One American parachute company fighting in Europe has come to be better known than perhaps any other combat unit of World War Two. And, originally, the reputation of the so-called “Easy Company” stemmed from its extraordinary successes on the battlefields against determined Nazi opposition. When the hit TV series Band of Brothers chronicled the soldiers’ exploits, however, the show made their actions practically legendary.
Easy Company’s formal title was E Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. And both the 101st Airborne Division – which has its own hard-earned nickname of “Screaming Eagles” – and Easy Company are especially famed for the part they played in three of World War II’s major actions: D-Day, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge.
But while the Screaming Eagles division can trace its founding back to 1918, Easy Company only came into being as late as 1942. That year, Easy Company’s regimental formation – the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment – was established at Georgia’s Camp Toccoa.