American hero Edward Shames has passed away at the age of 99.
According to CNN, Colonel Shames died Friday, and he was the last remaining officer of the famous and iconic Easy Company from WWII. (RELATED: Watching ‘Band Of Brothers‘ Never Gets Old. Here’s Why It’s Such A Great Series)
Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division was one of the fiercest fighting companies in American military history, and their heroic actions were chronicled in the hit series “Band of Brothers.”
Shames’ obituary reads in part:
Ed was involved in some of the most important battles of the war. 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. Ed gained a reputation as a stubborn and very outspoken soldier who demanded the highest of standards from himself and his fellow soldiers. He not only earned the respect of his men, but was recognized by command for outstanding leadership and on June 13, 1944, he received a battlefield commission to Second Lieutenant. This made him the first non-commissioned officer in the Third Battalion to receive a commission in Normandy. In Germany, he 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.
I hope everyone reading this realizes how damn lucky we are that guys like Shames and the other men in Easy Company existed.
When the world cried out for help to defeat the Nazis in Europe, young American men carried M1s and Thompson submachine guns to save complete strangers and free an entire continent.
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
The Nazis thought they could dominate the world. They had no idea the kind of grit, resolve and fighting spirit guys like Shames and his Easy Company teammates.
They kicked down the door to Europe when they jumped behind enemy lines on D-Day and they whooped Germany’s ass through the end of the war.
Col. Edward Shames, the final living officer of Easy Company, 506th PIR, “Band of Brothers”, has passed away peacefully at home at 99 on December 3.
Shames jumped on D-Day, fought in Operation Market Garden, Battle of the Bulge, and entered Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in 1945. #WW2 pic.twitter.com/sL8YxqWx3g
— WWII Pictures (@WWIIpix) December 5, 2021
Nowadays, everyone wants to talk about being a big shot, but very few people have the guts to get the job done. People are incredibly selfish and only think about what’s best for them.
Guys like Shames, Richard Winters and all the other men who wore the uniform during WWII and the wars that have followed did what had to be done to help others.
Heroes like him make me damn proud to be an American.
Rest easy, Shames, and thank you for your incredible sacrifice. You will not be forgotten.