Robert F. Freitag – Captain, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report

Robert F. Freitag, 78, a retired Navy Captain and engineer who was a development manager of the Saturn space launch vehicle and worked on other manned flight programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, died of congestive heart failure April 21, 1998 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. He lived in Annandale.

At NASA, where he worked from 1963 to 1986, Captain Freitag helped negotiate international agreements for space projects, including the Freedom station that is to be assembled in space. He also worked on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo-Soyuz and Spacelab programs.

Captain Freitag was a native of Jackson, Michigan, and a graduate of the University of Michigan. He received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He was assigned to the Navy aeronautics bureau in Washington during World War II and was later chief of ship-launched missile design and production. His work there included the Regulus and Polaris missiles.

He directed the Navy Astronautics Office before being assigned to NASA.

His honors include a Legion of Merit and awards from the International Academy of Astronautics and American Institute of Aeronautics. He also was recognized as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Michigan and was a member of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame.

His wife of 54 years, Maxine Freitag, died in 1995.

Survivors include four children, Nancy Sprague of Falls Church, Janet Wasserstrom of Delray Beach, Fla., Fred Freitag of Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Paul Freitag of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and seven grandchildren.


On Tuesday, April 21, 1998, of Annandale, VA, beloved husband of the late Maxine P. Freitag. He is survived by daughters, Nancy Sprague and Janet Wasserstrom; sons, Fred and Paul Freitag; and seven grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at 9 a.m., Monday, May 4 at Ft. Myer Chapel. Inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Parkinson’s Association, 1250 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10305.


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