Dick Winters, WWII hero of ‘Band of Brothers,’ dies
Dick Winters, a highly decorated World War II hero who became a household name when his heroics were chronicled in a Stephen Ambrose book that later became the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," has died. He was 92.
A very private and modest man, he died last week but requested that the news be withheld until after the funeral, a family friend told the Associated Press.
After enlisting in the Army on Aug. 25, 1941, the Pennsylvania native enrolled in Officer Candidate School, eventually being commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in 1942. He was assigned to the 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne Division -- known as Easy Company -- and was deployed with his regiment to land by parachute in France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
By leading the takeover of a German artillery bunker on Utah Beach, Winters and his company saved countless lives from relentless cannon fire -- an action that earned him the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest honor an American soldier can receive. Winters and Easy Company later fought near the Belgian town of Foy during the Battle of the Bulge, liberated the German concentration camp at Dachau, and occupied Hitler's mountainside retreat, Eagle's Nest.
In 1945, one of Winters' soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to Winters from his hospital bed to express appreciation for his leadership in battle.
"You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you," Talbert wrote. "I would follow you into hell."