Dick Winters dies; WWII hero commanded 'Band of Brothers'





Dick Winters, a decorated Army officer whose World War II service was recounted in the best-selling book and HBO mini-series "Band of Brothers," died Jan. 2. News reports listed his age at 92.

Based on the 1992 book by historian Stephen E. Ambrose, the HBO mini-series came out in 2001 and was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

The story follows the tragedies and triumphs of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, E Company.

To Mr. Winters, these citizen-soldiers came to be known as the men of Easy Company -- paratroopers who jumped into combat on June 6, 1944 above Normandy, France.

According to Ambrose's account, Easy Company suffered 150 percent casualties throughout the war.

One of the soldiers who served in Easy Company, David Webster, once wrote that among his colleagues the Purple Heart "was not a decoration but a badge of office."

Mr. Winters, who separated from the Army at the rank of major, and his men fought together through D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge and later occupied Adolf Hitler's mountainside retreat, the Eagle's Nest, near Berchtesgaden.

A charismatic officer who led by example, Mr. Winters received the Distinguished Service Cross, the country's second highest decoration for valor, while conducting combat operations on D-Day.

Mr. Winters led a small group of men on a raid of German cannon emplacements near Utah beach on Normandy's coastline....



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