Band of Brothers leader dies
Last Updated: Monday, January 10, 2011 | 12:51 PM ET
A December 1945 photo shows Maj. Richard Winters, whose quiet leadership was chronicled in the book and television miniseries Band of Brothers. Winters died Jan. 2. (Courtesy of Sgt. Maj. Herman W. Clemens/Associated Press)
Richard "Dick" Winters, a U.S. soldier and Second World War commander whose story was told in Band of Brothers, has died. He was 92.
Winters died Jan. 2 in central Pennsylvania after a battle with Parkinson's disease, according to family friend William Jackson.
The Band of Brothers miniseries, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, chronicles the story of Easy Company soldiers, from their basic training in the U.S., through to their jump into France during the Normandy invasion, their holding of Bastogne at the Battle of the Bulge, and their taking of Hitler's Eagle's Nest.
Based on the 1992 book by history Stephen Ambrose, the series highlights the quiet leadership practiced by Winters, who became Easy Company commander on D-Day after the death of his predecessor.
Winters, who published a 2006 autobiography titled Beyond Band of Brothers, reflected on leadership for an August 2004 article in American History Magazine.
"If you can," he wrote, "find that peace within yourself, that peace and quiet and confidence that you can pass on to others, so that they know that you are honest and you are fair and will help them, no matter what, when the chips are down."
Winters was "one of the greatest soldiers I was ever under," said Edward Heffron, 87, whose nickname in Easy Company was Babe.
Maj. Richard Dick Winters is seen on Sept. 22, 2002 file photo. He was promoted to major after the Battle of Bastogne. (Laura Rauch/Associated Press)
"He was a wonderful officer, a wonderful leader. He had what you needed, guts and brains. He took care of his men, that's very important."
William Guarnere, 88, called "Wild Bill," remembered Winters's courage in action.
"When he said 'Let's go,' he was right in the front," Guarnere said Sunday night from his South Philadelphia home. "He was never in the back. A leader personified."
Winters led 13 of his men in destroying an enemy battery along Utah Beach and in September 1944, led 20 men in a successful attack on a German force of 200 soldiers.
After the Battle of the Bulge, he and his men held their place near Bastogne until the Third Army broke through enemy lines.
After returning home, Winters trained infantry and Ranger units at Fort Dix during the Korean War. He started a company selling livestock feed and lived with his family near Hershey, Pa.
Winters was uncomfortable with the notoriety that came after HBO showed Band of Brothers. He asked that news of his death be withheld until after his funeral.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/tv/story/2011/01/10/band-of-brothers-leader.html#ixzz1ApwDMBt4