the Eastern Military Area (Milo Ö) in Strängnäs.[1]

Fredman was a member of the Swedish Order of Freemasons and Samfundet SHT.[1]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

In 1941 he married Gun Wennberg (born 1920), the daughter of Bror Wennberg and Beda Östling. He was the father of Lars Olof (born 1945), Elisabeth (born 1950) and Lennart (born 1953).[1] Fredman died on 31 December 2008 and was buried at the Eastern Cemetery in his hometown of Östersund.[3]

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

Fredman's awards:[1]

  • Knight of the Order of the Sword
  • Västernorrland Officers (Education) League's Gold Medal (Västernorrlands läns befäls(utbildnings)förbunds guldmedalj)
  • Central Union of Officer Training's Silver Medal (Centralförbundet för befälsutbildnings silvermedalj)
  • Swedish Women's Voluntary Defence Service' Siler Medal (Riksförbundet Sveriges lottakårers silvermedalj)
  • Västernorrland Shooting Association's Silver Medal (Västernorrlands skytteförbunds silvermedalj)
  • United Nations Medal (ONUCM)
  • Sweden's Civil Defense Federation's Badge of Merit in Gold (Sveriges civilförsvarsförbund förtjänsttecken i guld)
  • Swedish Outdoor Association's Gold Medal (Skid- och friluftsfrämjandets i Sveriges guldmedalj)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Davidsson, Åke, ed (1968) (in Swedish). Vem är vem?. 5, Norrland : supplement, register (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Vem är vem. p. 641. 53513. http://runeberg.org/vemarvem/norr68/0665.html. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Chiborn, Larry (4 February 2009). "Bengt Fredman" (in Swedish). http://www.ltz.se/bengt-fredman.  Chiborn, Larry (24 February 2009). "Bengt Fredman" (in Swedish). https://www.dn.se/arkiv/familj/bengt-fredman/. 
  3. "BENGT Gösta Olov FREDMAN" (in Swedish). Finngraven.se. http://finngraven.se/(S(y1oaktulfmxl5bw04co5v0oo))/DisplayInfo.aspx?id=2251456. 

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