Norfolk, Virginia – Edward Shames, a WWII veteran who was the last surviving officer of the Easy Company, which inspired the HBO miniseries and the Band of Brothers book, has died. He was 99 years old.
An obituary published by Holomon-Brown Funeral Home & Createur states that Shames of Norfolk, Virginia died peacefully at his home on Friday.
Shames took part in some of the most important battles of World War II. During the war, he was a member of the famous Light Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
“He made his first combat leap into Normandy on D-Day as part of Operation Overlord. According to the obituary, he volunteered to participate in Operation Pegasus, and then fought with the Light Company during Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne.
Schemes was the first member of the 101st to enter the Dachau concentration camp just days after its release.
“When Germany surrendered, Ed and his people from Easy Company entered Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, where Ed managed to acquire several bottles of cognac, the label states that they were intended“ only for the Fuehrer ”. Later, he used cognac to toast to his eldest son’s bar mitzvah, ”reads the obituary.
After the war, Shames worked for the National Security Agency as an expert on Middle East affairs. He also served in the US Army Reserve Division and later retired with the rank of colonel.
Easy Company was the subject of Stephen Ambrose’s 1992 book The Group of Brothers, on which the HBO miniseries was based. The 2001 miniseries, created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, accompanied Easy Company from her training in Georgia in 1942 to the end of the war in 1945. Shames was played by British actor Joseph May.
Shams is survived by sons Douglas and Stephen, four grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Sunday morning at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia, according to the funeral home.