Winters, Richard, MAJ

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Major
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1944-1946, 101st Airborne Division
Service Years
1941 - 1953
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate

Infantry

Major



Five Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

18 kb

Home State
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1918
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Edwin Sierra to remember Winters, Richard (DSC), MAJ.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Ephrata, Pennsylvania
Last Address
Winters was buried in the Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church cemetery in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in a private ceremony. He is buried next to his parents in the Winters family plot. His grave is marked Richard D. Winters WW II 101st Airborne

Date of Passing
Jan 02, 2011
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord Belgian Fourragere Netherlands Orange Lanyard Honorably Discharged WW II

101st Airbone Division


 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Cold War Medal Cold War Veteran Medal of the City of Eindhoven

Silver Star Service Banner 506th Distinguished Member of the Regiment


 Military Association Memberships
N/A
  1945, Combat Infantrymen's Association, N/A [Verified]


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Maj. Winters was recommended for the Medal of Honor for his leadership at Brécourt Manor, but the recommendation was downgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross, the U.S. Army's second highest award for combat valor, due to the policy of awarding only one Medal of Honor per division (Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Cole was the 101st Airborne Division's soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for the Normandy Campaign). After the release of the Band of Brothers television miniseries, a letter-writing campaign to have Winters awarded the Medal of Honor retroactively was started, but so far without success.


Major Winters was 1st Lieutenant of Easy Company in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944. He and his men parachuted into enemy territory during the early hours of D-day. After landing and finding his men, Winters realized that his Company Commander's plane went down. He was given command of Easy Company when dawn broke on D-day. Winters and a squad of twelve men were told to take out four German guns that were firing down upon the men on Utah Beach. Winters successfully completed his mission, destroying four guns at Brecourt Manor. Winters capturing of the guns on D-day is still taught at West Point today. While there, Major Winters found a map, pointing out every German defense firing upon Utah Beach. The map was passed up the ranks, and, though the Major will never admit it, saved many lives that day. Major Winters received the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions there. Only one Medal of Honor was awarded to his division; Major Winters did not receive it.

Throughout the course of World War II, Winters proved himself to be a leader. He led his men from England, to France, to Belgium, and Holland, and he eventually became Battalion Executive Officer and a captain. Captain Winters was then faced with his toughest challenge. He was to lead his men into the Ardennes Forest to hold the front line, while short of warm clothing, food, and ammunition. This experience in the Ardennes Forest, Foy, and Bastogne, would later be known as the Battle of Bulge. Winters faced the challenge as any good leader would; he cared for his men to the best of his ability.

The freezing men survived Christmas in snowy foxholes, while listening to the German soldiers sing "Silent Night." It was there that many of the men became united, where they began to realize how truly amazing Captain Winters was.

After surviving the Battle of the Bulge, Captain Winters was then promoted to Major. The planning of more patrols and liberating a concentration camp marked Easy Company's arrival into Germany. There, Major Winters and Easy Company were the first Americans to enter Hitler's Berchestgaden, or "Eagle's Nest," his own private hideaway. It was there that they received the news of Hitler's surrender. After such, Easy Company moved onto Austria.

In Austria, Winters was forced to try to find ways for his men to go home. It was thought that the United States would be invading Japan soon. To leave the Army, a man needed 85 points. Points were accumulated through wounds or Purple Hearts. As a result of this high number, usually only officers had enough points to make it home. The rest of these men, men who had simply joined up to fight for America, not knowing how long they would be gone, would now be stuck in Japan. Now, these men who had fought on D-day, Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge, would begin to train to go to war with Japan.

Shortly after training began, news of the Japanese surrender reached the men. For the men of Easy Company, it would be D-day plus 434. They had not seen home in more than two years. Each man would be forced to re-enter the world back home as best he could.

That was sixty years ago. Some of the men of Easy Company are still alive today, and they are all fighting for the Medal of Honor for their commander who fought to protect them. In 2002, some of the surviving veterans traveled down to Washington, D.C., in a personal attempt for Winters Medal of Honor. Some of these veterans have passed on, some are in decline, and, yet, during their time here, they fought for something for Major Winters. Still, you have yet to sign. Again, why?

Sadly, this matter has become urgent because of both the increasing age of Major Winters and his health. He has written that his health was failing. Some who have seen him recently mentioned that he did indeed look frail. Sadly, with his increasing age, Major Winters also suffers from Parkinsons Disease.


http://www.majordickwinters.com/courageous.html




http://video-embed.pennlive.com/services/player/bcpid1950981438001?bctid=840683903001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAQBxUw0E~,DELAM66vw4z-hl01IhycwsWq-6Y4XfEN

   
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Image:Band of Brothers poster.jpg

Band of Brothers is a ten-part television World War II mini-series based on the book of the same title written by historian and biographer Stephen Ambrose. It was co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks after their successful collaboration on the Academy Award winning World War II film, Saving Private Ryan (1998).  The mini-series first aired in 2001 on HBO and still runs frequently on various TV networks around the world.  The main character of the show is arguably Major Richard Winters (1918), played by Damian Lewis.
   
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 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Basic Parachutist (2 Combat Jumps)
Rifle
Grenade

 
 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1941, Infantry Officer Candidate School (Fort Benning, GA)
 Unit Assignments
2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment Airborne School101st Airborne Division
  1942-1942, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment
  1942-1942, Airborne School
  1943-1943, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment
  1944-1946, 101st Airborne Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II1
  1944-1944 Operation Overlord/D-Day Airborne Landings
  1944-1944 Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Operation Market Garden
  1944-1944 First wave: Mission Albany/The Battle at Brecourt Manor
  1944-1945 Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Siege of Bastogne
  1944-1945 Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge
  1945-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 Colleges Attended 
Franklin and Marshall College
  1937-1941, Franklin and Marshall College
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