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RIP Dick Winters
I do not mean to disrespect the fact that this is a Navy message board, but Mr. Winters was truly an American hero and yet another example of our greatest generation. Rest in peace my friend, your job is done.
Mon Jan 10, 11:29 am ET
Dick Winters, WWII hero of ‘Band of Brothers,’ dies
By Brett Michael Dykes
Buzz up!85 votes
By Brett Michael Dykes brett Michael Dykes – Mon Jan 10, 11:29 am ET
Dick Winters, a highly decorated World War II hero who became a household name when his heroics were chronicled in a Stephen Ambrose book that later became the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," has died. He was 92.
A very private and modest man, he died last week but requested that the news be withheld until after the funeral, a family friend told the Associated Press.
After enlisting in the Army on Aug. 25, 1941, the Pennsylvania native enrolled in Officer Candidate School, eventually being commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in 1942. He was assigned to the 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne Division -- known as Easy Company -- and was deployed with his regiment to land by parachute in France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
By leading the takeover of a German artillery bunker on Utah Beach, Winters and his company saved countless lives from relentless cannon fire -- an action that earned him the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest honor an American soldier can receive. Winters and Easy Company later fought near the Belgian town of Foy during the Battle of the Bulge, liberated the German concentration camp at Dachau, and occupied Hitler's mountainside retreat, Eagle's Nest.
In 1945, one of Winters' soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to Winters from his hospital bed to express appreciation for his leadership in battle.
"You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you," Talbert wrote. "I would follow you into hell."
Below is a brief video that opens with Winters talking about being a leader, and follows with some of the soldiers who were under his command talking about his exploits:
Shaken by what he experienced in war, Winters reportedly vowed to live a simple life if he managed to survive, and that's just what he did. After returning home, he married his then-girlfriend, Ethel, bought a farm in Pennsylvania and raised a family. He reportedly never talked about his war experiences until Ambrose came calling in the hopes of documenting Easy Company's role in winning the war. Winters said he honored Ambrose's request because he felt it important for future generations to learn about the war, its consequences and the sacrifices made by soldiers. He later wrote his own memoir, "Beyond Band of Brothers."
Click image to see more photos of Winters
Winters was leading a quiet life of farm retirement in Hershey, Pa., when "Band of Brothers" turned him into a minor celebrity. People who knew him say that he never really became comfortable with life in the spotlight. He had fielded countless requests for interviews and personal appearances over the past decade or so, most of which he turned down.
Winters was, by all accounts, exceedingly modest. When someone would ask him whether he considered himself a hero, he would usually respond by saying, "No. But I served in a company of heroes." Chroniclers of the World War II era, however, such as legendary NBC newsman Tom Brokaw -- who detailed the lives of Winters and others like him in his "Greatest Generation" series of books -- beg to differ.
"Dick Winters was the quintessential American infantry officer -- brave, canny and modest," Brokaw told The Lookout. "His heroic leadership of the Band of Brothers is a one-man course on how to become a warrior without losing your humanity."
(Photo of Winters: AP/Laura Rauch)
Posted By: Scott Swiger | Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 - 1:30pm
Total Posts: 26 | Joined: Jan 10, 2010 - 1:18pm
Go with God, Dick Winters.....
Posted By: Will Day | Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 - 2:02pm
Total Posts: 1896 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 4:19pm
This info is most welcome here, I am very sorry to hear of the Passing of Major Richard D. "Dick" Winters USA(Ret.)( aka: "Captain Courageous" )When I was in high school I remember first reading of the exploits of Maj(then Capt) Winters during the Arnhem mission, then later that same year his exploits during D-day, I had it good then, I was a history nut and my study hall in 11th grade was the library, however, these were not Ambrose books. There is a website: http://www.majordickwinters.com/ that is calling for Maj. Winters to be awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic exploits with the 101st AB Company E. I personally believe he does rate this award, and have always believed this. his leadership during the attack at Brécourt Manor(as a 1st LT), resulted in a recommendation letter by his commanding officer for the Medal of Honor, but it was down graded to a Distingushed Service Cross. Enlisted men under his command during this action recieved Silver and Bronze Star Medals. His attack at Brécourt Manor is still used as a field combat exercise at West Point. I have at least 3-4 instances were "I" feel he is worthy of the Medal Of Honor. But we must remember Dick was a very modest man, and he was a man, he never asked or ordered a man to do something he would not do himself, and being a farm boy, I know he would have done it himself, he did all his own forward recon while in E Company( I to this day, in the regular military, don't know an O3 that would do that). Maj Winters has always been a guy I wish I could meet, ever since I read about him at the age of 15.
Another one was Lt Col. Robert R. "ROSIE" Rosenthal USAAF, 100BG on his 3rg mission to Munster on Oct. 10, 1943, 13 planes took off from Thorpe Abbotts, one returned, "ROSIES RIVITERS" B-17F 42-30578. The Legend began.....52 missions later and shot down 2 times, Robert Rosenthal, who was a New York licencsed Lawyer prior to the war, ended WWll as a Prosecution Assistant to Nuremberg Trials, the he volunteered for B-29 training to go to the Pacific. He was in Florida checking out on Sept 2, 1945. he passed away on April 20, 2007 in White Plains , NY.
These to me were the epitome of the Quite Professional, they were extremely modest and down played their own exploits, they always did what they were asked and told to do, always spoke of their men first, they cared for their men first, they never asked anyone to do someting the would not do for themselves, they performed extraordinary actions under fire, and once the duty was completed, they drifted off into virtual anonymity back into normal society.
Dick Winters is one of my heroes......and he always will be.
Posted By: TED WALTHER | Posted on: Jan 10, 2011 - 4:05pm
Total Posts: 2887 | Joined: Oct 16, 2006 - 7:42am
REST IN PEACE AND PEACE IN REST.WELL DONE
Posted By: EARL RICHMOND | Posted on: Jan 12, 2011 - 5:56am
Total Posts: 319 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 1:50pm