Bradford Freeman, The Last 'Band Of Brothers' Survivor, Has Died At 97
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The last surviving member of the famed ‘Band of Brothers’, Bradford Freeman, has passed away at the age of 97.
His family confirmed the World War II veteran’s passing on Wednesday (July 6).
Freeman was part of the famous Army unit featured in the World War II oral history book and miniseries Band of Brothers.
The military veteran passed away on Sunday at Baptist Memorial Hospital, according to Lowndes Funeral Home.
Freeman volunteered for the army when he was just 18 years old. He dropped out of Mississippi State in order to enlist for the Second World War.
He volunteered for the paratroopers and was assigned to Easy Company and became a mortarman in Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
Freeman parachuted into Normandy on D-Day as part of Lt. Buck Compton’s ‘stick 70’. After safely landing, he spent D-Day protecting the intersection at Brecourt Manor.
He fought in Operation Market-Garden and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge.
He also participated in occupations of Berchtesgaden, Germany, and Austria.
Freeman was discharged with the rest of Easy Company in November 1945.
His obituary stated: “After the war, he returned to Caledonia and married Willie Louise Gurley on June 29, 1947, and worked as a mail carrier for 32 years.”
It later added: “Our dad was always astounded that a country boy from Mississippi was able to see so many places and meet so many interesting people.”
Freeman leaves behind a sister, two daughters, four grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
As of December 2021, he was the last surviving Easy Company member, following the death of Edward Shames.
Freeman was played by actor James Farmer in the HBO miniseries, although Farmer had no speaking parts in the series.
The 2001 series was created by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who also served as executive producers.
It was based on a non-fiction book from historian Stephen E. Ambrose and looked to dramatise the history of the group of which Freeman was a part of.
The series earned critical acclaim, earning multiple Emmy awards in categories such as ‘Oustanding Miniseries’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television Programming’.
The series also won a Golden Globe award for ‘Best Miniseries or Television Film’.