Tuesday, December 7, 2021

On the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, we lose another veteran

 

Many of us were enthralled by the 2001 television series "Band of Brothers", which followed the men of "Easy" Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, through 1944 and 1945 during World War II in Europe.  I still regard it as one of the finest cinematic portrayals of men in combat I've ever seen.

Sadly, we learn that the last surviving member of Easy Company has gone to his reward.


Col. Edward Shames, final surviving member of the World War II parachute infantry regiment known as the “Band of Brothers” which inspired the HBO miniseries and book of the same name, died Friday. He was 99.

An obituary posted by the Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory said Shames, of Norfolk, Virginia, died peacefully at home.

Shames enlisted in the Army in 1942, parachuted into Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge as part of the “Easy Company,” 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

. . .

“He made his first combat jump into Normandy on D-Day as part of Operation Overlord. He volunteered for Operation Pegasus and then fought with Easy Company in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne,” according to the obituary.

Shames was the first member of the 101st to enter Dachau concentration camp, just days after its liberation.

“When Germany surrendered, Ed and his men of Easy Company entered Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest where Ed managed to acquire a few bottles of cognac, a label indicating they were ‘for the Fuhrer’s use only.’ Later, he would use the cognac to toast his oldest son’s Bar Mitzvah,” the obituary outlined.

Shames worked for the National Security Agency as an expert on Middle East affairs at war’s end. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve Division and later retired as a colonel.


There's more at the link.

Here's Col. Shames a few years ago, talking about his experiences from Normandy to the Eagle's Nest in Germany.




May he rest in peace, and may his reunion with his former comrades-in-arms be blessed.  We are diminished by the loss of men such as he.

Peter


7 comments:

Swede said...

“When Germany surrendered, Ed and his men of Easy Company entered Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest where Ed managed to acquire a few bottles of cognac, a label indicating they were ‘for the Fuhrer’s use only.’ Later, he would use the cognac to toast his oldest son’s Bar Mitzvah,” the obituary outlined.

I'm still laughing over that one! Well played, Sir, and Godspeed.

Texas Mike said...

Great stories from this great man! May his soul eternally Rest In Peace.

Old NFO said...

Well played with the cognac is right! AND he made it home with the bottles, which is amazing!!!

Chip Anderson said...

BAMF!

Conall Mac Duibdarach said...

Wow, massive respect. SALUTE.

Jimmy the Saint said...

Wasn't Shames just the last officer from Easy? There was a news blurb on about him and it mentioned that there is still one enlisted guy alive.

Retired Mustang said...

Well played, indeed.