Al Mampre would have turned 100 last year. But even though the medic from World War II’s famed Easy Company, known as the “Band of Brothers” in book and film, died four years ago, his legacy lives on.
Sam and Barney Gershen ’69, who befriended Mampre in his later years and were impressed by his bravery, work ethic and kindness, created a substantial scholarship endowment at Texas A&M University in the late infantryman’s name. “He was such an impressive role model in the way he led his life,” said Barney, “and we want to capture and commemorate that.”
Originally from Oak Park, Illinois, Mampre was on the path to becoming an Episcopal priest when World War II erupted. He immediately enlisted in the Army’s elite paratrooper unit, the 101st Airborne Division. He was one of roughly 1,800 men who completed the intense training, out of 5,300 who started.
“He wanted to be the best of the best,” said one of his three daughters, Virginia Mampre, noting that her father was extremely fit. His early desire to minister to people led him to the life of a medic, where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant. Throughout the war, Mampre never carried a gun so that he could take two medic kits instead of one. He and his fellow medic referred to themselves as the “Band-Aid Brothers.”