Major Richard Winters Of Band Of Brothers Fame Passes Away

MajWinters.jpg

I know Maet covered this in the ONT last night but it's worth noting again.

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.”

More here.

Throughout his late in life fame, Major Winters always remained humble and maintained that despite all the attention he received, he was not a hero.

With all due respect to the Major, I disagree, he was a hero.

While Major Winters has gone to his well deserved rest, we should remember their are millions of men and women in uniform carrying on his proud legacy of quiet and dedicated service. Thank God for them all.

Thanks to Slu for the video.

Posted by: DrewM. at 12:46 PM



Comments

1 We lose more and more WW2 Vets every day. We should cherish them while we still have them.

Posted by: nevergiveup at January 10, 2011 12:49 PM (0GFWk)

2 Blessings on all who have served this country and all who currently serve. Your courage and honour protects us all.
Godspeed to Maj. Winters.

Posted by: garrett at January 10, 2011 12:49 PM (3iKLS)

3 This post has me feeling very centered.

Posted by: Andy at January 10, 2011 12:49 PM (5Rurq)

4 /Salute

Posted by: Romeo13 at January 10, 2011 12:50 PM (AdK6a)

5 Rest in peace, Major Winters.

Posted by: Andy at January 10, 2011 12:51 PM (5Rurq)

6 I believe he was a colonel. You might wanna check.

Posted by: dick at January 10, 2011 12:51 PM (SI0+B)

7 Seeing him in that interview, it's hard to picture him as a tough combat leader. We tend to forget that these guys, though they might be old and frail now, were hard as nails back when they were saving the planet.

Posted by: UGAdawg at January 10, 2011 12:53 PM (/VjHB)

8 I think he would have wanted it this way..

with the media's attention focused elsewhere instead of on his passing.

Posted by: Dave C at January 10, 2011 12:53 PM (p13tD)

9 * reinstalls Company of Heroes *

Posted by: EC at January 10, 2011 12:54 PM (mAhn3)

10 Where do we get such men? Thank God for them, and may they all rest in peace.

Posted by: Nighthawk at January 10, 2011 12:55 PM (02uN6)

11 I believe he was a colonel. You might wanna check.
Posted by: dick at January 10, 2011 12:51 PM (SI0+B)

yeah I don't think so. He retired a Major

Posted by: nevergiveup at January 10, 2011 12:56 PM (0GFWk)

12 Ben-
this is something about which people can disagree, but I don't like the use of the word "scumbag" in describing a man like Kerrey. I completely disagree with what he said, but the fact is that he no longer has to prove himself to you or anyone else. His honor is without question. Save the "vitriol" for those who deserve it, namely his homonym, John Kerry.

Posted by: pep at January 10, 2011 12:57 PM (P18+/)

13 7 Seeing him in that interview, it's hard to picture him as a tough combat leader. We tend to forget that these guys, though they might be old and frail now, were hard as nails back when they were saving the planet.

Posted by: UGAdawg at January 10, 2011 12:53 PM (/VjHB)

The body may decay, but the character and the will survive. And every now and then you still see a news item about some 80 to 90 year old WWII vet kicking the sh*t out of some punk who thought he'd be an easy mugging victim.

Posted by: Nighthawk at January 10, 2011 12:58 PM (02uN6)

14 God Bless Him and grant him his rest.

I hope he finds peace and joy and a warm spot on the grass by the river where the fish are always bitin'.

Thank You, Major Winters.

And thanks to all who served and still serve. You are never forgotten in this house.

Posted by: sifty does not dial back shit at January 10, 2011 01:02 PM (Evsno)

15 Godspeed Major; we owe the veterans of WWII a debt of gratitude for truly stopping the spread of despotism. I can't imagine what our country would be like had Nazism and Imperial Japan won the day.

We are losing a generation of brave people, and I'm worried that once the last of the eyewitnesses is gone, history will be completely changed.

Posted by: blindside at January 10, 2011 01:03 PM (x7g7t)

16 Wow, look at that first pic. He was a hottie back in the day.

Posted by: Filly at January 10, 2011 01:03 PM (t+B38)

17 And every now and then you still see a news item about some 80 to 90
year old WWII vet kicking the sh*t out of some punk who thought he'd be
an easy mugging victim.
One of the people who tackled Gifford's shooter was a retired Vet in his seventies. He had been grazed by a bullet in the head and still helped hold Loughner down until the police arrived.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at January 10, 2011 01:05 PM (tf9Ne)

18 OK, now ya gone and dun it.... squalling here.

Posted by: ¤§EZB§¤ at January 10, 2011 01:07 PM (Ty06w)

19 I hope he is getting full Military Burial

Posted by: nevergiveup at January 10, 2011 01:11 PM (0GFWk)

20 The American warrior. Always has been, is, and will be the best in the world.

Posted by: Soona at January 10, 2011 01:12 PM (B1tDt)

21 He needs to receive the Medal of Honor.

Posted by: Stan at January 10, 2011 01:17 PM (N1Gru)

22 We need more Dick Winterses.

As an aside, I can't believe Hanks and Spielberg didn't mangle Band of Brothers beyond recognition.

Posted by: FUBAR at January 10, 2011 01:23 PM (McG46)

23 In the book "Band of Brothers", the men of the 506th "Easy" company often spoke of the end, when they would make that "last jump" together.

Salute to Major Dick Winters (ret.). He has made the last jump.
We live in freedom today because such men were willing to stand up and fight tyranny. Brave men, who never got to come home, to live out their lives and fulfill their dreams, paid the maximum price. They gave up all their tomorrows so that we might be free today.
Major Winters was of my father's generation. He's gone, his friends are gone, few now remain that remember those days.
Don't forget.

Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch writes... at January 10, 2011 01:29 PM (usS2T)

24 Stop all this vitriolic rhetoric!

Posted by: dogfish at January 10, 2011 01:29 PM (6qPsd)

25 ...We are losing a generation of brave people, and I'm worried that once the last of the eyewitnesses is gone, history will be completely changed.

Posted by: blindside at January 10, 2011 01:03 PM (x7g7t)

It is up to us to prevent that and the only way to do it is to talk to these people (if you know any) and ASK them to tell you about their experiences. Most of them, like Major Winters, honestly think that they really didn't do anything extrordinary, but if you dig a little you may be amazed at what you find.

For example: I have an uncle who was in the Air Corps in WWII. That's all I ever knew because he never talked about it. All I really knew about him was that he was a plumber and he was in the Air Corps in WWII. Finally I got up the nerve to ask him about what he did in the war. The conversation went something like this:

Me- So, what did you do in the Air Corps anyway?
Him- Oh, I flew in bombers, B-17s.
Me- So, ah, what job did you do in the B-17's
Him- I was a pilot, and aircraft commander.
Me- (*boggle*) Ah, did you fly any missions?
Him- Yes.
Me- How many?
Him- Twenty five.
Me- (*boggle*) ah, do you mind telling me about some of them?

At that point he opened up and started talking about some of the missions he'd been on to bomb, among other places, oil refineries in a place called Ploesti.

I was shocked- not only was he not "just a plumber", but he was very lucky to even be alive.

And I never would have known any of it if I hadn't asked.

Posted by: Nighthawk at January 10, 2011 01:32 PM (02uN6)

26 Godspeed, Grandpa. May your trip to the next plane be pleasant and joyous and your stay there true utopia for all eternity.

Thank you for what you did for this great country.

Posted by: Sponge © at January 10, 2011 01:33 PM (UK9cE)

27 Sad on many levels, one of which is the fact that he and his generation fought heroically to save this nation, and then selflessly bequeathed it to the next - the most spoiled, self-centered generation in our history. Whether the nation will survive the Boomers' (mis)management of it is an open question.

Posted by: angler at January 10, 2011 01:36 PM (SwjAj)

28 Major Winter's inspired leadership style continues to be emulated by our guys today -- I think I can go out on a limb and say that every NCO and Officer in today's Army has watched Band of Brothers multiple times; and not a few have read the book. His take down of the guns is a classic textbook example. FUBAR @ 22, because Major Winters was still alive to make sure they didn't.

Posted by: Jean at January 10, 2011 01:36 PM (lnUW/)

29 May God grant him rest. Thanks from a grateful nation.

Posted by: joncelli at January 10, 2011 01:37 PM (RD7QR)

30 President Obama is a bigger hero than this guy. After all look how much President Obama has done for this country and none of it involves WAR !

Posted by: Mary Clogginstien from Brattleboro,VT at January 10, 2011 01:42 PM (By4wu)

31 Major Winters is my personal hero, and I am proud to call him a fellow Pennsylvania native. I wish more attention was paid to his life and his passing, but not a lot of outlets are covering the story. Shameful.

Posted by: Wyatt Earp at January 10, 2011 01:44 PM (ogc4v)

32 30
President Obama is a bigger hero than this guy. After all look how much
President Obama has done for this country and none of it involves WAR !

This is a joke, right?

Posted by: Wyatt Earp at January 10, 2011 01:45 PM (ogc4v)

33 Remember. I think Major Winters would approve.

http://tinyurl.com/6eg7nge

Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch writes... at January 10, 2011 01:47 PM (usS2T)

34 This is a joke, right?
Posted by: Wyatt Earp at January 10, 2011 01:45 PM (ogc4v)

Has to be. It's not possible to be this stupid. (Uh, right?)

Posted by: joncelli at January 10, 2011 01:47 PM (RD7QR)

35 Has to be. It's not possible to be this stupid. (Uh, right?)
Posted by: joncelli at January 10, 2011 01:47 PM (RD7QR)

52% of the country

Posted by: nevergiveup at January 10, 2011 01:49 PM (0GFWk)

36 All you can do is be in awe of someone like this--and admire their courage and resolve.

Rest in peace, Major. You're a better man than I ever was, and without men like you the world would be a lesser place

Posted by: SantaRosaStan at January 10, 2011 01:49 PM (UqKQV)

37 Has to be. It's not possible to be this stupid. (Uh, right?)

I don't think anyone would be able to attempt to dishonor the major with such a comparison. Especially not today.

Posted by: Wyatt Earp at January 10, 2011 01:50 PM (ogc4v)

38 I don't think anyone would be able to attempt to dishonor the major with such a comparison. Especially not today.
Posted by: Wyatt Earp at January 10, 2011 01:50 PM (ogc4v)

i guess ya don't know many liberals ha?

Posted by: nevergiveup at January 10, 2011 01:53 PM (0GFWk)

39 how much
President Obama has done for this country and none of it involves WAR !

Can I be the one to tell her about the Predator drones? Please?

Posted by: HeatherRadish at January 10, 2011 01:54 PM (4ucxv)

40 37
Has to be. It's not possible to be this stupid. (Uh, right?)

I don't think anyone would be able to attempt to dishonor the major with such a comparison. Especially not today.


Posted by: Wyatt Earp at January 10, 2011 01:50 PM (ogc4v)
I think the person was trying to be funny, but it's not appropriate for this thread. Major Winters was one of the Old Breed. May he rest in peace.

Posted by: Dummy at January 10, 2011 01:55 PM (LdYLm)

41 37 Has to be. It's not possible to be this stupid. (Uh, right?)

I don't think anyone would be able to attempt to dishonor the major with such a comparison. Especially not today.

Posted by: Wyatt Earp at January 10, 2011 01:50 PM (ogc4v)

It's a joke. The hash comes back to a number of whimsical socks such as "Jackson Meehoff", "Buster Hymand", and the ubiquitous "Mike Hunt".

Posted by: Nighthawk at January 10, 2011 01:58 PM (02uN6)

42 Plus 11!!1elevety!11. I am humbled and moved every time I watch the series.

RIP, Major Winters.

Posted by: The Hammer at January 10, 2011 02:00 PM (32ubA)

43 I think the person was trying to be funny, but it's not appropriate for this thread. Major Winters was one of the Old Breed. May he rest in peace.

Posted by: Dummy at January 10, 2011 01:55 PM (LdYLm)

Agree. Very inappropriate.

Posted by: Nighthawk at January 10, 2011 02:00 PM (02uN6)

44 Truly the Greatest Generation. If only we could harness all the spinning-in-their-graves energy...

Posted by: t-bird at January 10, 2011 02:02 PM (FcR7P)

45 An Old Soldier's Prayer

06/20/2005





I have fought when others feared to serve.

I have gone where others failed to go.

I've lost friends in war and strife,

Who valued Duty more than love of life.



I have shared the comradeship of pain.

I have searched the lands for men that we have lost.

I have sons who served this land of liberty,

Who would fight to see that other stricken lands are free.



I have seen the weak forsake humanity.

I have heard the traitors praise our enemy.

I've seen challenged men become even bolder,

I've seen the Duty, Honor, Sacrifice of the Soldier.



Now I understand the meaning of our lives,

The loss of comrades not so very long ago.

So to you who have answered duties siren call,

May God bless you my son, may God bless you all.



Lewis Millett

Posted by: Dummy at January 10, 2011 02:03 PM (LdYLm)

46 President Obama is a bigger hero than this guy.
After all look how much President Obama has done for this country and
none of it involves WAR !

Posted by: Mary Clogginstien from Brattleboro,VT at January 10, 2011 01:42 PM (By4wu)


Voted most likely to shoot someone in the name of a map posted by Sarah Palin a year ago......



Posted by: Sponge © at January 10, 2011 02:07 PM (UK9cE)

47
He did his duty. In this day and age, that is rather heroic, isn't it?

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie © at January 10, 2011 02:10 PM (1hM1d)

48 He did his duty. In this day and age, that is rather heroic, isn't it?

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie © at January 10, 2011 02:10 PM (1hM1d)

It was heroic when he did it and it is heroic now.

Posted by: Sponge © at January 10, 2011 02:12 PM (UK9cE)

49 Damn, just damn. Perhaps not living to see destroyed, what he (they) sacrificed so much to save...never mind.

Posted by: RedneknSC at January 10, 2011 02:12 PM (1dCTA)

50 I can't decide whether I'm saddened or heartened to realize that today we fight the same darkness of WWII and the Cold War by going to the voting booth.

Posted by: t-bird at January 10, 2011 02:14 PM (FcR7P)

51
Ace has been MIA for over 40 hours.

Posted by: Soothsayer News Service at January 10, 2011 02:15 PM (uFokq)

52

Throughout his late in life fame, Major Winters always remained humble
and maintained that despite all the attention he received, he was not a
hero.

That is the standard actions and response of true heroes.

RIP Major Richard Winters

Posted by: Buzzsaw at January 10, 2011 02:17 PM (tf9Ne)

53
My father served in WW2. He would never talk about his service, other than to just say he was in the Army. Used to pester him about it, and he'd give me The Look when I got too obnoxious. My Uncle was the same way, too.

We finally did talk about it one night, after I'd come home, What that man endured made the shit I went through seem like a church picnic.

Heroes indeed.

Posted by: irongrampa at January 10, 2011 02:21 PM (ud5dN)

54 The lives of men like this are very humbling, their passing stirs great admiration, sadness and reflection.

Posted by: wolverine at January 10, 2011 02:33 PM (GvYeG)

55 I vote hero.

Godspeed Major Winters.

Posted by: Berserker at January 10, 2011 02:42 PM (gWHrG)

56 Ace has been MIA for over 40 hours.

Good job summoning Ace, It took only three minutes.



Posted by: Mark in Spokane at January 10, 2011 02:47 PM (Nmyyl)

57 Defense Secretary Robert Gates is betting that Americans' frustration
with a ballooning deficit will finally allow him to trim one of the
government's most politically protected entitlement programs: the
military's $50 billion-a-year health care system. [Ann Flaherty, Washington]

/But of course, dear. It would be "wrong" to start cutting deficit spending by denying illegal aliens US citizen tax funded benefits.

Posted by: maverick muse at January 10, 2011 02:48 PM (H+LJc)

58 It really is amazing how humble that generation is. My uncle passed away a few months ago. When I showed up at the funeral there was 2 dudes from the army there. One of them had a bronze star ribbon on his uniform. They presented my aunt with a flag. It was only then I found out my uncle was in WWII and was wounded bad in a tank I used to see a real bad scar on his leg when I was kid but never knew why. He almost lost his leg, he begged them not to cut it off, so he spend 3 years in hospitals.

Heroes hardly describes that generation. They saved the frigging planet. I'm just glad the military still make dudes like that.

Posted by: Berserker at January 10, 2011 03:00 PM (gWHrG)

59 RIP Major, and Godspeed.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at January 10, 2011 03:13 PM (WvXvd)

60 Yeah, he was awful old but ... what an amazing man. Has anyone here read his book on leadership? Incredible stuff. Winters was the stuff of legends.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at January 10, 2011 03:26 PM (61b7k)

61 The WWII generation took us from biplanes to the moon. They created the computer as we know it. The list of things attributable to the greatest generation is amazing, and when they weren't busy they saved the world.

My uncle Joe, who got a transfusion this morning, was in one the first of Patton's tanks to come to the relief of Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge.

When Hollywood in the 50's and 60's cast a short skinny Texan named Audie Murphy as a hero in movies - he was for some reason believable in the role. (Look up his Wikipedia entry if you don't know who he was).

To put Audie Murphy in perspective; when I was in Vietnam I had a friend who won a Bronze Star with V for Valor device. That was the only one of those I saw while I was there; it is a rare medal for anyone to get.



Posted by: An Observation at January 10, 2011 03:29 PM (ylhEn)

62 RIP, Winters.

Posted by: somber viewer at January 10, 2011 03:33 PM (0AkWH)

63 There is a sorry excuse for a human being at the Smithsonian Institute who wants to rewrite history to paint WWII as a war of aggression and our soldiers as murdering rapists. His type got away with it that during the Vietnam war - so they figure they can pull it on WWII vets. He made the mistake of trying to rewrite Hiroshima and Nagasaki as racist and unnecessary while there were still WWII veterans alive - they shouted him down. He will try again when they are all gone.

Posted by: An Observation at January 10, 2011 03:53 PM (ylhEn)

64 21, MAJ Winters was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, which is #2 in the Army's awards hierarchy and certainly nothing to sneeze at. With his post "Band of Brothers" fame, there was an Internet campaign to have his DSC upgraded to The Medal, but Winters asked for it to be stopped. He didn't believe he rated it.

28, I was in the 502nd, not the 506th, but we used to come in from patrols in Iraq, get into our one air-conditioned room we'd built, and then watch Band of Brothers again an episode at a time. Another guy and I were WWII reenactors and collectors even before our OIF experience. That made me the guy in charge of the display cases at battalion HQ when we got back.

We take tradition very seriously at the 101st. MAJ Winters probably would have been buried by a funeral detail from our 4th Brigade (the 506th RCT), but going by the news reports I doubt he would have wanted the attention. He didn't even want the news released until after the funeral. If I hear anything about the Curahees making it to the memorial service, I'll let y'all know.


Posted by: SGT Dan at January 10, 2011 04:17 PM (HBTr7)

65 Dick Winters was a great, humble man. He will be dearly missed.

Posted by: tangonine at January 10, 2011 04:18 PM (x3YFz)

66 My father served in WW2. He would never talk about his service, other than to just say he was in the Army. Used to pester him about it, and he'd give me The Look when I got too obnoxious. My Uncle was the same way, too.
My dad to a T. Shortly before his death he related his story to me in the unvarnished version. Words can't describe what these guys did and then came home and built a country. We will miss men such as these............

Posted by: lsmith at January 10, 2011 04:18 PM (XGLac)

67 64

We
take tradition very seriously at the 101st. MAJ Winters probably would
have been buried by a funeral detail from our 4th Brigade (the 506th
RCT), but going by the news reports I doubt he would have wanted the
attention. He didn't even want the news released until after the
funeral. If I hear anything about the Curahees making it to the memorial
service, I'll let y'all know.




Posted by: SGT Dan at January 10, 2011 04:17 PM (HBTr7)
I'm sure every available 101st member, past and present, that could have made the funeral would have attended.

Posted by: tangonine at January 10, 2011 04:44 PM (x3YFz)

68 Ibow in humbletribute at the passing of a true American hero.
Rest in Peace Major Winters.
Airborne.

Posted by: LGoPs at January 10, 2011 08:11 PM (+Uv5V)

69 This makes me profoundly sad. Winters' story is that of a true American hero. God bless him and Rest In Peace!

Posted by: Bill at January 10, 2011 08:35 PM (JW/Rn)

70 Bravo Zulu Major!

Posted by: OPS-M24 at January 10, 2011 10:20 PM (ocJYb)

71 We need to name a starship after this dude someday.

A badass, but humble starship.

Posted by: eman at January 11, 2011 12:28 AM (0aJSF)

72 zencart|seo|Sexy Shoes|Sexy Shoes Online|guitar store|guitar shop|PHP|Java|MFC

Posted by: PHP at January 12, 2011 01:35 AM (m7V9o)






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