Edward Shames, the last member of the 'Band of Brothers,' dies at 99 - CNNPolitics

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  kavika  •  8 months ago  •  32 comments

By:   Melissa Alonso (CNN)

Edward Shames, the last member of the 'Band of Brothers,' dies at 99 - CNNPolitics
Col. Edward Shames, the last surviving officer of the historic World War II parachute infantry regiment of the US Army known as Easy Company, died Friday at the age of 99.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



(CNN)Col. Edward Shames, the last surviving officer of the historic World War II parachute infantry regiment of the US Army known as Easy Company, died Friday at the age of 99.

Shames "passed away peacefully at home," said the obituary posted by the Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory.

During World War II, Shames "was a member of the renowned Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division now known globally as the 'Band of Brothers,'" according to the obituary. The story of Easy Company was later immortalized in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," based on The New York Times bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose. (CNN and HBO are part of WarnerMedia.)

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 Overload," according to the obituary. Shames "gained a reputation as a stubborn and very outspoken soldier who demanded the highest of standards from himself and his fellow soldiers," it said.

"In Germany, he was the first member of the 101st to enter Dachau concentration camp, just days after its liberation," said the obituary. Read More When Germany surrendered, Shames "and his men of Easy Company entered Hitler's Eagle's Nest where" Shames "managed to acquire a few bottles of cognac, a label indicating they were 'for the Fuhrer's use only,' said the obituary.

"Later, he would use the cognac to toast his oldest son's Bar Mitzvah," according to the obituary.

After the war, Shames worked as an expert on Middle East affairs with the National Security Agency. He later served in the US Army Reserve Division and retired as a colonel. CNN has reached out to the US Army for comment. Shames "was preceded in death by his devoted and beloved wife, Ida," said his obituary. "They had a beautiful and loving marriage for 73 years. They traveled the world together making lifelong friends."

A graveside service will be held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday morning, according to the funeral home.


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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Kavika     8 months ago

When the 101st Airborne finished their US training and were preparing to depart for Europe there commanding General, General William C. Lee known as the father of American Airborne told his troops, ''We have no history but we have a rendevous with destiny''.

Indeed they did, from D-Day to Bastogne, Dachau, and on to Eagles Nest. 

The motto of the 506 PIR is, "Currahee" (Cherokee for STAND ALONE)

512

RIP Trooper.

Christmas Day, 1944, the 101st and accompanying units memorial stand at Bastogne, and the famous quote from General McAullif when asked to surrender by the German commander, his response was ''Nuts''.

Christmas, Bastogne

512

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Kavika @1    8 months ago

You think of the sacrifices of the greatest generation and compare that to the pampered whining taking place nowadays.

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
1.1.1  shona1  replied to  TᵢG @1.1    8 months ago

Geez these days if kids lose their mobile phones they need counseling...

And suffer anxiety and panic attacks...and their world has come to an end...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @1    8 months ago

On a personal note in 1960 I visited the US military cemetery In Belgium where my cousin PFC Monroe W. was buried. He was a trooper in the 101st with the 501st PIR and was KIA on Christmas Eve 1944, Bastogne. 

As a member of the 101st Airborne, I felt like I was standing on hallowed ground, and I was. I visited the town of Bastogne and felt the history. This was only 16 years after that bloody battle. It was a life-changing moment for me, one that I will never forget. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.2.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1.2    8 months ago

back in the early 60's, the father of the babysitter my parents used for me and my sisters was a bulge veteran, but I don't know what outfit he was with. "uncle" pete and I would watch WWII movies in the basement, and he would provide running commentary, while letting me hold one of his many german lugers. it wasn't until decades later that I found out he had only related his war experiences to me. he had never talked about them to anyone in his family. he spent the rest of his life having shrapnel work it's way out of his body and having it removed. he made enough money playing poker on the transport ship coming back home to start a construction business that his 2 sons inherited. his daughter, my babysitter, is a very successful romance novelist to this day. RIP uncle pete.

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
1.2.2  Split Personality  replied to  devangelical @1.2.1    8 months ago

I think your Uncle Pete was my Uncle Dominic...

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
1.2.3  Split Personality  replied to  Split Personality @1.2.2    8 months ago

512

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Expert
2  Raven Wing    8 months ago

R.I.P. Col. Edward Shames. 

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
3  shona1    8 months ago

Anoon... Once again a chapter in the book of life and history has been closed forever...

Sleep well, and rest easy knowing you have done your best...

Lest we forget...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  seeder  Kavika     8 months ago

I read many books on the Battle of the Bulge one of the best was ''The First Eight Days'' and another was written by Kareem Abdul Jabbar (yes, the basketball legend a wonderful author) ''Brothers in Arms'' was not about the Battle of the Bulge but of the unit as a whole. It was the story of the 761st Tank Battalion an all-black unit and they like the 101st were told to hold Bastogne ''at all costs''..Well worth reading.

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
4.1  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @4    8 months ago

The legendary "Black Panthers"

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Split Personality  replied to  Split Personality @4.1    8 months ago

trivia

Brought into existence on April 1, 1942, at  Camp Claiborne , Louisiana, the 761st Tank Battalion trained amid the restrictions and racism of the Jim Crow South.

I am constantly reminded here that we are not and have not been a racist nation for generations.

First Lieutenant Jack Roosevelt Robinson of the 761st, an athlete who would become one of the greatest baseball players of all time, lost his chance to see combat when he refused to move to the back of a segregated military bus during an incident at Fort Hood, Texas in July 1944.

I am constantly reminded here that we are not and have not been a racist nation...

. The 761st battalion’s commander, Lt. Col. Paul L. Bates, refused to prosecute Robinson, but his superiors got around that by transferring the lieutenant to another unit, where he was court-martialed.

I am constantly reminded here that we are not and have not been a racist nation...

Robinson was later acquitted, but too late to rejoin the Black Panthers.
The Black Panthers Enter Combat: The 761st Tank Battalion, November 1944 | The National WWII Museum | New Orleans (nationalww2museum.org)

Probably the best outcome we could have hoped for...

( "a segregated military bus"',  let that sink in )

 
 
 
Snuffy
Masters Guide
4.1.2  Snuffy  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.1    8 months ago
we are not and have not been a racist nation for generations.

I have to disagree a bit with this.  Had the nation in total been racist then the 761st would have never been formed. But not everybody was racist even back then.  There was plenty of racism in the past and over time things have gotten better. That doesn't mean that all racism has been solved, there are still issues. But things in this country are much better than they were 100 years ago and will continue to improve over time. But I don't believe that racism will ever be fully eliminated until the human race is eliminated from existence as hate is too easy for some.

But to call us a racist nation is to imply that everybody was racist and that just wasn't true then or today.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.3  JBB  replied to  Snuffy @4.1.2    8 months ago

"Everybody"? No, but slavery was real. Jim Crow was real. Redlining was real. Discrimination was legal. Schools and businesses were segregated. Ask any black friend if white retail workers and restaurant servers often treat them poorly.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Masters Guide
4.1.4  Snuffy  replied to  JBB @4.1.3    8 months ago

Yes, I know that slavery was real, that Jim Crow laws were real, that all of it happened.  But when you say the nation, that implies every citizen who lives in the nation.  That's the only point I was trying to make.  As I said,  if the entire nation was racist back then the 761st or the Taskegee Airmen would never have been formed so not all white people were racist.  That's the only point I was making.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.5  JohnRussell  replied to  Snuffy @4.1.4    8 months ago

There is no doubt whatsoever that America has historically been a racist nation. Unless you think you know of a historical period when it wasnt. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.5    8 months ago
There is no doubt whatsoever that America has historically been a racist nation. Unless you think you know of a historical period when it wasnt. 

How do people miss his POINT so easily?????

He CLEARLY stated his position.

To quote exactly:

But when you say the nation, that implies every citizen who lives in the nation.  That's the only point I was trying to make.  As I said,  if the entire nation was racist back then the 761st or the Taskegee Airmen would never have been formed so not all white people were racist.  That's the only point I was making.  
 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.7  Sean Treacy  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.1    8 months ago

[removed]

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.8  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.6    8 months ago
But when you say the nation, that implies every citizen who lives in the nation.  That's the only point I was trying to make.  As I said,  if the entire nation was racist back then the 761st or the Taskegee Airmen would never have been formed so not all white people were racist.  That's the only point I was making.  

You dont have to have every single person in the country be racist in order to have been historically a racist nation. Why should we even respond to these ludicrous points? 

 
 
 
Snuffy
Masters Guide
4.1.9  Snuffy  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.8    8 months ago
You dont have to have every single person in the country be racist in order to have been historically a racist nation.

I try not to deal in absolutes. There are always shades of grey in the discussion.  By your statement a nation cannot be non-racist until every single person in the country is also non-racist.  As I do not believe that will every happen in any country on this planet, by your definition this is now and always will be a racist planet. 

IMO, people can be racist but nations are not. Laws can be racist but laws are made by people and not by nations.   You have the right to formulate your own opinion and if you want to take a majority of people being racist to equal a nation being racist there's nothing I can or should do to change your mind. 

But if you calling the entire nation racist helps you sleep at night more power to you.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
5  JBB    8 months ago

We grew up surrounded by heroes in the 50s and 60s.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6  seeder  Kavika     8 months ago

I will be leaving the article open and unattended until later this afternoon so please stick to the subject as a matter of respect to Edward Shamas and his unit and to all those that fought and died there. 

As a minority, I fully understand the racism that we have faced past and present and probably into the future. But at this time let us honor Edward Shames, the 101st, and the 761st for what they accomplished against all odds. 

Thank you.

 
 
 
Split Personality
Professor Principal
6.1  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @6    8 months ago

800

Fair winds and following sea, warrior Shames.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Split Personality @6.1    8 months ago

Outstanding, thanks SP

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7  seeder  Kavika     8 months ago

The greatest irony is when Edward Shames took two bottles of Cognac marked for the Fuhrer's use only and used them at his son's Bar Mitzvah.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @7    8 months ago

cool, I bet that skewer thru adolph reached 10K degrees on that spit in hell he's been suspended over.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.1.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @7.1    8 months ago

I'm sure that it did. 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
Professor Guide
8  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    8 months ago

They are all together again.  RIP Col. Shames. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
8.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @8    8 months ago
They are all together again.  RIP Col. Shames. 

Yes, they are Sister.  A true ''Band of Brothers''....

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
9  Gsquared    8 months ago

He was an American hero.  We are forever grateful.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
9.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Gsquared @9    8 months ago
We are forever grateful.

Yes, we are G...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
10  seeder  Kavika     8 months ago

I left the article open when I traveled to another city and asked that members stick the subject to respect a man, that fought and endured through epic battles of WWII, to another who fought and died on Christmas Eve 1944 at Bastogne, and to the 761st who endured through many things, both bloody combat and discrimination. 

It was a simple request to show respect, it is obvious that some of you simply either don't know what respect is for men that fought and some that died for our country or don't care because you feel that your comments override respect for Warriors. They do not and never will. 

I don't need your input on racism and discrimination because none of you really have any idea of what it is and you've never faced it. 

It is sad that I even have to post this comment but all comments that were posted after my request have been marked as off-topic. If you don't like it too damn bad complain to the RA. 

 
 

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