His family released the information today, saying that the former commander Winters was a very private person, and did not wish for a media circus surrounding his funeral.
Winters died in central Pennsylvania at the age of 92 from complications of Parkinson’s disease on January the 2nd.
Major Winters is known for his heroism and was immortalized the the book “Band of Brothers” which was turned into a very popular television mini-series by Tom Hanks, as well.
The story of Winters and other members of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, known as Easy Company, was chronicled in a book by Stephen Ambrose and later the 10-part miniseries on HBO.
English actor Damian Lewis portrayed Winters as a strong, humble leader who guided his men through the European theater of the war after parachuting into Normandy on D-Day.
Winters also led his men through a grueling wintertime standoff during the Battle of the Bulge and was eventually promoted to the rank of major.
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Winters received the Distinguished Service Cross, the country’s second highest decoration for valor, while conducting combat operations on D-Day, when he led a small group of men in raiding German emplacements near Utah beach.
Winters was born Jan. 21, 1918 and studied economics at Franklin & Marshall College before enlisting, according to a biography on the Penn State website.
Winters became the leader of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on D-Day, after the death of the company commander during the invasion of Normandy.
During that invasion, Winters led 13 of his men in destroying an enemy battery and obtained a detailed map of German defenses along Utah Beach. In September 1944, he led 20 men in a successful attack on a German force of 200 soldiers. Occupying the Bastogne area of Belgium at the time of the Battle of the Bulge, he and his men held their place until the Third Army broke through enemy lines, and Winters shortly afterward was promoted to major.
Later in the war, one of Winters’ soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to the officer from a hospital in Indiana expressing gratitude for his loyalty and leadership.
“You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you,” Talbert wrote to Winters in 1945. “I would follow you into hell.”
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported that Winters died early this year at an assisted-living facility in Campbelltown.
His final wish was a totally private funeral, which was fitting for a man who lived through extraordinary circumstances but never considered himself anything more than a man doing his duty, his longtime friend William S. Jackson said Sunday night.
In 2004, Winters was among the distinguished guests who dedicated the Military History Institute, part of the United States Army Heritage and Education Center complex in Carlisle. He presented them with copies of his personal papers.
“These papers that I am donating today reflect both a time and circumstance of only a few paratroopers,” Winters said at the dedication. “But I have no doubt that our experiences and memories are similar in many ways to the experiences and memories of the nearly 8 million men and women who served in the armed forces in World War II.”
Winters said he considered it his duty to give his papers to the institute so that his and his men’s memories and experiences will never be forgotten.
“All those who wore uniforms, in my estimation, were heroes,” he said at the ceremony.
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