Tue, 09 Aug 2022

NORFOLK, Virginia: The last surviving officer in the historic World War II US Army parachute infantry regiment known as Easy Company, Edward Shames, died on December 3 at the age of 99.

During World War II, Shames was a member of the renowned Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, made famous as the Band of Brothers.

Easy Company was later immortalized in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, based on The New York Times bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose.

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

When Germany surrendered, Shames and the men of Easy Company entered Hitler's home, the Eagle's Nest in Bavaria, where Shames acquired a few bottles of cognac, with 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 added.

After the war, Shames worked as an expert on Middle East affairs with the National Security Agency, later serving in the US Army Reserve Division. He retired as a colonel.

A graveside service was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.

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