Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Major Dick Winters, of 'Band of Brothers' fame, dies

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by Keystone Two-Eight, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Keystone Two-Eight

    Keystone Two-Eight Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    60
    Dick Winters, of 'Band of Brothers' fame, dies

    Published: Sunday, January 09, 2011, 6:25 PM Updated: Sunday, January 09, 2011, 7:43 PM

    [​IMG] By MONICA VON DOBENECK, The Patriot-News
    Follow


    Share1291
    13

    [​IMG]
    Share close
    Google Buzz Digg Stumble Upon Fark

    Share Email Print


    [​IMG]View full sizeThe Patriot-News, 2007Dick Winters introduced President George W. Bush to a crowd of about 20,000 during a rally in 2007 at Hersheypark Stadium in Derry Township.
    Dick Winters, the former World War II commander whose war story was told in the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died.
    Dick Winters led a quiet life on his Fredericksburg farm and in his Hershey home until the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” threw him into the international spotlight.

    Since then, the former World War II commander of Easy Company had received hundreds of requests for interviews and appearances all over the world.

    He stood at the podium with President George W. Bush in Hershey during the presidential campaign in 2007. He accepted the “Four Freedoms” award from Tom Brokaw on behalf of the Army. He was on familiar terms with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, producers of the HBO mini-series, the most expensive television series ever produced.

    Winters was always gracious about his new-found celebrity, but never really comfortable with it. He never claimed to be a hero and said that he had nothing to do with the national effort to get him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor.

    When people asked him if he was a hero, he liked to answer the way his World War II buddy, Mike Ranney, did.

    “No,” Ranney said. “But I served in a company of heroes.” That became the tag line for the miniseries.

    In an interview shortly before the miniseries debuted, Winters said the war wasn’t about individual heroics. The men were able to do what they did because they became closer than brothers when faced with overwhelming hardships.

    They weren’t out to save the world. They hated the blood, carnage, exhaustion and filth of war. But they were horrified at the thought of letting down their buddies.

    On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Winters and his troops from Easy Company, 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, parachuted behind enemy lines to take on a German artillery nest on Utah Beach. Winters made himself a promise then that if he lived through the war, all he wanted was peace and quiet.

    His company fought through the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of a death camp at Dachau and to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden.

    The war described in “Band of Brothers” is ugly, but the young men developed character under fire, Winters said. He was glad the miniseries showed war realistically, not either glorified or demonized as in so many movies.

    He wanted people to understand that success in war depends not on heroics but on bonding, character, getting the job done and “hanging tough,” his lifelong motto. In combat, he wrote 50 years after the war, “your reward for a good job done is that you get the next tough mission.”

    When the war ended, Winters kept his promise to himself. He married Ethel, bought a bucolic farm in Fredericksburg, raised two children and worked in the agricultural feed business. He didn’t talk about the war until the late historian Stephen Ambrose wanted to put Easy Company’s exploits on paper.

    Following the miniseries, Winters turned down most requests for interviews because he said he didn’t want to appear like he was bragging.

    But he did feel the story of Easy Company was an important one, especially for young people. He was more likely to accept invitations by local school groups and spent time with students at Cedar Crest High School, among others. A talk he gave at Palmyra Middle School drew hundreds of spectators.

    People who knew Winters during and after the war said he is exactly what he appears to be. He could lead without ever raising his voice or swearing. His friend Bob Hoffman, a Lebanon architect, said Winters’ eyes could “burn a hole right through you.”

    The men who served under him and people who only met him later in life call him a hero, no matter what he says.

    According to the book, one wounded member of Easy Company wrote Winters from a hospital bed in 1945, “I would follow you into hell.”

    He received a standing ovation from 500 veterans when he spoke at the dedication of the Army’s Military History Institute in Middlesex Township in September.

    When President Bush was in Hershey in April, he called Winters “a fine example ... for those brave souls who now wear our nation’s uniform.”

    Ambrose, the author of “Band of Brothers,” said in a 2001 BBC interview that he hopes young people say. “I want to be like Dick Winters.”

    “Not necessarily as soldiers, but as that kind of leader, that kind of man, with basic honesty and virtue and an understanding of the difference between right and wrong,” Ambrose said.

    Related topics: band of brothers, dick winters, richard winters, world war ii
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    Rest in Peace Major :salute:
     
  3. fricker66

    fricker66 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    12
    A true hero. Rest in peace and thank you for being there when our country and the world needed you...
     
  4. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    304
    Rest in Peace sir. His story inspired a whole new generation of WWII interest.
     
  5. ssg_craven

    ssg_craven Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    5
    Truly upsetting.
    Go easy sir.
     
  6. Lady Prime

    Lady Prime Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    26
    I'm crying as we speak...the world has lost a good man...
     
    Yono likes this.
  7. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,475
    Likes Received:
    1,375
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    I'm sorry to learn this news. The Airborne Brotherhood has lost one of it's finest brothers, but in a way, it has gained another one. He has a lot of old buddies to catch up with now. I'd love to be a fly on that heavenly wall.
     
    luketdrifter likes this.
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,151
    Likes Received:
    1,026
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    R.I.P. Dick! :(
     
  9. sunny971

    sunny971 Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    244
    sad to hear these news. Rest in peace Major Winters.
     
  10. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    12,560
    Likes Received:
    1,017
    RIP: Major Richard “Dick” Winters (Band of Brothers) | ReadJunk.com

    RIP: Major Richard “Dick” Winters (Band of Brothers)

    January 9, 2011 - Posted by Bryan Kremkau [​IMG]
    More sad news to report this weekend. World War II veteran, Easy Company leader, and hero Major Richard “Dick” Winters of 101st Airborne Division, 506th Regiment (Easy Company) has passed away. Winters was 92 years old, and was going to turn 93 on January 21st. Major Winters and the rest of Easy Company skyrocketed into fame in recent years, thanks to the HBO masterpiece Band of Brothers, brought to you by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Damien Lewis portrayed Winters on the mini-series and Winters himself was interviewed and featured on the series and documentary about the regiment & war. He lead a quiet life in PA after that, and never considered himself a hero. As much as he didn’t think so, the rest of the United States and the world think he is. I highly recommend reading his book Beyond Band of Brothers, which is an in-depth look at his life before, during and after World War II. Major Dick Winters will be missed but what he did for this country will be remembered forever!


    Dick Winters, the former World War II commander whose war story was told in the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died.
    Dick Winters led a quiet life on his Fredericksburg farm and in his Hershey home until the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” threw him into the international spotlight.
    Since then, the former World War II commander of Easy Company had received hundreds of requests for interviews and appearances all over the world.
    [Penn Live]
    Additional source: Ross Owen's Band Of Brothers CAST INTERVIEWS 2010/11: Tributes to Major Dick Winters
     
  11. AndyPants

    AndyPants Ace

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,518
    Likes Received:
    135
    Im very sorry to hear of Major Dick Winters passing, RIP Sir :poppy:
     
  12. Hangtough

    Hangtough recruit

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    God speed dear sir. The world is a better place because of your brave service to it.

    RIP Major. :'(
     
  13. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    RIP :mourn:
     
  14. Mehar

    Mehar Ace

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,360
    Likes Received:
    114
    Very unfortunate news, I first learned about Easy Company with the Band of Brothers miniseries, shortly after that I bought the book, after that I looked into memoirs of the members. Truly fantastic stories that deserve their recognition.

    RIP sir, you will always be remembered.
     
  15. Yono

    Yono Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    2
    Rest in Peace and Godspeed sir, a true hero and the man that really got me into WW2. You will always be remembered:poppy:
     
  16. Radar4077

    Radar4077 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    45
    Very sad, he will definitely be remembered today and beyond...'Band of Brothers' actually made me interested in 'Operation Market Garden' and Bastogne. His death makes you wonder what happened to the rest of the men of E Company.

    Rest in peace, Major, and may you never be forgotten :S!
     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,095
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Good bye, sir!
     
  18. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,360
    Likes Received:
    30
    Very Sad and the world lost yet another great man R.I.P.
     
  19. PizzaDevil

    PizzaDevil Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    22
    R.I.P :poppy:
     
  20. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,114
    Likes Received:
    1,084
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    [​IMG]

    Another article:

    Central figure in 'Band of Brothers' dead at 92 - CNN.com

    I knew about the story of Major Winters long before Band of Brothers. He was a true WWII hero, and skilled combat leader. I'm very sorry to hear of his passing; but am glad to know that a least through "Band of Brothers" he won't be forgotten.
     

Share This Page