Bradford Freeman, final survivor of ‘Band of Brothers’ unit, dies

The final member of the unit featured in the World War II book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” has died.

Bradford Freeman was 97.

>> Read more trending news

Freeman died Sunday at a Mississippi hospital, according to Lowndes Funeral Home. He will be buried at a cemetery in Caledonia, Mississippi, on Friday, The Associated Press reported.

Freeman, who was born in Artesia, Mississippi, was 18 when he enlisted for World War II. He volunteered to become a paratrooper and was a mortarman in Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

Freeman parachuted into Normandy on D-Day. He was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and eventually took part in the occupations of Berchtesgaden, Germany and Austria, the AP reported.

He was awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded in the battle after being hit by German rocket fire, nicknamed “Screaming Mimi.” When asked what a “Screaming Mimi” was, Freeman said, “I don’t know, but it came in hollering and then it exploded,” NBC News reported.

Freeman was honored for his service last year at Columbus Air Force Base, where he said “Me and my buddies did a job for America. ... Now it’s time for new faces to take up the cause,” NBC News reported.

Freeman married his wife, Willie Louise Gurley, in 1947 and worked as a mail carrier for more than three decades after the war.

He was remembered as a “kind, generous and humorous gentleman,” by family friend David Simmons, NBC News reported.

Freeman leaves behind a sister, two daughters, four grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, the AP reported.