Last Surviving Member of WWII ‘Band of Brothers’ Bradford Freeman Has Died At Age 97

TODAY

Bradford Clark Freeman grew up in Mississippi. He never planned on joining the military, but when he was a freshman at Mississippi State University at the beginning of WWII. He joined the army and volunteered to be a paratrooper. 

In February 1944, he joined the Easy Company in England. On June 6, 1944, better known as D-Day, he parachuted into Normandy, France. In 2021, he recounted the experience, telling Janis Allen, a curator at the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas, “We had to take the place and get the big guns so [the Germans] couldn’t interfere with the soldiers who were coming ashore.” He added, “We secured the area and let the Army go through. They had come ashore and now they got on with their business.”

Stephen E. Ambrose wrote a book about Easy Company called “Band of Brothers.” The book was released in 1992, and in 2001, the book was turned into an HBO miniseries by the same name. HBO describes the series as follows: “They were ordinary men, swept up in the most extraordinary conflict in history.” The series depicts “the remarkable achievements of an elite team of U.S. paratroopers whose World War II exploits are as incredible as they are true.”

Freeman shared memories from WWII with Ambrose, but he claimed “there was a lot in the book that he knew nothing about.” He was also involved in the making of the miniseries.

Freeman was the last surviving member of the Band of Brothers. Now, there are no surviving members. Freeman died on July 3, 2022. He was 97.

According to his obituary, Freeman returned home after the war and married Willie Louise Gurley. He spent the next 32 years working as a mail carrier. He is survived by 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. 

In the obituary, his daughters wrote, “Our dad was always astounded that a country boy from Mississippi was able to see so many places and meet so many interesting people.”

Watch the video below to learn more about the life of Bradford Freeman and the Band of Brothers.

Did anyone in your family fight in WWII?

[Image credit: YouTube]