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Major Dick Winters (of Band of Brothers fame) dies at age 92

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Cyn, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    Major Richard "Dick" Winters, the leader of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne, died on January 2nd from complications of Parkinsons Disease. He requested that news of his death not be released until after his funeral.

    Washington Post Article

    Fox News Article

    Major Winter's actions and leadership in the liberations of France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany were nothing short of heroic. He was a true man of honor and kindness and, on a personal note, one of my heroes.

    Winters was portrayed by Damien Lewis in the Spielberg/Hanks production of Band of Brothers.

    Condolences to his family and to the remaining members of Easy Company.
  2. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    I saw Band Of Brothers and read the book. He was very well loved and respected by his men and had may years of service after the war as well. To him and the rest of his generation we all owe a debt of gratitude for which we can never repay. He has now been reunited with his comrades. May he rest in peace.
    Cyn and (deleted member) like this.
  3. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Cyn - thanks for posting this. The sacrifices of so many of these soldiers was remarkable, and I'm glad that with the book and the movie, their efforts will not be forgotten.
  4. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    One of my favorite quotes from Winters' memoir, Beyond Band of Brothers

    RIP, Major Winters, and Currahee!!
  5. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

    R.I.P. MAJ Winters. :(
    I noticed that Band of Brothers was actually on last week, but I guess that was just a coincidence, it would have already been scheduled to run, surely.

    Can't help but feel so sad that this generation is leaving us so fast,now. Have all the stories been told?
  6. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately not even close.

    I cannot remember off the top of my head where I read the stat, but WWII veterans (worldwide) are dying at a rate of 1500 a day :(

    As far as Easy Company goes, there have been several books written about these men aside from Stephen Ambrose's book. Some are written by the actual veterans, some by biographers, and I believe there's also a new documentary in the works called "Hang Tough" (which will be narrated by Damien Lewis). More info on the documentary is in the link below.

    Here's the link to Easy Company's official website:

    Men of Easy Company


    L.A. Times Article

    PennLive.com article
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  7. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    I've always liked his statement in the interview clip at the end of Band of Brothers. His grandson asked him if he were a hero and he replied that he wasn't but that he served with heroes.

    The passing of that generation makes me sad. I don't think we'll ever see their like again.
  8. Andrushka

    Andrushka Well-Known Member

    I read this yesterday(the news of his passing)God bless him.He lived a long time.We always watch Band of Brothers whenever it's on tv,I feel we owe so much to our veterans after watching that series..RIP Maj. Winters.
  9. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Maj. Winters.
  10. Freespirit

    Freespirit Active Member

    I feel like I have lost a family member. Band of Brothers is my all time favorite series and have watched it many times.
  11. Civic

    Civic New Member

    He had a very long and eventful life. Despite the odds, he survived World War II. Afterwards he married, bought a farm and was able to live the quiet life he dreamed about during the war. We should all be so lucky. My condolences to his family.
  12. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

    I *always* have to make sure I have Kleenex handy during the final episode of Band of Brothers or if I'm watching the companion documentary, as that particular footage makes me bawl like a baby.

    Thank you Cyn for letting us all know.

    We will never see their like again. God Speed Sir and Thank You. :(
  13. minx

    minx Active Member

    I managed to have three skaters use parts of the soundtrack music in programs. One knew, the dad was a huge fan of the series.
    Cyn and (deleted member) like this.
  14. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

    Thanks for the link, Cyn! I will be sure to look out for the new documentary.

    I have Winters' memoir and have been meaning to read it for quite awhile but then we move and then it gets packed up and pushed back
    to make room for newer books, unintentionally.

    Guarnere and I believe Babe have a collaboration and I think Malarkey and maybe even Buck Compton have memoirs as well. Quite a selection at the military exchanges near Pearl Harbor!
  15. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    zhenya, *find* that book and read it - you'll definitely enjoy reading it and getting a lot more backstory to a lot of what took place in the miniseries and in Ambrose's book.

    I've read Wild Bill Guarnere and Babe Heffron's book, Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends. It's a fairly easy read, and has many moments that are :rofl: as well as some that will move you to tears.

    I've been wanting to read Don Malarkey's book but every time I go to the library, it's always checked out.

    I had no idea that Buck Compton had written a book about his experience in WWII. I always found it interesting that he was the prosecutor in the trial and conviction of Sirhan Sirhan's assassination of Robert Kennedy.

    As of today, there are only 36 members of Easy Company still alive :( . However, of that number, I'm not sure how many of them are original Toccoa men. From what I can recall, the ones that trained in Toccoa, Georgia, that are still with us are

    Lynn "Buck" Compton (89)*
    Roderick Bain (89)
    "Wild Bill" Guarnere (87)*
    Edward Joint (87)
    Joseph Lesniewski (90)*
    DeWitt Lowery (88)
    Clarence Lyall (85)
    Don Malarkey (89)*
    Ed Mauser (94 - the oldest surviving member)
    Earl "One Lung" McClung (87)*
    Edwin Pepping (88)
    Frank Perconte (93)*
    Paul Rogers (92)
    J.B. Stokes (89)
    Amos Taylor (90)
    Edward Tipper (89)
    Bill Wingett (88)

    * - featured in the BOB miniseries.

    In addition, J.B. Stokes, Edward Tipper, and Paul Rogers were all interviewed in the documentary (bonus disc in the DVD set) called "We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company"

    Sorry for the flood of info - WWII history is a rather large interest of mine.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  16. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

    No need to be sorry at all, I'm fascinated by WWII history, as well. :)

    Only 36 left.:(

    I will definitely be looking for my copy of the Winters' memoir and also plan to get the other memoirs. I love the kind that make you laugh and cry.

    Buck Compton's memoir - "My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers". I wasn't sure if he did have one, so I went to check it out on amazon and the reviews on amazon are only alright. I guess for the most part, most readers are expecting a war read and Compton glosses over that, I guess he was only with Easy company for a year? It's been about 8 or 9 yrs (Holy Smokes!)since I read/watched BoB, whenever the mini first came out. You can get a lot of information that a lot of readers have gathered from other sources reading the reviews, though! :)

    Someone I wish we had more character insight into was Sobel. Was he really just an ass? Or was he only a misunderstood ass? IIRC he committed suicide. There is no question that Winters made Easy company exceptional, but I think Sobel had to be given at least a little credit, although I would not have agreed with his methods, he did make the company tight.

    I was in the mood for a Rome marathon, but I think I will put that on hold and bring out my BoB DVDs now, this cold weather will set the tone for Bastogne.
  17. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    Buck Compton joined E Company just prior to D-Day. He was injured during Operation Market Garden (which failed - watch A Bridge Too Far for more info regarding this particular event). Compton rejoined Easy just prior to the Battle of the Bulge, and when Joe Toye and Bill Guarnere were severely wounded, Compton was hospitalized, suffering from battle fatigue (now known as PTSD). He rejoined Easy IIRC following VE Day and was with the company, training in Austria to prepare for the invasion of Japan when the Japanese surrendered, ending WWII.

    Herbert Sobel's story is in many ways quite sad. he was definitely an ass - Winters' book goes into more detail than Ambrose's, especially regarding his punishment of Winters in which Winters chose trial by court martial rather than Sobel's humiliation.

    After Sobel was transferred to Chilton-Foliat (sp?), he rejoined the 101st in another capacity, and served again during the Korean war. Over time, he was definitely depressed and despondent. Some time during the 60s, he attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. He survived, but was blinded for the rest of his life as a result. He finally moved into a VA-assisted living community for the last 17 years of his life.

    Sobel's son, Michael, as well as several members of his family, were upset with how he was portrayed in BoB; however, the soldiers of Easy were unanimous in their description of Sobel's personality. That being said, they almost all credit him for his OTT, hardcore training, and say that they likely wouldn't have survived without it. In later years, his son Michael attended at least one of the Easy Company reunions and was warmly welcomed by the veterans that were there.

    Another book I want to read but haven't gotten hold of is David Kenyon Webster's book, Parachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper's Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich. He was the Harvard educated member of Easy portrayed in the miniseries by Eion Bailey. After the war he was a reporter for the WSJ and a now-defunct Los Angeles newspaper. In addition to his autobiographical account of his experience in WWII, he wrote a book about sharks, a personal fascination of his. He died at sea in 1961 - his body was never found.
  18. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    Another one fascinated by WW2 and I recommend to anyone who is interested in BOB also check out the companion series The Pacific. It is also on DVD and book form. :)
  19. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

    Cyn- Sobel's life was incredibly sad. Thanks for the information and for more on Buck. Webster's autobiography is another that I have been meaning to read, as well.

    One of my favorites was Carwood Lipton, I noticed he was missing from your list. He was one of the quiet, professionals. May he rest in peace. :(

    Buzz, I really want to watch that series, but it is so hard to get into a new series because once I start, I can't stop! I'm already a night owl, I can't afford to lose more sleep. Also part of me is resistant because of the comparison to BoB, although I realize that particular theatre of the war was so different in many ways.

    Did the film do the book justice?
  20. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    I believe the tv series came first then the book was written as a companion. The Pacific is really good althought not as popular as BOB and definitely worth watching. One of the nicest things about The Pacific is that both childhood friends Eugene Sledge and Sidney Phillips served in the war and survived. Phillips is younger by one year but entered the served two years before his friend because Sledge's dad refused promission for his son to join up. Here is an interview Sledge gave before his death in 2001 and a photo of both Sledge and Phillips.


    ONe of my favourite quotes about the war:

  21. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

    Awesome quote, Buzz! Definitely a unique breed the men from that generation.