Monday, July 20, 2009

Remembering Shifty Powers

Mary Katharine Ham blogging at The Weekly Standard has a story on Shifty Powers. The online community is remembering him today. Go read the neat stuff she's pulled together.

From The Navy Times:

Darrell “Shifty” Powers died June 17 without fanfare or much attention beyond the family and friends who gathered for his funeral.

Immortalized in the pages of Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers and the subsequent mini-series, Powers jumped into Normandy with the 101st Airborne Division and fought through some of the grittiest battles of World War II. His nickname came from the basketball courts, his family says, not from running moonshine, as one of his battle buddies liked to joke.

He was buried quietly near his hometown in rural Virginia. He was 86 and had spent many of his last years visiting troops and faithfully attending reunions with his dwindling band of “Easy Company” brothers.

MKH also posted this video of Shifty from two years ago; Band of Brothers happened to be on the TV during the interview. Since it's Remember Shifty Day, I don't think MKH will mind if I steal and post it myself:


Jim said...

That's a real hero. The 101st jumped into Normandy ahead of the invasion troops, surrounded by Germans. They were a brave bunch of men.

G.R. said...

Jim, don't forget the other units that went in months before D-Day like the Navy who collected sand samples from the beach in the dead of night. Or the other units like the 82nd, and the Infantry Divisions who fought bravely in Normandy that day and the days to follow.


I saw the Band of Brothers, and I read the book, as along with the book by your dear friend and commander Dick Winters. What a man he is as well.

I remember you fondly in several scenes, especially how you didn't have enough points to go home, and the lottery to pick a solider from each unit to get to go home regardless of points. Easy Company's lottery was fixed, because your name was the only one in the hat. That's says a lot about how much your friends thought of you, and I wish I had a chance to meet you.

I also remember the scene in the town of Foy, when a German sniper opened up killing several of your comrades. Your friend Garwood Lipton spotted the sniper and placed his trust in you to shoot the sniper as he revealed himself in order to shoot Lipton, as Lipton ran out into the open. You didn't let your friend down.

When you were mentioned in the movie and the book it was always in a good light. You were dependable and a good soldier.

God Bless and Rest in Peace SSG Darrel "Shifty" Powers, You've earned your leave.