'Band of Brothers' commander dies - LancasterOnline: News

'Band of Brothers' commander dies

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Posted: Monday, January 10, 2011 9:00 am | Updated: 12:18 am, Thu Sep 12, 2013.

The commander of the "Band of Brothers" has died.

Dick Winters, an Army officer whose World War II service was featured in a book and TV series, died Jan. 2 at the age of 92.

Winters, who lived in Hershey, was a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, E Company.

The soldiers in Easy Company jumped in combat on June 6, 1944, near Normandy, France.

The men fought together through D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, suffering heavy casualties. They later occupied Adolf Hitler's mountainside retreat, called the Eagle's Nest.

SLIDESHOW: Richard "Dick" Winters, leader of 'Band of Brothers'

Winters received the Distinguished Service Cross, the country's second highest decoration for valor, while conducting combat operations on D-Day, when he led a small group of men in raiding German emplacements near Utah beach.

Later in the war, one of Winters' soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to the officer from a hospital in Indiana expressing gratitude for his loyalty and leadership.

"You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you," Talbert wrote to Winters in 1945. "I would follow you into hell."

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported that Winters died early this year at an assisted-living facility in Campbelltown.

His final wish was a totally private funeral, which was fitting for a man who lived through extraordinary circumstances but never considered himself anything more than a man doing his duty, his longtime friend William S. Jackson said Sunday night.

Word of Winters' death, withheld by the family for more than a week out of respect for his wishes, leaked Sunday on several World War II websites, including the message board for the official Maj. Richard Winters site and a Facebook page.

A public memorial is being planned.


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