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Emblem of Easy Company

Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, was a parachute rifle company in the United States Army. The unit's history and exploits during World War II is the subject of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, which is based on the book of the same name by Stephen Ambrose .

History[]

Easy Company was activated in 1942 at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, as a part of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. It was an experimental airborne unit consisting of volunteers trained to jump from C-47 transport planes into hostile territory. The company consisted of a headquarters section and three platoons. Each platoon consisted of two 12-man rifle squads (later changed to three) with a machine gun team and a 6-man mortar squad. Easy Company's initial commander was 1st Lieutenant Herbert Sobel, with 2nd Lt. Clarence Hester serving as his executive officer. Lts. Salve H. Matheson, Richard Winters, and Walter Moore were the original leaders of the three platoons. Lewis Nixon would eventually join Easy Company as an assistant to Winters in 2nd Platoon.

The cadre of drill instructors assigned to train Easy Company consisted of 1/Sgt. Harvey H. Morehead and S/Sgts. Stedman, Ford, and Kudla. After Easy Company had completed jump training in Fort Benning, the cadre was reassigned and replaced by enlisted men from the original group of privates, including 1/Sgt. Sergeant William Evans, S/Sgts. James Diel, Terrence Harris, and Myron Ranney, and Sgts. Leo Boyle, Bill Guarnere, Carwood Lipton, John Martin, Robert Rader, and Amos Taylor.

Under the command of Sobel, the men of Easy Company were pushed to its limits during the training phase of the unit to weed out unfit soldiers. The men would run up the nearby Currahee Mountain three to four times a week, completing the six mile round trip in fifty minutes. They would also endure a grueling obstacle course on a daily basis, as well as frequent calisthenics drills and night marches. While the men detested their commander for his harsh and unforgiving attitude, many veterans have attributed Sobel's training methods to their soldiering abilities and perseverance on the battlefield.

After the initial training phase was completed, Easy Company participated in a well-publicized 115-mile march to Atlanta, Georgia, along with the rest of the 2nd Battalion. Their final destination was Fort Benning, where the unit underwent jump training. The initial stage of parachute school (physical training) was skipped when it was realized that the Toccoa men were in much better physical condition than the jump training instructors. After spending a few weeks familiarizing themselves with the equipment and jumping off towers of varying height, the men entered the final stage of parachute school. Those who successfully made the five jumps from a C-47 would become qualified Army parachutists.

In March of 1943, the company would relocate to Camp MacKall for advanced field training exercises before shipping out to Aldbourne, England in September for the planned invasion of Europe. Prior to the invasion, Sobel was relieved from duty and reassigned to Chilton Foliat as a result of a court-martial fiasco involving his then X.O. Richard Winters and an ensuing NCO mutiny. To restore order in Easy Company, Col. Robert Sink gave command of Easy Company to 1st Lt. Thomas Meehan while transferring two of the company's platoon sergeants out of the company.

The company would participated in Operation Overlord, but 1st Lt. Meehan and most of the headquarters section were killed when their C-47 was downed. With most of the company scattered throughout the Cotentin Peninsula, many would form ad hoc units with paratroopers from other outfits until they could reorganize with Easy Company. 1st Lt. Winters assumed command of the men and would participate in the assault on Brécourt Manor, the Battle of Carentan, and the Battle of Bloody Gulch before being pulled off the line. Winters would be promoted to captain and became the official commander of Easy Company after the death of Meehan had been confirmed. He would lead the unit until Holland, where he would be promoted to executive officer of 2nd Battalion.

1st Lt. Norman Dike was assigned to lead Easy Company during the unit's time in Bastogne, but was relieved of command and replaced by 1st Lt. Ronald Speirs during the Battle for Foy. Speirs would remain in this position for the rest of the war until the unit's deactivation.


Members of Easy Company, 506th PIR[]

Officers[]

  • Major General Salve H. Matheson (1st Platoon leader from unit formation; later promoted to Regimental S-4; eventually commanded the 101st Airborne Division in the late 1960s and the 2nd Infantry Division in the early 1970s)
  • Colonel Edward D. Shames (3rd Platoon leader from Holland to the end of war)
  • Lt. Colonel Norman S. Dike, Jr. (Fifth C.O. of Easy Company, later relieved of command and transferred to Division HQ)
  • Lt. Colonel Clarence Hester (First X.O. of Easy Company; later promoted to 2nd Battalion S-3, and then 1st Battalion C.O.)
  • Lt. Colonel Herbert Sobel (First C.O. of Easy Company; later reassigned to Chilton Foliat, and then 2nd Battalion S-4)
  • Major Richard "Dick" Winters (Third C.O. of Easy Company; later promoted to 2nd Battalion X.O. and then C.O.)
  • Captain Jack E. Foley (1st Platoon leader from Bastogne to Germany; later 2nd Platoon leader in Austria)
  • Captain Lewis Nixon (Later promoted to 2nd Battalion S-2 and then Regimental S-2)
  • Captain Ronald C. Speirs (Sixth C.O. of Easy Company; initially from Dog Company)
  • 1st Lieutenant Thomas Meehan III (Second C.O. of Easy Company; initially from Baker Company. KIA 6 June 1944)
  • 1st Lieutenant Robert B. Brewer (WIA in Holland)
  • 1st Lieutenant Lynn D. Compton (2nd Platoon leader from Holland to Bastogne; evacuated due to "trench foot")
  • 1st Lieutenant Robert H. Cowing
  • 1st Lieutenant James K. Davis (Second X.O. of Easy Company)
  • 1st Lieutenant Roy Paul Gates
  • 1st Lieutenant Frederick T. Heyliger (Fourth C.O. of Easy Company; later severely wounded in Holland from friendly fire)
  • 1st Lieutenant Sterling W. Horner
  • 1st Lieutenant Richard M. Hughes II
  • 1st Lieutenant Henry Jones (Later transferred to Battalion HQ, Died in Germany 21 July 1947)
  • 1st Lieutenant George Lavenson (Transferred to Battalion HQ, WIA in Carentan)
  • 1st Lieutenant C. Carwood Lipton
  • 1st Lieutenant Robert I. Matthews (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • 1st Lieutenant Walter L. Moore (3rd Platoon leader from unit formation; later transferred to Pathfinders)
  • 1st Lieutenant Francis L. O'Brien (KIA December 1944)
  • 1st Lieutenant Thomas A. Peacock
  • 1st Lieutenant Ben M. Perkins
  • 1st Lieutenant John E. Pisanchin
  • 1st Lieutenant Warren R. Roush (2nd Platoon leader until Normandy; later 3rd Platoon leader until Holland. Transferred to Able Company)
  • 1st Lieutenant Raymond G. Schmitz (KIA 22 September 1944)
  • 1st Lieutenant Patrick J. Sweeney (X.O. of Easy Company in England)
  • 1st Lieutenant Harry F. Welsh (1st Platoon leader in Normandy; later X.O. until Mourmelon, then transferred to Battalion HQ)
  • 2nd Lieutenant Archibald Smith Barnwell
  • 2nd Lieutenant James L. Diel (KIA 19 September 1944)
  • 2nd Lieutenant Charles A. Hudson (WIA in Nuenen)
  • 2nd Lieutenant Charles R. Rexrode

Enlisted men[]

  • 1st Sergeant William S. Evans (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • 1st Sergeant John C. Lynch (First Sergeant after Talbert)
  • 1st Sergeant Harvey H. Morehead (cadre, 1st Sgt.)
  • Technical Sergeant Burton P. Christenson
  • Technical Sergeant Donald G. Malarkey
  • Technical Sergeant Amos J. Taylor
  • Staff Sergeant Floyd M. Talbert (First Sergeant after Lipton)
  • Staff Sergeant Joseph E. Stedman (cadre, 1st Pl. Sgt.)
  • Staff Sergeant Norman A. Ford (cadre, 2nd Pl. Sgt.)
  • Staff Sergeant Steven A. Kudla (cadre, 3rd Pl. Sgt.)
  • Staff Sergeant Charles E. Grant (Severely wounded in head)
  • Staff Sergeant William J. Guarnere (WIA in Bastogne)
  • Staff Sergeant Earl L. Hale
  • Staff Sergeant Albert L. Mampre
  • Staff Sergeant John W. Martin
  • Staff Sergeant Leo J. Matz
  • Staff Sergeant Darrell C. Powers
  • Staff Sergeant Murray B. Roberts (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Staff Sergeant Frank J. Soboleski
  • Staff Sergeant J.B. Stokes
  • Staff Sergeant Joseph J. Toye (WIA in Bastogne)
  • Staff Sergeant Robert T. Smith (HQ Supply Sgt.)
  • Staff Sergeant Joseph P. Whitecavage
  • Staff Sergeant Earl E. McClung
  • Staff Sergeant Robert K. Marsh
  • Staff Sergeant Herman E. Hanson
  • Sergeant James H. Alley, Jr.
  • Sergeant Roderick Bain
  • Sergeant Paul L. Becker
  • Sergeant Leo D. Boyle (WIA in "the Island")
  • Sergeant Gordon F. Carson
  • Sergeant James Monroe "Tex" Combs, Jr.
  • Sergeant Bernard S. Cunningham
  • Sergeant Lloyd D. Guy
  • Sergeant Taskel Ellis
  • Sergeant Hanes
  • Sergeant Hayden
  • Sergeant Haynes
  • Sergeant J.D. Henderson
  • Sergeant Walter L. Hendrix
  • Sergeant Sherman M. Irish
  • Sergeant William F. Kiehn (KIA 10 February 1945)
  • Sergeant Clancy Odel Lyall
  • Sergeant Robert A. Mann (First Sergeant in Alsace)
  • Sergeant Thomas A. McCreary
  • Sergeant Kenneth D. Mercier
  • Sergeant Warren H. Muck, (KIA 10 January 1945)
  • Sergeant Elmer L. Murray, Jr. (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Sergeant Richard E. Owen (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Sergeant Robert J. Rader
  • Sergeant Denver Randleman
  • Sergeant Robert Burr Smith
  • Sergeant Myron Ranney (Wounded in Holland)
  • Sergeant Carl N. Riggs (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Sergeant Paul C. Rogers
  • Sergeant James B. Sholty
  • Sergeant Wayne A. Sisk
  • Sergeant Roderick G. Strohl
  • Sergeant Clarence M. Tridle
  • Sergeant Richard M. Wright
  • Sergeant Robert E. Wynn
  • Sergeant Arthur C. Youman
  • Technician 4th Grade George Luz, Sr.
  • Technician 4th Grade Frank J. Perconte
  • Technician 4th Grade Charles E. Rhinehart
  • Technician 4th grade Eugene Roe, Sr.
  • Technician 4th Grade Richard C. Rowles
  • Technician 4th Grade Carl C. Sawosko (KIA 13 January 1945)
  • Technician 4th Grade Benjamin J. Stoney (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Corporal Kenneth T. Baldwin
  • Corporal James V. Benton
  • Corporal James D. Campbell (KIA 8 October 1944)
  • Corporal William Dukeman, Jr. (KIA 5 October 1944)
  • Corporal John P. Fieguth
  • Corporal Walter S. Gordon, Jr. (Severely wounded in back, paralyzed)
  • Corporal Forrest L. Guth
  • Corporal George Higgins
  • Corporal A.P. Herron (KIA 13 January 1945)
  • Corporal Donald B. Hoobler (KIA 3 January 1945)
  • Corporal Donald L. King
  • Corporal Thomas Maitland
  • Corporal Francis J. Mellet (KIA 13 January 1945)
  • Corporal Stanley F. Motowski
  • Corporal Lavon P. Reese
  • Corporal Harvey G. Robinson
  • Corporal Edward H. Stein
  • Technician 5th Grade Leopollo P. Carillo
  • Technician 5th Grade Herman F. Collins (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Technician 5th Grade William A. Howell
  • Technician 5th Grade Joseph D. Liebgott
  • Technician 5th Grade John G. Mayer
  • Technician 5th Grade William C. Maynard
  • Technician 5th Grade John McGrath
  • Technician 5th Grade Leslie R. Pace
  • Technician 5th Grade Campbell T. Smith
  • Technician 5th Grade Ralph I. Stafford
  • Technician 5th Grade William H. Wagner
  • Technician 5th Grade Jerry A. Wentzel (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Technician 5th Grade Ralph H. Wimer (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Technician 5th Grade Antonio C. Garcia
  • Private First Class Aldrich
  • Private First Class Raymond L. Ballew
  • Private First Class Conrad M. Bay
  • Private First Class Salvatore F. Bellino
  • Private First Class Edward J. Bernat
  • Private First Class Burden
  • Private First Class Thomas H. Burgess (Severely wounded in throat)
  • Private First Class Matthew J. Carlino
  • Private First Class Maxwell M. Clark
  • Private First Class Vincent S. Collette
  • Private First Class Seth O. Crosby
  • Private First Class Richard P. Davenport
  • Private First Class Edward J. Donahue
  • Private First Class Carl F. Eckstrom
  • Private First Class Carl J. Fenstermaker
  • Private First Class George V. Fernandez
  • Private Bradford C. Freeman
  • Private First Class Gerald L. Flurie
  • Private First Class Richard R. Garrod
  • Private First Class John E. Gathings
  • Private First Class Jack O. Ginn
  • Private First Class Walter E. Hanson
  • Private First Class Siles E. Harrelson
  • Private First Class Dale L. Hartley
  • Private First Class Edward J. Heffron
  • Private First Class Elwood Hertzog
  • Private First Class Hickman
  • Private First Class Joseph E. Hogan
  • Private First Class Walter G. Howard
  • Private First Class Clarence S. Howell
  • Private First Class Hudson
  • Private First Class Warren C. Huntley
  • Private First Class Eugene E. Ivie
  • Private First Class Coburn M. Johnson
  • Private First Class George E. Jones
  • Private First Class Robert Van Klinken (KIA 20 September 1944)
  • Private First Class Kohler
  • Private First Class Harry R. Lager
  • Private First Class Robert T. Leonard
  • Private First Class Quinton E. Lindler
  • Private First Class Dewitt Lowrey
  • Private First Class Arthur J. Mauzerall
  • Private First Class John McBreen
  • Private First Class Walter L. McKay
  • Private First Class James A. McMahon
  • Private First Class William E. Medved
  • Private First Class William T. Miller (KIA 20 September 1944)
  • Private First Class David E. Morris
  • Private First Class Norman W. Neitzke
  • Private First Class Henry E. Nelson
  • Private First Class Ralph J. Orth (Wounded in kneecap by bullet fragment)
  • Private First Class Alex M. Penkala Jr. (KIA 10 January 1945)
  • Private First Class Edwin E. Pepping
  • Private First Class Farris O. Rice
  • Private First Class Woodrow W. Robbins
  • Private First Class John W. Rossman
  • Private First Class Edward F. Sabo
  • Private First Class Elmer N. Schuyler
  • Private First Class John L. Sheehy
  • Private First Class John P. Sheeley
  • Private First Class Garland R. Smith
  • Private First Class Gerald R. Snider
  • Private First Class Paul J. Sullivan
  • Private First Class Edward J. Tipper (Severely wounded in face, legs)
  • Private First Class Felix J. Tokarzewski
  • Private First Class Ralph J. Trapuzzano
  • Private First Class Andrew Uuban
  • Private First Class Alexander Vittorre
  • Private First Class Paul Wagner
  • Private First Class David Kenyon Webster
  • Private First Class James W. Welling
  • Private First Class Daniel B. West
  • Private First Class Melvin O. Winn
  • Private First Class William H. Woodcock
  • Private First Class George F. Yochum
  • Private First Class Frank J. Zastawniak
  • Private First Class Henry C. Zimmerman
  • Private First Class John A. Janovec (Died in car accident, May 1945)
  • Private First Class John T. Julian (KIA 1 January 1945)
  • Private Owen L. Andrews
  • Private Kieth Ansell
  • Private Harvey Baker
  • Private Frederick C. Bealke, Jr.
  • Private Richard F. Berg
  • Private Homer T. Blake
  • Private Albert Blithe (Severely wounded in shoulder)
  • Private Robert J. Bloser (KIA 7 June 1944)
  • Private Donald S. Bond
  • Private Richard L. Bray
  • Private Charles P. Broska
  • Private Earl V. Bruce
  • Private John J. Capoferri
  • Private Ora M. Childers
  • Private Chow
  • Private Robert T. Cipriano
  • Private Roy W. Cobb (Court-martialed; insubordination and assault on Lt. Foley)
  • Private James F. Coleman
  • Private James Comba
  • Private John G. Connell
  • Private Conway
  • Private Philip Coviello
  • Private Samuel M. Cowthu
  • Private Cushman
  • Private Damon
  • Private Barry J. Dassault
  • Private Edward R. De Tuncq
  • Private Jay S. Dickerson
  • Private William Dillinger (Transferred)
  • Private Rudolph Dittrich (Died in practice jump, 20 May 1944)
  • Private John Doe
  • Private Joseph Dominquez
  • Private Walter F. Eggert
  • Private George Elliot (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Private Chester R. Eschenbach
  • Private John L. Eubanks
  • Private John L. Geraghty
  • Private William D. Gier
  • Private Terry G. Giles
  • Private Eugene S. Gilmore
  • Private Milton B. Glass
  • Private Frank B. Grant
  • Private Everett J. Gray (KIA 8 June 1944)
  • Private Genoa H. Griffith
  • Private Stephen E. Grodski
  • Private Stanley L. Hagerman
  • Private Franklin W. Hale
  • Private Elwood Hargroves
  • Private Thomas A. Harrel
  • Private Terrence C. Harris (Transferred to Pathfinders)(KIA 18 June 1944)
  • Private George B. Hartsuff
  • Private Lester A. Hashey (Severely wounded in the back)
  • Private Verlin V. Hawkins
  • Private Harold G. Hayes (KIA December 1944)
  • Private Cyril B. Heckler
  • Private Robert B. Hensley
  • Private George W. Hewitt
  • Private Paul A. Hite
  • Private Owen E. Holbrook
  • Private John R. Holland
  • Private David L. Holton
  • Private Bruce A. Hudgens
  • Private Richard J. Hughes (KIA 9 January 1945)
  • Private Charles F. Hussion
  • Private Eugene E. Jackson (KIA 15 February 1945)
  • Private Robert Jarrett
  • Private Edward J. Joint
  • Private Joseph M. Jordan (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Private Vernon Jordan
  • Private John R. Korb
  • Private William N. Kratzer
  • Private Paul E. Lamoureux
  • Private Lewis Lampos
  • Private Joseph A. Lesniewski (Evacuated from leg-wound infection)
  • Private Philip E. Longo
  • Private John Lusty
  • Private A. Mahmood
  • Private Walter E. Martin
  • Private Michael V. Massaconi
  • Private Jack F. Matthews
  • Private Edward A. Mauser
  • Private Robert Maxwell
  • Private Carl F. McCauley
  • Private McDonald (Transferred)
  • Private William T. McGonigal (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Private Joachim Melo
  • Private Ynez M. Mendoza
  • Private Vernon J. Menze (KIA 20 September 1944)
  • Private Max M. Meth
  • Private Elmer T. Meth
  • Private William S. Metzler (KIA June 1944)
  • Private James W. Miller (KIA 20 September 1944)
  • Private John N. Miller (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Private Franklin Milo
  • Private Elmer J. Minne
  • Private Alfred B. Montes
  • Private Donald J. Moone
  • Private Alton More
  • Private William E. Morris
  • Private Sergio G. Moya (KIA June 6, 1944)
  • Private Gordon L. Neuenfeldt
  • Private Patrick H. Neill (KIA 13 January 1945)
  • Private Marshall C. Oliver
  • Private Ernest I. Oates (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Private Patrick S. O'Keefe
  • Private Gordon H. Oien
  • Private Cecil M. Pace
  • Private Parkes (Transferred)
  • Private Philip P. Perugini
  • Private Cleveland O. Petty
  • Private Roy E. Pickel, Sr.
  • Private David R. Pierce
  • Private John Plesha Jr.
  • Private George L. Potter
  • Private Charles W. Pyle
  • Private Alex R. Raczkowski
  • Private George J. Rajner (KIA July 1944)
  • Private Joseph Ramirez
  • Private Gregory C. Rotella
  • Private James Sarago
  • Private William D. Serila
  • Private John E. Shindell (KIA 13 January 1945)
  • Private Urban M. Shirley
  • Private George H. Smith, Jr.
  • Private Gerald B. Snider (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Private James L. Sowell
  • Private Ralph F. Spina
  • Private Tomas J. Johnson
  • Private Robert L. Steele
  • Private Joseph Stickley
  • Private Herbert J. Suerth, Jr. (Severely wounded in legs)
  • Private Paul Supko
  • Private Elmer I. Telstad (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Private George W. Thomason
  • Private Raymond H. Thompson
  • Private John Toner
  • Private Eugene R. Tremble
  • Private Norman Tremonti
  • Private Allen E. Vest
  • Private Thomas W. Warren (KIA 6 June 1944)
  • Private Kenneth J. Webb (KIA 13 January 1945)
  • Private Harold D. Webb (KIA 13 January 1945)
  • Private John M. West
  • Private James W. Wheeler
  • Private White (Transferred)
  • Private Elijah D. Whytsell
  • Private William T. Wingett (Transferred)
  • Private Donald S. Wiseman (Court-martialed, insubordination; outcome unknown)
  • Private Ronald V. York
  • Private Jerry G. Young
  • Private Don R. Miller
  • Private Martinez

After the war[]

The company was deactivated and did not participate in any future war. In 1954, it was reactivated, but only as a training unit. It currently is still a part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. It was a part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team until its deactivation in 2014 and transfer into 1st and 2nd brigade, but being housed by 3rd brigade Rakassans on Fort Campbell, KY.

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