Powers, Darrell, S/Sgt

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
745-Rifleman
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1942-1945, 745, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)
Service Years
1942 - 1945

Staff Sergeant


One Service Stripe



Five Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

10 kb

Home State
West Virginia
West Virginia
Year of Birth
1923
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Roger Gaines (Army Chief Admin) to remember Powers, Darrell ("Shifty"), S/Sgt.

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
Not Specified
Last Address
Clinchco

Date of Passing
Jun 17, 2009
 
Location of Interment
Temple Hill Cemetery - Castlewood, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

101st Airbone Division Belgian Fourragere Infantry Shoulder Cord Netherlands Orange Lanyard

Honorably Discharged WW II Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 French Fourragere


 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

E Company (3rd Platoon), 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
 "currahee!"



Darrell Cecil "Shifty"Powers was born in Clinchco, Dickenson County, Virginia and volunteered for the paratroopers with his good friend, "Popeye" Wynn. Shifty spent a great deal of time in the outdoors hunting game prior to joining the service. This would later prove useful as many of the skills he obtained helped him as a soldier.

Powers jumped into Normandy on D-Day, missing his drop zone. He eventually came in contact with Floyd Talbert and the two made their way to Easy Company. He participated in the assault of Carentan and every major battle Easy Co. was involved with until the end of the war. He was considered by many to be the best shot in the company.

Powers, a United States Army paratrooper and sharpshooter, belonged to Easy Company, part of the legendary 101st Airborne Division. He recalled a bitterly cold day in the Ardennes when he was able to draw down on a German sniper, sighting his target by the misty cloud of the man's breath. He killed him with one shot.

"Right there," he said, touching his forehead. "Between the eyes."

Because many men serving in the 101st lacked the minimum points required to return home, a lottery was put in place. Shifty Powers won this lottery and was set to return stateside. During the trip to the airfield, the vehicle Shifty was in was involved in an accident and Shifty was badly injured. He spent many months recuperating in hospitals overseas while his comrades in arms arrived home long before he did.

Darrell "Shifty" Powers was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Peter Youngblood Hills and appears in all 10 episodes.

He is listed as one of 20 men from Easy Company who contributed to the 2009 book We Who Are Alive and Remain: untold stories from the Band of Brothers, published by Penguin/Berkley-Caliber.

"Shifty" Powers died June 17, 2009, of natural causes in Dickenson County, Virginia

   
Other Comments:

AWARDS:
-Combat Infantry Badge 1st Award
-Combat Jump Wings 3 Combat Jumps
-Bronze Star (2
-American Campaign Medal
-European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/Arrow Head and 4 Campaign Stars
-World War II Victory Medal
-Presidential Unit Citation w/2 Palms

MOS: 745
ASN: 13066266
4 years of high school
Semiskilled machine shop and related occupations, n.e.c.
Single, without dependents
Enlisted in RICHMOND VIRGINIA , Infantry
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of the United States under Army Regulations 605-10

 

His nick name is Shifty, and was a most amazing man. Even as a child Shifty would shine shoes so we would have money for 22 shells. He said he became such a good shot he could throw a coin and hit it, and thats probably true! He lived and worked in Norfolk, VA with "popeye" Wynn and they both signed up to the Paratroopers together. He went to Airborne school at Toccoa, GA and was placed in Easy Company, the best company in all the 101st. At Toccoa he was push, along with all the other men, doing the "three miles up, three miles down" run on currahee and doing countless marches and upon completion they would have to empty their canteens. The bond that Shifty and the other men had was one that most people will never have or understand, the men of Easy were beyond brothers! Shifty Powers made it thought the war Shifty has been and will always be an amazing Hero!

   
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WWII - European Theater of Operations/Central Europe Campaign (1945)/Operation Plunder
From Month/Year
March / 1945
To Month/Year
March / 1945

Description
Beginning on the night of 23 March 1945, Operation Plunder was the crossing of the River Rhine at Rees, Wesel, and south of the Lippe River by the British 2nd Army, under Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey (Operations Turnscrew, Widgeon, and Torchlight), and the U.S. Ninth Army (Operation Flashpoint), under Lieutenant General William Simpson. XVIII U.S. Airborne Corps, consisting of the British 6th Airborne Division and the U.S. 17th Airborne Division, conducted Operation Varsity, parachute landings on the east bank in support of the operation. All of these formations were part of the 21st Army Group under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. This was part of a coordinated set of Rhine crossings.

4,000 guns fired for four hours during the opening bombardment. British bombers contributed with attacks on Wesel during the day and night of 23 March.

Three Allied formations made the initial assault: the British XXX and XII Corps and the U.S. XVI Corps. One unit, the British 79th Armoured Division — under Major-General Percy Hobart — had been at the front of the Normandy landings and provided invaluable help in subsequent operations with specially adapted armoured vehicles (referred to as Hobart's Funnies). One "funny" was the "Buffalo" operated by the 4th Royal Tank Regiment under the command of Lt. Col (later Lt. Gen) Alan Jolly, an armed and armored amphibious tracked personnel or cargo transporter able to cross soft and flooded ground. These were the transports for the spearhead infantry.

The first part of Plunder was initiated by the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division, led by the 7th Black Watch at 21:00 on 23 March, near Rees, followed by the 7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. At 02:00 on 24 March, the 15th (Scottish) Division landed between Wesel and Rees. At first, there was no opposition, but later they ran into determined resistance from machine-gun nests. The British 1st Commando Brigade entered Wesel.

The U.S. 30th Division landed south of Wesel. The local resistance had been broken by artillery and air bombardment. Subsequently, the 79th Division also landed. U.S. casualties were minimal. German resistance to the Scottish landings continued with some effect, and there were armoured counter-attacks. Landings continued, however, including tanks and other heavy equipment. The U.S. forces had a bridge across by the evening of 24 March.

Operation Varsity started at 10:00 on 24 March, to disrupt enemy communications. Despite heavy resistance to the airdrops and afterward, the airborne troops made progress and repelled counterattacks. The hard lessons of Operation Market Garden were applied. In the afternoon, 15th Scottish Division linked up with both airborne divisions.

Fierce German resistance continued around Bienen, north of Rees, where the entire 9th Canadian Brigade was needed to relieve the Black Watch. The bridgehead was firmly established, however, and Allied advantages in numbers and equipment were applied. By 27 March, the bridgehead was 35 mi (56 km) wide and 20 mi (32 km) deep.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
March / 1945
To Month/Year
March / 1945
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  14 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Zirk, Earl, Cpl, (1944-1947)
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