Colonel Edward Shames, the last surviving member of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, has passed away. Colonel Shames was 99 years old.
American hero Edward Shames has passed away at the age of 99.
Colonel Shames died Friday, and he was the last remaining officer of the famous and iconic Easy Company from WWII. 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.
May God bless and keep you, Colonel. Thank you for your service, and enjoy eternity with your fellow brothers.