American Grit Stories

Major Dick Winters: Unarmed and Unafraid 5/5 (7)

We’ve all seen the story. If you’ve watched Band of Brothers, you know that Major Dick Winters is one bad-ass man. From the Normandy landings to his time in Bastogne, Major Winters lived up to his last name by being the coldest dude on the battlefield. Let’s examine one of the more…overlooked stories about Richard Winters when he was just a lowly platoon commander with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Regiment (part of the 101st Airborne Division mind you).

Ah, Normandy, the place of fine wines and great foods. At least that’s what it was usually known for before the World Wars. Then Lieutenant Richard Winters parachuted into Normandy in the wee morning hours of June 6th, 1944, before the main invasion force landed on the beaches that morning. Amid terrible anti-aircraft fire and heavy troop concentrations, somehow our paratroopers landed with enough force to carry out their mission. As did Dick Winters. Except there was one small problem. He had no weapon. Somehow during the drop, Lt. Winters and his weapon became, separated.

No matter, upon linking up with another paratrooper and utilizing the other skills at his disposal (an officer who was good at land nav, he’s like a unicorn), like land navigation and his obvious small unit tactics knowledge to organize what men he could find and before linking back up with the rest of Easy Company, coordinated an ambush on a small German patrol.

Dick Winters

Be more like Major Dick Winters. Who cares if you don’t have your “weapon”, use what skills you do have and be successful. You’re not always going to find yourself in an ideal circumstance, much like Richard Winters, but if you remain calm, cool and collected, and think before you act, you may just surprise yourself and turn into a miniature version of Richard Winters.

Read more stories of American Grit here:

GUNNERY SERGEANT BURGHARDT: BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME ASSHOLE!

LOST BATTALION DIDN’T LOSE FIGHTING SPIRIT

NEIL FRUSTAGLIO: LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND

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The Author

John Fannin

John Fannin

John spent four years as a 0351, Infantry Assaulltman in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed twice to the city of Ramadi, Iraq with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines. After leaving the Marine Corps in 2008 John pursued a degree in Kinesiology from Texas Lutheran University. During his time at TLU, John was fortunate enough to play football for a year and serve the local community as a volunteer firefighter. After graduating John worked as a personal trainer for few years before coming to work at American Grit. John is also the proud owner of a great beard.