I herd this morrning from several sources that Darrell "Shifty" Powers died on June 17th, 2009. Mr Powers is one of the great heros of WWII. He served with E Co 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airbourne Division. This is the "Band of Brothers" imortalised by the book and HBO mini series of the same name.
He died in among all of the "celebrity" deaths that happend in late June and early July. But the mainstream media has not "picked up the story" until the last few days. In fact I only herd about it this morning. This shit
pisses me off. It is sad that others in the public eye have died. Heck it's sad that anyone dies but here is a great man from what some have called the "Greatest Generation" who should have been given his due among them.
Below is an article that appeared a few days after his death. I leave you with that rather then my anger at the lack of reporting by the so called news media.
In a 2001 interview with The Roanoke Times, Darrell "Shifty" Powers talked about some of his experiences during World War II.
Powers, a United States Army paratrooper and sharpshooter, belonged to Easy Company, part of the legendary 101st Airborne Division. He recalled a bitterly cold day in the Ardennes when he was able to draw down on a German sniper, sighting his target by the misty cloud of the man's breath. He killed him with one shot.
"Right there," he said, touching his forehead. "Between the eyes."
But Powers, of Dickenson County, who died Wednesday of natural causes at age 86, was also reflective about such matters.
In the second-to-last episode of "Band of Brothers," an HBO miniseries that documented Easy Company's wartime exploits, Powers spoke on camera about the soldiers he fought and also hinted at the intrinsic tragedy of combat.
"We might have had a lot in common. He might've liked to fish, you know, he might've liked to hunt," Powers said. "Of course, they were doing what they were supposed to do, and I was doing what I was supposed to do.
"But under different circumstances, we might have been good friends."
Powers, who got the nickname "Shifty" playing basketball as a youngster, served three years in the Army during World War II and later worked as a machinist for Clinchfield Coal Corp. He found renewed notoriety when his military experiences were depicted on film and in the Stephen Ambrose book of the same name.
"He actually hadn't talked about it, his war years, until the book came out," said his daughter-in-law, Sandy Powers. "He gets fan mail from all over the world, and calls."
"For me and my kids, it's just amazing that our regular, sweet uncle was such a hero," said his niece, Cheryl Gilliland of Roanoke. "It sure changed his life in later years. He went places and met people he never would have otherwise."
Darrell Powers met a German soldier in 2005 who had fought against him at the notoriously brutal siege of Bastogne during the winter of 1944.
According to his son, Wayne, he had in September been scheduled to travel to Iraq to meet with U.S. soldiers, but health problems prevented it.
"He was so disappointed. He wanted to meet with the soldiers so badly," Sandy Powers said.
One of his closest friends, Earl McClung, of Colorado, in 2001 called Darrell Powers "a heck of a good soldier and a heck of a good shot."
"And he was there every time I looked up," he added.
"Our family had four boys and one girl, and I'm the only one left," said Powers' sister, Gaynell Sykes of Roanoke, on Wednesday. "He was a great brother. I know he was great at a lot of other things, too -- great father, great son, great husband."