Bradford Freeman, the last surviving member of the historic U.S. Army unit that was the basis for the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, died at the age of 97.
Freeman was a freshman at Mississippi State when World War II broke out. He enlisted in the Army and was assigned to 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He served as the unit’s mortarman, fighting in numerous battles, including the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He also helped defend Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge, where he was injured.
Despite his injury, Freeman would return to his unit, known as Easy Company, and continued fighting in Berchtesgaden and Austria.
After the war, Freeman returned to Mississippi, where he married Willie Louise Gurley and spent 32 years working as a mail carrier.
He is survived by his sister, Claydeen Allen, and two daughters, Beverly Bowles and Becky (Don) Clardy. He has four grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
“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’s family wrote in his obituary.