Edward Shames, a World War II veteran who was the last surviving officer of вЂњEasy Company,вЂќ which inspired the HBO miniseries and book вЂњBand of Brothers,вЂќ has died. He was 99.
An obituary posted by the Holomon-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory said Shames, of Norfolk, Virginia, died peacefully at his home on Friday.
Shames was involved in some of the most important battles of World War II. During the war, he was a member of the renowned Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
вЂњHe 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,вЂќ according to the obituary.
Shames was the first member of the 101st to enter Dachau concentration camp, just days after its liberation.
вЂњWhen Germany surrendered, Ed and his men of Easy Company entered HitlerвЂ™s EagleвЂ™s Nest where Ed managed to acquire a few bottles of cognac, a label indicating they were вЂfor the FuhrerвЂ™s use only.вЂ™ Later, he would use the cognac to toast his oldest sonвЂ™s Bar Mitzvah,вЂќ the obituary said.
After the war, Shames worked for the National Security Agency as an expert on Middle East affairs.He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve Division and later retired as a colonel.
Easy Company was the subject of Stephen AmbroseвЂ™s 1992 book, вЂњBand Top Site Info of Brothers,вЂќ upon which the HBO miniseries was based. The 2001 miniseries, created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, followed Easy Company from its training in Georgia in 1942 all the way to the warвЂ™s end in 1945. Shames was portrayed by British actor Joseph May.
Shames is survived by his sons Douglas and Steven, four grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday morning, the funeral home said.
Country musician, Stonewall Jackson, most known for performing on the longest-running radio show, The Opry, died on December 4, 2021.
This story has been edited to correct the name of D-Day operation, Operation Overlord, not Overload.
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