Last Surviving Member Of ‘Band Of Brothers’ Passes Away At 97

The U.S. Army has bid farewell to a fine soldier.

Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre was the last surviving member of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion “Currahee,” 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He was portrayed in the HBO series “Band of Brothers,” and revered as a dedicated medic who never hesitated to put his own safety aside to help others.

Mampre passed away on May 31, 2019. He was laid to rest on June 15. He was 97 years old.

Source: U.S.Army
World War II veterans Brad Freeman, sitting left, and Albert Mampre listen to speakers during the 70th anniversary of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division reunion in Chicago, September 24, 2016.

“He was always humble. He never talked about himself. Absolutely a down to earth man,” said Mampre’s great nephew, Staff Sgt. Paul Mampreian told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He definitely influenced me to become a medic.”

“I really wish I had the chance to meet him. I would have listened to his stories all day long,” Staff Sgt. John Saxby, Reconnaissance Team Leader, 3rd Brigade, 2-506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, told the Army. “It’s such a big part of our Army history. Those guys in World War II were trained to fight and sustain themselves with the bare minimum. You never know when your equipment will fail. The Soldiers from World War II went days on end without food or bullets. It’s something to really be proud of.”

Al Mampre shares stories and advice with the Indianapolis Fire Department.

Upon hearing of Mampre’s death, soldiers assigned to the same unit he served in travelled to Illinois. They served as the honor guard during his funeral.

“The minute we heard about this we were going to support this (funeral) 100 percent,” Maj. Scott Krasko, Operations Officer, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, told the Army. “We wanted to respectfully honor the legacy of Al Mampre. The current Soldiers draw strength from those who went before,” he said.

Source: U.S. Army
Pallbearers carry the casket of Staff Sgt. Al Mampre to a waiting hearse following a funeral service on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston.

In 2018, during an interview with Stars & Stripes, Mampre said that seeing what modern Army medics are equipped with made his colleagues in WWII seem like “neanderthal men.”

“My basic training in being a medic was Boy Scouts,” Mampre said. “Most of what they reviewed with me was what I learned in Boy Scouts, except giving shots, because we were to give all the shots. We practiced on oranges. Well, we never ran into an orange in combat.”

Source: U.S. Army
Soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division stand over a casket during the graveside service of Staff Sgt. Al Mampre at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie on Saturday, June 15, 2019.

After the war, Mampre got married and went into psychology. He and Virginia Mampre were married for 63 years until Virginia dies in 2009.

“He had as they say true grit,” said reverend Larry Handwerk, Speaking at Mampre’s funeral. “He was the most generous of men. Wherever he went he was like the sun. His ability to connect with all was like sunshine.”

Source: U.S. Army
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division fold the flag during a graveside service for Staff Sgt. Al Mampre.

Hear some of Mampre’s characteristic wit and advice in the video below.

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