"We Happy Few" photo autographed by the Band of Brothers
- PHOTO CARE
Taken prior to shipping out to Europe, this group photo shows Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne paratroopers including among others, Don Malarkey, Skip Muck, Bull Randleman, Chuck Grant and Joe Toye.
This photo is autographed in black marker by Band of Brothers paratroopers Don Malarkey and Brad Freemn. The photo features a caption identifying who is in the image, reproduced from Don Malarkey's own penmanship and 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.
Donald Malarkey was born in Astoria, Oregon in 1921. He was in his first semester at the University of Oregon in the fall of 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. After the attack, Malarkey tried enlisting in the Marines, but he was turned down because of dental problems.
In July 1942, he volunteered for the paratroops of the United States Army, becoming a member of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne. He received the Bronze Star Medal for his involvement in the Brécourt Manor assault on D-Day in Normandy. During his time with Easy Company he was promoted to the rank of Tech Sergeant. Malarkey was involved in combat in Normandy, Operation Market Garden in Holland, Bastogne, and Germany.
In the 2001 miniseries, "Band of Brothers," Malarkey was portrayed by actor Scott Grimes, now a star of the TV show E.R. Don Malarkey, along with his longtime friend Buck Compton, are today recognized as two of the most memorable characters of the Band of Brothers mini-series.
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