Chicago Honors Easy Company, Heroes of Operation Market Garden In The Second World War

The City of Chicago paid tribute recently to the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and 101st Airborne Division, more popularly known as Easy Company.

The event and 70th reunion were prepared by the Band of Brothers Foundation, a not-for-profit organization committed to perpetuating Easy Company’s history.  The commemoration was held at Chicago’s Union League Club.

Easy Company gained publicity partly due to the mini-series Band of Brothers presented by HBO. Formed in 1942 as an experimental Airborne Regiment, Easy Company saw action in Operation Pegasus, the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.

According to the founder of the Band of Brothers Foundation, Chris Langlois, forty-nine were killed, of the three hundred and sixty men listed as assigned to Easy Company at the close of World War II.

Present for the honour was “Al” Mampre who said he tries to attend all of the ceremonies. He was a medic/staff sergeant with the 506th for three years from 1942 to the war’s end.

A slide show production provided information about how the soldiers and their families lived following the war; thank you messages were read publicly from people who were thankful for Easy Company’s service including a message from George W. Bush.

The night proceeded with honours and presentations including a reading of a citywide proclamation by three actors from the HBO mini-series announcing that Sept. 24 and. 25, 2016, in the city is a Band of Brothers weekend. It was read by three actors from the Band of Brothers mini-series, DVIDS reported.

At the night’s conclusion, the 85th Support Command marched out to retrieve the nation’s colours.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE