Richard D. Winters (born January 21, 1918, died January 2, 2011) was a famous U.S. Army officer well-known for his activity in army during World War II. He was born in Ephrata, Pennsylvania to Richard and Edith Winters and in 1941 he graduated at Franklin and Marshall College.
In the same year 1941 he enlisted in the army and after basic training he began to train draftees and volunteers. He started a career in the army in 1942 by attending Officer Candidate School at Georgia, wanting to became a parachutist. In August 1942 he really became the parachutist as a member of Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, serving under First Lieutenant Herbert Sobel. It was the first regiment to became a trained airborne unit. Shortly after his joining the regiment, he served as a platoon leader and then was even promoted to first lieutenant.
In 1943 was Winters’s regiment attached to 101st Airborne Division and moved to England. The division undertook an intensive training in Aldbourne, Wiltshire being prepared for an invasion to Europe. On D-Day (June 4, 1944) Richard Winters parachuted and landed near Sainte-Mère-Église in France. He took part in operations in Normandy, Belgium (Battle of the Bulge, January 1945), Netherlands (Operation Market Garden, September 1944), Luxemburg, France and Germany (Berchtesgaden). When the war ended, Winters stayed in Europe for a couple months and returned to the U.S. in November 1945.
In 1948 he married Ethel Estoppey with who he had two children, son Tim and daughter Jill. During the Korean War he was recalled to duty in the Army because the army needed his experiences but in the end he had never fought in the Korean War.
After being discharged from the army he started a business in farming and retired in 1997. In 1992 Stephen Ambrose wrote a book called Band of Brothers, E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne: From Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest on which was lately based an HBO series Band of Brothers. Winters war experiences were used in a number of books and television series.
Richard Winters died on January 2, 2011 after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was a holder of many medals and decorations, such as Bronze Star, Purple Hearth, World War II Victory Medal, American Defence Service Medal et cetera.
1918 — 2011
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US Army officer, West Point lecturer, businessman