Obituary: Darrell "Shifty" Powers

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Gnomey, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Felt in merited it's own thread rather than being posted in the Obituaries thread.

    Veteran a part of 'Band of Brothers'
    Darrell "Shifty" Powers, who died at age 86, was a hero on the battlefield and to his family.

    By Neil Harvey

    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."

    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/208832
     
  2. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Liked his character in the show. Knew guys like him in the military.
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thanks, Shifty!!!! You've done good.

    :salute:

    .
     
  7. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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  8. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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  9. Ferdinand Foch

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    :salute: RIP "Shifty."
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  11. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    #11 wheelsup_cavu, Jun 24, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
    He seemed so sad in his interview on Band of Brothers.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Wheelsup
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Rest in Peace, Sergeant Powers and thanks for a job well done.

    Thanks for the post, Gnomey.
     
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