"The Last Assembly" photo autographed by the Band of Brothers
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Kaprun, Austria - July 1945: Having shed their blood together to win the war in Europe, the officers and enlisted men of Easy Company, 506th PIR, pose as a Band of Brothers, one last time. Soon, they will depart, man by man, but will remain, brothers for life.
This photo is autographed in black marker by Band of Brothers paratroopers Brad Freeman and Rod Strohl, both shown in the photo. The photo features an exclusively designed vintage motif.
Shipping added in checkout // photo size: 8" x 10" // ships flat in a heavy-duty envelope
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 April 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.
Roderick Strohl was born on June 24th, 1922. He is the son of a car dealer and he grew up in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, a small village outside of Allentown. Strohl enlisted and volunteered to the paratroopers with two of his friends, fellow Pennsylvanian Dutch speakers Forrest Guth and Carl Fenstermaker in 1942. They were assigned to Easy Company and became three of the 140 original Toccoa men of that unit. Strohl carried a camera with him into combat where his friends Forrest Guth and Walter Gordon would share it through the war.
Strohl's first combat jump was D-Day where he became so overloaded with gear that he couldn't put on a reserve chute. His plane got hit, and Strohl saw the two pilots jumping out with the paratroopers. He linked up with fellow Easy Company members Shifty Powers, Buck Taylor and Bill Kiehn upon landing before him and the group managed to find their unit a few days later. Strohl participated in the battle of Carentan and later in the Battle of Bloody Gulch he was wounded and sent to Utah Beach where his Colt .45 and boots were stolen.
On September 16, 1944, Strohl got a one-day pass from a doctor and hitched a ride to Aldbourne to rejoin Easy Company where he ran into Captain Herbert Sobel. Even though he knew that Strohl had gone AWOL, Sobel gave him a ride on his jeep. The day after Strohl made another combat jump during Operation Market Garden, even though he felt "weak as a pussy cat." On 5 October 1944, while Easy Company was defending "The Island", Strohl and several others were chosen for a patrol mission which ran into German troops and was attacked; during combat Strohl was wounded and his radio was destroyed.
Later he participated in the Battle of the Bulge in the woods of Bastogne. Colonel Robert Sink had ordered Strohl's lieutenant, Edward Shames, to find out where the enemy positions were located upon which Shames, Strohl, and Earl McClung went down a road and saw vague shapes in the distance. The shapes seemingly looked like haystacks, the sounds of engines could be heard and when the shapes came out from the light fog it turned out to be 19 heavily armored German tanks. Strohl later participated in the assault on the town of Foy without injury.
He continued to fight with Easy Company until the end of the war. While in Germany, Albert Kesselring, who was a German Luftwaffe General feldmarschall came to Strohl and demanded to speak to a high-ranking officer since Kesselring would not surrender to a Sergeant.
Bio reproduced from: Band of Brothers Wiki
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