Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

Last survivor of ‘Band of Brothers’ to be honored at WWII Museum

An exhibit on the home front at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. (Susan Glaser, The Plain Dealer/TNS)

Bradford “Brad” Freeman, a Mississippi native and the last surviving member of the famous “Band of Brothers” of the 101st Airborne in World War II, will be honored by the National World War II Museum with the Silver Service Medallion in June.

The medallion is awarded by the president of the WWII Museum to veterans and those with a direct connection to WWII “who have served with distinction and continue to lead by example.”

Freeman, a Caledonia, Miss., native, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, volunteering for paratrooper duty. He was then assigned to Company E (Easy Company), 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne as a mortarman.

Freeman jumped with Easy Company into Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944, with an 18-pound motar baseplate strapped to his chest. He fought in Operation Market-Garden and was later part of the defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Wounded during the battle, he would later rejoin his unit and participated in the occupation of Berchtesgaden and Austria.

He was honored with the French Legion of Honor, that country’s highest military honor, for his service in the liberation of France.

Freeman returned to Caledonia after the war, got married, built a home, raised two daughters, entered college using the GI Bill, and worked in the postal service for 30 years. He played an influential role in the making of the 2001 HBO series Band of Brothers, based on the book by Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose, founder of The National WWII Museum.

He has also participated in the museum’s Educational Travel Program, providing a firsthand account of his wartime experiences so that future generations will understand the sacrifice and commitment needed to triumph in the war that changed the world.

Freeman, now 97, will receive the Silver Service Medallion during the annual American Spirit Awards gala, sponsored by Hancock Whitney and hosted by the WWII Museum June 9-10. The two-day event begins with a reception from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on June 9, with the awards luncheon the next day at 11:30 a.m. and the black-tie gala from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Proceeds from the American Spirit Awards support educational programming at museum—including the ongoing development of classroom materials and professional development opportunities for teachers in schools across the country, as well as online experiences that bring the museum and its resources to students around the world.

For more information on the event, visit The National World War II Museum website.


© 2022 Advance Local Media LLC

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.