24 June 2009

RIP: Darrell Powers

Darrell "Shifty" Powers
13 Mar 1923 - 17 Jun 2009

ZUI this article from the Roanoke (VA) Times:
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.


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.

SSgt Powers was one of the veterans who appeared at the beginning of Band of Brothers episodes, reminiscing about the war. He was played in the series by Peter Youngblood Hills, who appeared in all ten episodes.

According to Wikipedia, there are now 38 members of the Band of Brothers - E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (part of the 101st Airborne Division) - still alive.

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