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Edward D. Shames
Nickname -"Ed"
Born June 13, 1922(1922-06-13) (age 99)
Place of birth Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Unit 506 patch.jpeg Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
US 101st Airborne Division patch.svg101st Airborne Division

World War II

Colonel Edward Shames (born June 13, 1922) was a United States army officer during the Second World War. He was known for his service for the Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division, United States Army during the Second World War. Shames was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Joseph May.

Youth[edit | edit source]

Shames was born in Norfolk, Virginia.[1] His father died when he was five.

Military Service[edit | edit source]

In September 1942 Shames joined the army.[2] He volunteered for paratroopers. He was sent to Toccoa, Georgia for training. He started as a private for I Company, Third Battalion of the 506th Regiment, and was promoted to Operations Sergeant in England.[3] Prior to the paratroopers making their jump on D-Day, he built the sand tables the airborne unit used in planning the airdrop into Normandy.

Shames made his first combat jump into Normandy on D-Day as part of Operation Overlord. On 13 June 1944 Shames was made lieutenant, although the formal commission was only completed in England.[2] He was the first NCO in the Third Battalion to receive a battlefield commission in Normandy.[4] He was transferred to Easy Company as second lieutenant and took charge of its third platoon.

Shames fought with Easy Company in Operation Market Garden and he volunteered for Operation Pegasus led by Frederick Heyliger.[5] He was wounded once in his left leg during the campaigns.[2] Shames fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. In Foy, Shames and Paul Rogers knocked out a German tank with a bazooka.[6] In Germany, Shames saw the concentration camps and was deeply affected, because he is partly Jewish.[2] After World War II, Shames was promoted to colonel in the Reserves.

Band of Brothers[edit | edit source]

Shames was portrayed in the TV miniseries Band of Brothers. His portrayal, however, was somewhat negative. In the episode Breaking Point, in discussing the potential officers to replace Easy Company Commander Norman Dike, Richard Winters commented that Shames 'has seen too many war movies' and 'thinks he has to yell all the time', implying that he would not be a good option. In the same episode, Donald Malarkey also commented that it would be nice if Shames was gone together with Dike. Although Shames did shout and yell, he was considered a good officer. Herb Suerth, who served in Shames's third platoon, thought Shames was a good platoon leader, and felt that the series 'belittled' Shames.[6]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Larry Alexander (2011). In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth). NAL Trade]. ISBN 0451233158. 
  • Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7434-6411-6. 
  • Winters, Major Dick, with Cole C. Kingseed. Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters. 
  • Ooms, Ronald. Silver Eagle - The Official Biography of 'Band of Brothers' Veteran Clancy Lyall. 

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Location 412, Ooms
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Edward Shames's Biography
  3. p.54, Alexander
  4. p.117, Winters
  5. Location 895, Ooms
  6. 6.0 6.1 p.298, Alexander

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