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Herbert M. Sobel
January 26, 1912(1912-01-26) – September 30, 1987 (aged 75)
Capt herbert m sobel 506e.jpg
Place of birth Chicago, Illinois
Place of death Waukegan, Illinois
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1940-1947, ca. 1950-1953
Rank US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Unit Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Battles/wars World War II, Korean War
Awards *Bronze Star
*American Campaign Medal
*European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
*World War II Victory Medal, and others.[1]
Relations -Michael (son)
Other work Accountant

Captain Herbert M. Sobel (January 26, 1912 – September 30, 1987)[2] was a commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Sobel was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by David Schwimmer.


Early life

Sobel was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Jewish family.[3] He was a clothing salesman after attending military school at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana.[4] He graduated from the University Of Illinois.[4] Sobel volunteered for the paratroopers soon after the outbreak of World War II and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

World War II

Promoted to first lieutenant, Sobel commanded Company E for all of their basic training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, and was credited with having the finest company in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to the rank of captain in recognition of his ability as a trainer.

After a period of training in the United Kingdom before the Normandy invasion, Captain Sobel was removed from command of Easy Company.[5] He was then transferred to command the Chilton Foliat jump school.[5] First Lieutenant Thomas Meehan replaced Sobel, and was one of several officers (including Richard Winters) to succeed him in that post before the war was over.[5]

Shortly before Easy Company took part in Operation Market Garden, Sobel was assigned to the 506th once again, this time replacing Salve Matheson as the regimental S-4 (logistics) officer.[6]

After World War II

Sobel returned to the United States after the war, and worked as an accountant before being recalled to active duty during the Korean War.[7] He remained in the Army National Guard, eventually retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was later married, and had two children.[8]

In the late 1960s, Sobel shot himself in the head with a small-caliber pistol.[9] The bullet entered his left temple, passed behind his eyes and exited out the other side of his head. This severed his optic nerves and left him blind.[9] He was later moved to a VA assisted-living facility in Waukegan, Illinois. Sobel resided there for his last seventeen years until his death due to malnutrition on September 30, 1987.[9] No services were held for Sobel after his death.[9]


  1. ^ DeAngelis, Frank. "Herbert Sobel's shadowbox". Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  2. ^ Social Security Death Index SSN 351-07-4644
  3. ^ Ambrose (1992), p.17
  4. ^ a b Brotherton (2009), p.241
  5. ^ a b c Ambrose (1992), p.53
  6. ^ Ambrose (1992), p.240
  7. ^ Brotherton (1992), p.242
  8. ^ Ambrose (1992), p.298
  9. ^ a b c d Brotherton (2009), p.244


  • Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780743464116.  
  • Brotherton, Marcus (2009). We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from The Band of Brothers. Berkley Caliber. ISBN 0743464117.  

External links



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