Dick Winters

Dick Winters, the Pennsylvania Quaker who became famous later in life as the commander of E  Company/506th Parachute Infantry (and later of the Regiment’s 2nd Battalion) in Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, and the eponymous TV series, has passed away:

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.

And the Greatest Generation got a lot smaller.

The Winters that came through in the book and miniseries was an estimable person:

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

I had a chance to meet Herb Suerth – who was a driving force beyind getting the original veterans together for Stephen Ambrose’s book – last fall.  He’s one of two of the company’s 37 survivors living in Minnesota (Frank Soboleski lives in International Falls).

6 thoughts on “Dick Winters

  1. Not that it will be needed, but I will pray that God takes Dick Winters into his arms and gives him an exhalted place.

    Rest in peace Dick Winters. You deserve it!

  2. Dick Winters is one of the few people who, the more you learned about them, the more you liked them. As I commented to David Strom, if the world is a little less bright today due to Winters’ passing, it is only because he made it so much brighter by being here in the first place.

  3. Dick Winters was one of those rare people whose life was even more amazing than the dramatized version, but to listen to him, he was just there doing his job. The recent Medal of Honor winner, Sal Giunta, has a Winteresque character. I hope there are more like him out there somewhere.

  4. but to listen to him, he was just there doing his job.

    It was a common trait.

    Twenty years ago, I ghost-wrote a book of memoirs from a guy who’d served in the 83rd Infantry Division in the Battle of the Hürtgenwald. Of six officers and 150-odd men who went into the battle, he and another officer, and thirty men walked out. His story – giving first-aid under artillery fire, leading his platoon in a frantic battle for a village, and finally being written up for a DSC for walking across a 200 hard field under machine gun fire (because he was so stricken with dysentery he couldn’t run and didn’t care if he got shot; his regiment commander saw it and took it for “coolness under fire to inspire the men”; he ended up with the Silver Star) struck me as the stuff that should be told far and wide. “I was just doing my job”, the guy said. Never any more.

  5. golfdoc;

    There are hundreds like him out there – they are just doing what they have been trained to do quietly and without fanfare.


    That reminds me of a story that my uncle told me about an “unlikely hero” in Korea. As he told it, after several drivers of cargo trucks were killed by the explosion of their trucks by jumping out of the cab and rolling under the truck for protection while under attack, drivers were ordered not to do so. One young PFC however, forgot about it in the heat of battle and rolled under his truck. Remembering the orders not to do it, he scrambled back into the cab and hauled ass as fast as he could to get out of there. Well, an officer witnessed this whole event. The citation supposedly read; “While transporting vital supplies to the front, PFC So & So’s truck became disabled while under fire from enemy small arms. Disregarding his own safety, PFC So & So crawled under is disabled truck, effected repairs, then jumped back into the truck, driving it off, thereby saving vital supplies.

  6. “Night Writer Says:…. if the world is a little less bright today due to Winters’ passing, it is only because he made it so much brighter by being here in the first place.”

    Very nice eulogy.

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