Last Surviving ‘Band Of Brothers’ Officer Dies At 99 – This Is The Incredible Story Of Edward Shames
World War II Easy Company real-life hero and the last surviving member of "Band Of Brothers", Edward Shames, has died at the age of 99.
Col. Edward David Shames, who had been the last surviving officer from the legendary World War II Army unit Easy Company depicted in HBO’s smash hit miniseries “Band of Brothers,” passed away on Friday. The brave war hero was 99 years-old.
Easy Company Officer Edward Shames, Of ‘Band Of Brothers’ Renown, Passes Away
This feels like the end of something.
Edward Shames, the final living member of the Band of Brother, Easy Company, 506th, has left us. He died peacefully at home at 99.
Ed jumped into Normandy, fought in some of WWII's most critical moments, was memorialized on the HBO show. pic.twitter.com/4o57njMJ5k
— XVIII Airborne Corps (@18airbornecorps) December 4, 2021
An obituary published by the Holomon-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory stated that Shames “passed away peacefully” at his home in Norfolk, Virginia.
The obituary adds that Shames, who was born in 1922, was the oldest surviving member “renowned Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division now known globally as the ‘Band of Brothers.'”
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Edward Shames’ Real-Life D-Day Experience With His ‘Band Of Brothers’
“He made his first combat jump into Normandy on D-Day as part of Operation Overlord,” the obituary continued. “He volunteered for Operation Pegasus and then fought with Easy Company in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne.”
Watch Edward Shames discuss his own experiences on D-Day as a member of Easy Company in the video below.
Just days after the Dachau concentration camp was liberated, Shames became the first member of the 101st to enter it.
“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,'” said his obituary. “Later, he would use the cognac to toast his oldest son’s Bar Mitzvah.”
Easy Company’s Heroism Memorialized In ‘Band Of Brothers’ Miniseries
The heroics of Shames and his fellow members of the 101st were immortalized by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg in their seven-time Emmy-winning HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers”.
“Band Of Brothers” is based on the 1992 book of the same name written by Stephen A. Ambrose.
Edwards Shames was portrayed in the series by British actor Joseph May.
If you have never seen “Band Of Brothers”, you really must check out it. Here’s a glimpse of the award-winning WWII drama:
Once World War II ended in 1945, Shames became an expert on Middle East affairs for the National Security Agency. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve Division, eventually retiring as a colonel.
Shames was married to his beloved wife Ida for 73 years before she passed away, and he is survived by their two sons, four grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Edward Shames Received Military Honor Before His Death
USA Today reported that just a few weeks before his death, Shames was honored with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Wings of Valor Award by the American Veterans Center.
Edward Shames of Easy Company was a true American hero. The World War II vet was also one of the last survivors of America’s greatest generation.
We would like to thank him for his honorable service. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.
Rest in peace, Colonel Shames.