"End of the Road" photo autographed by the Band of Brothers
- PHOTO CARE
May 1945: Major Dick Winters and his staff of 2nd Battalion HQ, 506th P.I.R., 101st Airborne, celebrate the end of the war in Europe against the backdrop of Mount Watzmann in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
This photo is autographed in black marker by two Easy Company paratroopers who served with Major Dick Winters and fought all the way to Berchtesgaden: Al Mampre and Brad Freeman. The photo features an exclusively designed vintage motif.
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Bradford Freeman was born and raised in the lush Mississippi farmlands of Lowndes County, near Columbus. He was one of 8 children, 3 of whom fought in the war. After high school graduation he enrolled in Mississippi State University, which he attended for one semester before enlisting in the US Army on December 12, 1942.
He joined the paratroopers, following in the footsteps of his older brother, who became an officer in the 11th Airborne. Freeman was assigned to the 506th PIR., 101st Airborne at Alderbourne, England in February 1944. There, he trained under the watchful eye of mortar squad leader Don Malarkey and platoon leader Bill Guarnere, both of whom he describes as great fighting men.
On D-Day, Freeman parachuted into Normandy in Malarkey’s stick, forming up and fighting with Sgt. Chuck Grant until they joined the company near Brecourt Manor. Freeman vividly remembers the fierce fighting at Carentan, where he feels E-Company came together as a combat unit.
Freeman participated in the invasion of Holland, and recalls endless patrols and “scary” night outpost duty on the banks of the Rhine. Following Market Garden Freeman survived the brutal weather and constant shelling in the Bois Jacques woods at Bastogne only to be wounded by a “screaming mimi” (Nebelwerfer rocket) in Easy Company’s attack on Foy. Following release from a hospital in England, Freeman joined up with HQ Staff in Berchtesgaden in May 1945, and later with his E-Company comrades in Kaprun, Austria.
After the war Brad Freeman went back to Mississippi State University for a semester, and then returned to help run a 197 acre family farm in Lowndes County. He later worked with the US Postal Service, retiring after 32 years of service.
Al enlisted in 1942 and volunteered for the paratroopers. He was assigned to Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne as a medic at Toccoa, Georgia. Prior to D-Day, Mampre developed a serious infection and was sent to the hospital, thus missing that jump.
He rejoined Easy Company in time for Operation Market Garden, his first combat jump. Soon after, Easy Company Lieutenant Bob Brewer was shot by a sniper outside of Eindhoven. Mampre immediately jumped to his aid and while providing medical assistance to Brewer, was also shot by the sniper, through the leg. This incident was depicted in "Band of Brothers" during Episode 4, "Replacements."
After several weeks of recovery, Mampre rejoined Easy Company in Mourmelon, France, in time to accompany them into Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Towards the end of the war, Mampre was reassigned as a medic to regimental headquarters and continued to serve in this role during the 101st Airborne's time in Berchtesgaden and later in Austria.
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