, Dec 5 () –
Retired United States Army Colonel Edward Shames, the last survivor of the World War II paratrooper regiment immortalized in the book and subsequent war TV series ‘Blood Brothers’, has died at the age of 99.
Shames “passed away peacefully at his home” in the state of Virginia, according to the obituary published on Friday, the day of his death, by the Hollomon-Brown funeral home and collected by CNN.
The obituary recalls that Shames “participated in some of the most important battles of the war,” beginning with his first combat jump over the beaches of Normandy during the great landing of Operation Overlord in 1944.
Furthermore, he was the first member of his regiment’s unit, Easy Company, to cross the gates of the Nazi death camp at Dachau, shortly after his liberation. He also entered the alpine residence of the dictator Adolf Hitler, the so-called “eagle’s nest”, where he “took a few bottles of brandy.”
“Shames earned a reputation as a headstrong soldier who always set the bar for himself and his comrades,” the obituary added.
After the war, Shames worked as an expert on Middle East affairs for the National Security Agency, and participated in several documentaries on the conflict. His role in the renowned HBO series was played by actor Joseph May.