Norfolk, Virginia (AP) – Edward Shamis, a World War II veteran who was the last surviving officer of the Easy Company, which inspired the HBO short series and book “Band of Brothers,” has died. He was 99 years old.
An obituary published by Holomon Brown Funeral Home and Crematorium said Shamis, of Norfolk, Virginia, died peacefully at his home Friday.
Shams participated in some of the most important battles of World War II. During the war, he was a member of the famous Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
He made his first combat jump in Normandy on D-Day as part of Operation Overlord. He volunteered for Operation Pegasus and then fought with the Easy Company at Operation Market Garden and Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, according to the mourner.
Shames was the first member of the 101st to enter the Dachau concentration camp, just days after its liberation.
When Germany surrendered, Ed and his men from the Easy Company entered Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest where Ed was able to get a few bottles of cognac, a label indicating they were ‘for Führer use only.’ Later, he would use cognac to toast his eldest son’s son. bar mitzvah,” said the obituary.
After the war, Shams worked for the National Security Agency as an expert on Middle Eastern affairs. He also served in the US Army Reserve Division and later retired as a colonel.
The Easy Company was the subject of Stephen Ambrose’s 1992 book, “Band of Brothers,” which the HBO mini-series was based on. The 2001 miniseries, created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, followed Izzie Company from her training in Georgia in 1942 all the way to the end of the war in 1945. British actor Joseph May filmed the series Shames.
Shams is survived by his sons Douglas and Stephen, four grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
The funeral home said a mass near the graves will be held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday morning.
This story has been edited to correct the name of the D-Day operation, Operation Overlord, and not Overload.