Easy Company leader Dick Winters dies
January 10, 2011
World War II veteran, Easy Company leader, and hero Major Richard “Dick” Winters of 101st Airborne Division, 506th Regiment (Easy Company) has passed away. He was 92 and was going to turn 93 on January 21st.
He commanded the Easy Company during World War II. The story of this company was told in the miniseries Band of Brothers, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Damian Lewis portrayed Major Dick Winters in the series.
Floyd Talbert, one of Major Winters' soldiers, had written to Mr Winters in 1945 :
"You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you. I would follow you into hell."
One of the soldiers who served in Easy Company, David Webster, once wrote that among his colleagues the Purple Heart "was not a decoration but a badge of office".
Dick Winters never considered himself as a hero but the men who served under him and people who only met him later in life call him a hero, no matter what he says.
Tom Hanks paid tribute in a statement saying, "no one who knew Dick Winters will ever forget him." The statement read :
When our days run their course and a man like Dick Winters leaves us, time and providence remind us that human beings can do giant things. Dick Winters volunteered to go to war, leading paratroopers into unknown, yet certain, dangers. He led by both command and example; his wartime philosophy was simple -- "Follow me.” When the world needed heroes, he served in a company of heroes. In a historic time, he was both a humble witness and an honorable warrior. In the decades since, he cherished the peace he had earned with humility and integrity.