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Posted on Jan 10, 2011 in History News

Taps for Major Dick Winters of the ‘Band of Brothers’

By Gerald D. Swick

Taps have sounded for Major Richard "Dick" Winters The renowned World War II veteran of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion. 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, died January 2, just three weeks short of his 93rd birthday.

Easy Company reportedly suffered 150 percent casualties between June 6, 1944, when it was dropped behind German lines for the D-Day invasion, and the end of the war less than a year later. Major Winters was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, America’s second-highest military honor, for his role in combat operations against German artillery emplacements near Brecourt Manor on D-Day. He also received an Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and a Purple Heart during the war.

The story of Major Winters and the men he served with was brought to widespread public attention in 1992 with the publication of Band of Brothers, by historian Stephen E. Ambrose. The book inspired an HBO miniseries of the same name, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg at a reported record cost of $125 million. In the miniseries, Major Winters was portrayed by Damian Lewis.


In an article observing Major Winters’ death, the Toronto Sun wrote that "the war veteran was uncomfortable being labeled a hero and shied away from interviews, preferring instead to give talks at local schools."

Click on the links below for additional information.

Dick Winters – Reflections on the Band of Brothers, D-Day and Leadership‘ on our partner site, HistoryNet.

Washington Post report on the death of Major Dick Winters.

Weider History Group forum discussion on the passing of Major Winters.

Video interview with Major Winters about the action at Brecourt Manor.

Band of Brothers book by Stephen E. Ambrose

Band of Brothers HBO miniseries

Biggest Brother – The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers (Armchair General book review)

Beyond Band of Brothers, The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters (Armchair General book review)


  1. Through my tears, may I say farewell Major Dick Winters, a great man!
    I salute you and all the men that served with you and in the war.

    I only know you through the movie and then the personal interviews, but I watched Band of Brothers every time it plays.

    Oh Major, may you rest in peace, a well deserved rest, but we cry to see you leave.

    Your family and friends have my sympathy at this sad time.

    I thank you and salute you dear friend who helped give us all a chance to live.


  2. How can there be 150 % casualties ? That would be over kill and wiped out the whole unit!

    • The battalion received replacements for the original men killed. Then the replacements were killed. Therefore, 150% casualty rate for that unit.


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