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Darrell C. Powers
13 March 1923 – 17 June 2009 (aged 86)
Shifty2.jpg
Nickname Shifty
Place of birth Clinchco, Virginia
Place of death Clinchco, Virginia
Allegiance  United States
Years of service 1942-1945
Rank US Army E-6.svg Staff Sergeant
Unit E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (United States), 101st Airborne Division
Awards *Bronze Star
*Good Conduct Medal
*American Campaign Medal
*European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and others[1]
Relations -Margo Johnson (daughter)
-Sandy Powers (daughter-in-law)
Other work Machinist

Staff Sergeant Darrell C. Powers (March 13, 1923 – June 17, 2009)[2] was a non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Powers was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Peter Youngblood Hills.

Contents

Before the War

Powers was born in Clinchco, Dickenson County, Virginia and volunteered for the paratroopers with his good friend, Robert "Popeye" Wynn. Shifty spent a great deal of time in the outdoors hunting game prior to joining the service.[3] This later proved useful as many of the skills he obtained helped him as a soldier. He graduated from high school.[4] Powers enlisted on August 14, 1942 at Richmond, Virginia.[4]

World War II

Powers jumped into Normandy on D-Day, missing his drop zone. He eventually came in contact with Floyd Talbert and the two made their way to Easy Company. He also participated in the Allied military operation Operation Market Garden in Holland, and the Battle of the Bulge in Foy, Belgium. While in Foy, a German sniper shot a member of Easy Company, and everyone hid for cover.[5] Shifty made a heroic attempt and silenced the German with his M1.[5] Company members say Powers saved many lives that day.[5] He was generally considered to be the best shot in Easy Company. One of his most truly remarkable achievements, and a testament to the extraordinary gifts his backwoods upbringing brought to Easy Company, was the story documented in the Ambrose book, Band of Brothers, about the time in Bastogne when Shifty mentioned to his commanding officer that he noticed a tree that was not in the distant forest just the day before. The "tree" was ultimately discovered to be a camouflaged German artillery piece...disguised as a tree. Were it not for Shifty's keen observations and outdoors experiences, many lives may have been lost, had that enemy weapon not been spotted...from a distance of nearly a mile away and amongst a literal forest of other trees.

After the war

Because many men serving in the 101st lacked the minimum points required to return home, a lottery was put in place.[6] Shifty Powers won this lottery after the rest of the company rigged it in his favor by removing their own names, and was set to return stateside.[6] During the trip to the airfield, the vehicle that Shifty was in was involved in an accident and he was badly injured.[6] He spent many months recuperating in hospitals overseas while his comrades in arms arrived home long before he did.[6]

Honorably discharged from the Army in the postwar demobilization, he became a machinist for the Clinchfield Coal Corporation. He is listed as one of 20 men from Easy Company who contributed to the 2009 book We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers, published by Penguin/Berkley-Caliber. Powers died on June 17, 2009 of cancer in Dickenson County, Virginia.[7]

Medals and Decorations

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Presidential Unit Citation with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Good Conduct ribbon.svg Good Conduct Medal
American Defense Service ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Arrowhead
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 service stars and arrow device
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg Army of Occupation Medal
Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with palm.jpg Croix de guerre with palm
French Liberation Medal ribbon.png French Liberation Medal
B Commed 40-45.jpg Belgian WWII Service Medal
Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Cp2j.jpg Parachutist Badge with 2 jump stars

Notes

  1. ^ DeAngelis, Frank. "Power's shadowbox". http://www.frankdeangelis.com/Staff%20Sergeant%20Darrell%20Powers.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  2. ^ Social Security Death Index SSN 224-20-2586
  3. ^ Brotherton (2009), p.5
  4. ^ a b WWII Army Enlistment Records: on-line NARA Archival Database
  5. ^ a b c Ambrose (1992), pp.211-212
  6. ^ a b c d Ambrose (1992), p.282
  7. ^ Harvey, Neil (2009-06-18). "Veteran a part of 'Band of Brothers'". Roanoke Times. http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/208832. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 

References

  • Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780743464116. 
  • Brotherton, Marcus (2009). We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from The Band of Brothers. Berkley Caliber. ISBN 0743464117. 

External links

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