As one of the last surviving members of the Band of Brothers, Ed Shames wanted to commit his memories of the Second World War to paper to preserve the legacy of the men who served with him in Europe. Airborne is his dramatic wartime biography, a riveting tale of fierce combat, doggedly determined drive for survival and astounding bravery. Parachuting into Normandy on D-Day with 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, Shames was involved in some of the most pivotal moments of the Allied invasion, advancing through the bocage of France, and after his transfer to Easy Company in Holland, battled the elements and the ferocious German counterattack at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, liberating Nazi concentration camps and helping to capture Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Startling honest and raw, Airborne is the compelling combat biography of a man whose forthright opinions and gruff manner often put him in conflict with his fellow officers, but who was respected by the soldiers he commanded, because he was determined to bring as many of them home alive as he could.
Colonel Ed Shames is a `Band of Brothers' veteran. He received a battlefield commission into E ('Easy') Company of the 506th PIR on 13 June 1944 in Carentan, France. He survived the war before eventually retiring as a colonel, and is an active member of veterans' societies. Ian Gardner first met Ed Shames whilst researching his book Tonight We Die as Men, and soon struck up a firm friendship with him and worked closely with him on the two sequels to that book, Deliver Us From Darkness and No Victory in Valhalla - completing the World War II history of the Third Battalion, 506th PIR. All three of these books contained fascinating anecdotes supplied by Ed Shames, and as Ian was putting the finishing touches on the final book in the trilogy he approached Ed Shames with the idea of writing a combat biography about his experiences during World War II. Ian and Ed travelled to Europe to retrace the journey that the 101st Airborne took in the Allied push towards Germany. Ian is no stranger to airborne warfare himself, having served for five years in Support Company, 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment as a medic before leaving the Territorial Army in 1993 due to injury. He now lives near Aldershot in Hampshire.
Foreword /Introduction /Acknowledgments /1. "Take the A train" /2. "Beyond golden fields" /3. "The other side of tomorrow" /4. "The river runs red" /5. "Five seconds to forget" /6. "Bullets from the sun" /7. "Dead men's shoes" /8."The bucket list" /9."The rain drank champagne" /10. "Faith and justice" /11. "Northwind" /12. "Ruhr Pocket" /13. "Last stand" /14. "Ameritocracy" /Epilogue/Bibliography /Glossary /Index