Herbert Sobel was an officer in the Second World War and belonged to Easy Company, 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division. Before his death, he was a lieutenant colonel, who was awarded several medals, including the Victory Medal of the Second World War.
Sobel’s time in the military was represented by a mini-series entitled Band of Brothers. However, one of his sons, Michael Sobel, made fun of this series, saying that it was not entirely true, as it expressed his father’s actions and service to the country.
Herbert Sobel Biography
Herbert Sobel was born on 22 January 1912. He was born into the Jewish family of Max H. Sobel and Dora Friedman. The professions of his parents are not known, and Herbert had two siblings, sisters, named Julian and Ruth, and also a brother named Maxine. He was born and raised in Illinois. As a young boy, one of his favorite pastimes in the past was swimming – he loved to swim. He attended Culver Military Academy for his high school education and then earned a degree in architecture from the University of Illinois.
He worked briefly as a salesman in a clothing company before he enlisted in the army on March 7, 1941. In the army, he volunteered for the paratroopers at the beginning of World War II. He was accepted as a lieutenant and soon changed to the rank of the first lieutenant, then to that of captain. His rise to the rank was due to his ability to intensively train young soldiers under Easy Company, where he supervised other soldiers and trained them in basic combat techniques. This training was conducted at Camp Toccoa in Georgia.
Before working in Georgia, he became a member of the National Guard, Military Police, and 101st Airborne Division. After working in Georgia, he traveled to the United Kingdom for further military training before the invasion of Normandy. At this time he was reassigned to the Chilton Foliat Jumping School.
Herbert was involved in the fight against the invasion of Normandy as a member of the Regimental Headquarters Company. However, before he left the army after the war, he was reinstated as an S-4 (logistics) officer of the regiment on March 8, 1945.
After the end of the war, Herbert Sobel returned to America in 1946, after being honorably discharged, and went into the corporate sector as an accountant. But military service did not end with him, he was still enlisted, but this time in the Korean War. He finally retired in 1953, after reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel and working in the National Guard of the Army.
Life After Retirement
After his retirement, he married Reeva Sobel and had three sons – Herbert Jr., Michael, and Rick Sobel. He also had a daughter who died in infancy – a few days after her birth. Sobel was offered a position with A.C. McClurg & Co. in Chicago as a credit manager and later with Mathias Klein. He was a very dedicated worker who was always punctual, well-dressed and never missed a day of work. While he was married, he lived a luxurious life and owned a cylindrical Metropolitan car – a luxury car in his day.
However, his life deteriorated in the 1960s when his wife divorced him and his family moved away from him. He became lonely and tried to take his own life. He attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. This attempt was unsuccessful, however, as he could only go blind because the bullet that passed behind his eyes and through the other side of his head damaged his optic nerves.
Sadly, Herbert spent the last 17 years of his life in a facility that cared for American veteran soldiers in Waukegan, Illinois. He died on September 30, 1987, of malnutrition due to the poor condition of the facility. No services were held for him, and none of his family members attended his funeral. His life in the military was later re-enacted by HBO in the television series Band of Brothers. His character was played by the American actor David Schwimmer.
5 Facts To Know About Herbert Sobel
1. Herbert Sobel was despised and hated by the young soldiers who worked with him and were trained by him. The soldiers under him complained that he was petty, vindictive, and an inflexible tyrant.
2. As a military man, he had many shortcomings that led to the death of several soldiers. He had a penchant for making the wrong military decisions and did not want to listen to the advice of others. He was also terrible at reading maps, but he was a strategist who helped get his troops in shape.
3. His wife, Reeva, was a nurse and worked at Hines VA Hospital in Chicago. She was also American and was born in 1921. It was reported that he loved Reeva and gave her a lot of attention. In Reeva, Herbert had three sons – Michael, Herbert Jr., and Rick.
4. Although he liked to live in luxury, he never lived extravagantly at the expense of his children’s education. He was said to have saved a lot for his children’s education.
5. Herbert Sobel earned the Combat Infantryman Badge He was also awarded a bronze star, the “European-African-Middle East Campaign” badge, the parachutist badge, and the World War II victory medal.