Major Dick Winters, the commander of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division from D-Day to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden, died last week. Major Winters, whose accomplishments during the war were made famous by the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO series "Band of Brothers," led a company that suffered 150% casualties throughout the war.
Winters still inspired his men decades after the fact. For instance, Edward "Babe" Heffron said:
"He was one hell of a guy, one of the greatest soldiers I was ever under. He was a wonderful officer, a wonderful leader. He had what you needed, guts and brains. He took care of his men, that's very important."
Bill Guarnere, who was called "Wild Bill" by his comrades in arms, observed that:
"When he said 'Let's go,' he was right in the front. He was never in the back. A leader personified. . . . He was a good man, a very good man. I would follow him to hell and back. So would the men from E Company."
The deep humility with which Major Winters carried himself can be seen in this clip from "Band of Brothers" (at 1:30):
Also from "Band of Brothers" is this clip, in which some of the men he commanded spoke about his leadership.
Finally, in this clip, Major Winters speaks about how he thought about war:
To Major Winters, the other members of Easy Company, and all those who have worn the uniform, thank you for your service to this country.