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Hats off to a true hero

ZuelZuel Registered User regular
edited January 2011 in Social Entropy++
'Band of Brothers' inspiration dies at age 92


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Richard "Dick" Winters, the Easy Company commander whose World War II exploits were made famous by the book and television miniseries "Band of Brothers," died last week in central Pennsylvania. He was 92.

Winters died following a several-year battle with Parkinson's Disease, longtime family friend William Jackson said Monday.

An intensely private and humble man, Winters had asked that news of his death be withheld until after his funeral, Jackson said. Winters lived in Hershey, Pa., but died in suburban Palmyra.

The men Winters led expressed their admiration for their company commander after learning of his death.

William Guarnere, 88, said what he remembers about Winters was "great leadership."

"When he said 'Let's go,' he was right in the front," Guarnere, who was called "Wild Bill" by his comrades, said Sunday night from his South Philadelphia home. "He was never in the back. A leader personified."

Another member of the unit living in Philadelphia, Edward Heffron, 87, said thinking about Winters brought a tear to his eye.

"He was one hell of a guy, one of the greatest soldiers I was ever under," said Heffron, who had the nickname "Babe" in the company. "He was a wonderful officer, a wonderful leader. He had what you needed, guts and brains. He took care of his men, that's very important."

Winters was born Jan. 21, 1918 and studied economics at Franklin & Marshall College before enlisting, according to a biography on the Penn State website.

Winters became the leader of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on D-Day, after the death of the company commander during the invasion of Normandy.

During that invasion, Winters led 13 of his men in destroying an enemy battery and obtained a detailed map of German defenses along Utah Beach. In September 1944, he led 20 men in a successful attack on a German force of 200 soldiers. Occupying the Bastogne area of Belgium at the time of the Battle of the Bulge, he and his men held their place until the Third Army broke through enemy lines, and Winters shortly afterward was promoted to major.

After returning home, Winters married his wife, Ethel, in May 1948, and trained infantry and Army Ranger units at Fort Dix during the Korean War. He started a company selling livestock feed to farmers, and he and his family eventually settled in a farmhouse in Hershey, Pa., where he retired.

Historian Stephen Ambrose interviewed Winters for the 1992 book "Band of Brothers," upon which the HBO miniseries that started airing in September 2001 was based. Winters himself published a memoir in 2006 entitled "Beyond Band of Brothers."

Two years ago, an exhibit devoted to Winters was dedicated at the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society. Winters, in frail health in later years, has also been the subject of a campaign to raise money to erect a monument in his honor near the beaches of Normandy.

Winters talked about his view of leadership for an August 2004 article in American History Magazine:

"If you can," he wrote, "find that peace within yourself, that peace and quiet and confidence that you can pass on to others, so that they know that you are honest and you are fair and will help them, no matter what, when the chips are down."

When people asked whether he was a hero, he echoed the words of his World War II buddy, Mike Ranney: "No, but I served in a company of heroes."

"He was a good man, a very good man," Guarnere said. "I would follow him to hell and back. So would the men from E Company."

Zuel on

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    HunterHunter Chemist with a heart of Au Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    That's sad. What a great man. He should have been a MoH winner for his service, but was too humble to let people put in a request for him.

    Hunter on
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    chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Oh man.
    Yeah, true hero in the real sense of the word.
    And he was -- and all the WWII vets are -- really getting up there, so I suppose it shouldn't be a shock
    But still. I kinda thought he was immortal, ya know? Like a man that smart, tough, dedicated, that *good* wouldn't die

    chromdom on
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    WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    We all go sometime. Time catches everyone.

    Hell of a dude. He's kicking it right now with some friends he hasnt seen in a long time. Many beers will be had.

    Cheers Major Winters. Grats on a kickass life.

    WildEEP on
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    IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    We should all live such an impactful life. RIP Major Winters.

    Iolo on
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    PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    fuckkkkkkkkk

    PiptheFair on
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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    If he died last week how is it just now being reported? Are we now living in a world where Dick Winters' death is not important enough to get faster coverage?

    Grey Ghost on
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    PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    PiptheFair on
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    AbracadanielAbracadaniel Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    If he died last week how is it just now being reported? Are we now living in a world where Dick Winters' death is not important enough to get faster coverage?

    He requested that the news of his death not be made public until after his funeral.

    Abracadaniel on
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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Wait, nevermind, he requested the news be withheld

    sooooorry

    edit: I GOT IT SH

    Grey Ghost on
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    TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'm going to read Beyond Band of Brothers, in his honor.

    Tallahasseeriel on
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    DrZiplockDrZiplock Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    WildEEP wrote: »
    We all go sometime. Time catches everyone.

    Hell of a dude. He's kicking it right now with some friends he hasnt seen in a long time. Many beers will be had.

    Cheers Major Winters. Grats on a kickass life.


    He didn't drink.

    DrZiplock on
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    AbracadanielAbracadaniel Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    Wait, nevermind, he requested the news be withheld

    sooooorry

    edit: I GOT IT SH

    Too late

    Abracadaniel on
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    LTMLTM Bikes and BeardsRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    If he died last week how is it just now being reported? Are we now living in a world where Dick Winters' death is not important enough to get faster coverage?
    An intensely private and humble man, Winters had asked that news of his death be withheld until after his funeral, Jackson said. Winters lived in Hershey, Pa., but died in suburban Palmyra.

    You're better than this, Ghost =)

    The thread title pretty much sums up my feelings perfectly.

    edit: Hooray for piling on GG.

    LTM on
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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Well at least we both beat LTM

    Grey Ghost on
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    LTMLTM Bikes and BeardsRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    It takes a lot of time to hit the Quote button, dammit.

    LTM on
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    NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    If he died last week how is it just now being reported? Are we now living in a world where Dick Winters' death is not important enough to get faster coverage?

    He didn't want people to make a big deal out of it.

    That's the type of guy he was.

    NotASenator on
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    NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I just wanted to add to it.

    NotASenator on
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    MeissnerdMeissnerd Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    92 years is fucking awesome for any war vet

    Meissnerd on
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    NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'm going to leave my hat on, and salute him instead.

    NotASenator on
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    Dead LegendDead Legend Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    he was a stud

    that's all i got

    Dead Legend on
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    zen-zen- Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    a great man with a hilarious name, hats off to him indeed

    zen- on
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    StaleghotiStaleghoti Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    this guy was the man.

    A true war hero

    Staleghoti on
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    PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    not a Smart Hero appreciation thread?

    disappointed

    Pony on
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    FaynorFaynor Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Smart Hero isn't even that heroic

    the last thing he saved was my webcam

    Faynor on
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    YoSoyTheWalrusYoSoyTheWalrus Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Yeah but that webcam save is still used as a textbook example of PC accessory repair at West Point today.

    YoSoyTheWalrus on
    tumblr_mvlywyLVys1qigwg9o1_250.png
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    chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Yeah but that webcam save is still used as a textbook example of PC accessory repair at West Point today.

    Appreciating this post right here

    chromdom on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    awwwwwwwwwww

    this dude was a total badass and all-round amazing dude

    RIP Winters

    Vivixenne on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    PiptheFair wrote: »

    that makes me tear up EVERY GODDAMN TIME

    Vivixenne on
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    MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    almost all the interviews in the BoB opening and closing sequences are total tearjerkers

    MrMonroe on
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    Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    92 is an extremely impressive age to live to, especially after all he went through. What an amazing guy.

    Centipede Damascus on
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