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'Band of Brothers' medic Al Mampre remembered for his charm and kindness

World War II veteran Al Mampre greeted people before a game at Nationals Park, June 6, 2018.

JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 20, 2019

Al Mampre, who served as a medic in the famed World War II "Easy Company” immortalized in "Band of Brothers," was remembered at his funeral by family, friends and servicemembers for his sense of humor and humility.

Mampre, who was buried Saturday in Illinois, died at the age of 97 on May 31, according to his obituary, which did not list a cause of death.  During World War II, Mampre was part of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, which was featured in Stephen Ambrose's book “Band of Brothers” and an Emmy-winning miniseries.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division traveled from Kentucky to provide an honor guard at his funeral service, according to an Army statement. Brig. Gen. Kris Belanger, the commanding general of the 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, befriended Mampre at a Memorial Day event and said he made everyone feel special.

“He loved people," she said. "He gave so much of himself to other people. Everybody experienced his charisma, his wit, his humor and his charm and overall kindness.”

Staff Sgt. Paul Mampreian, Mampre’s great-nephew who is a medic with the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Wash., attended the service and described his great-uncle as a humble man.

“He never talked about himself. Absolutely a down-to-earth man,” Mampreian said in the statement. “He definitely influenced me to become a medic.”

Mampre was among the paratroopers who jumped into the Netherlands in Operation Market Garden and was shot twice by a sniper. After recovering, he served at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge and went with the regiment to the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden.

He reflected on the changes in combat medicine since World War II during a 2018 interview with Stars and Stripes.

"I did see an exhibition of what they do with combat casualties, and it's a different level of first-aid than we had," he said. "We just used our heads, that's all. My basic training in being a medic was Boy Scouts. Most of what they reviewed with me was what I learned in Boy Scouts, except giving shots, because we were to give all the shots. We practiced on oranges. Well, we never ran into an orange in combat."

A month after Mampre returned from serving overseas in 1945, he married his wife, Virginia. The pair were married for 63 years, until Virginia's death in 2009, according to his obituary. He worked at International Harvester in management development and public relations, in addition to running a family psychology practice. The Mampres had three daughters, Virginia and Susan Mampre and Elizabeth Celebucki, who died in 2011.

Mampre had planned to attend the 75th anniversary commemoration of D-Day in France, Susan Mampre told the Chicago Sun-Times. But he died just a few days before he was scheduled to make the trip.

news@stripes.com
 

Soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division stand over a casket during the graveside service of Staff Sgt. Al Mampre at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie on Saturday, June 15, 2019.
DAVID LEITZ/U.S. ARMY

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