|Birth: ||Apr. 20, 1920, Scotland|
|Death: ||Apr. 11, 2007|
United States Army Officer, served from 1942 to 1945, then again, from 1952 to 1956, his most well known time of service came as commanding officer of "Easy Company," 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, this was chornicled in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers."
He was both respected, and feared by those that served under him, in fact, it was rumored that he shot twenty German prisoners of war, digging a hole on D-Day, under guard, after giving them each a cigarette.
Speirs himself never confirmed, or denied this event, stating that it helped to keep his men in line if they thought he actually did it.
In the book "Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Richard Winters." There is a detailed account of Spiers shooting a sergeant for disobeying a direct order during combat, this incident was reported to his superior, who was killed in action the next day, therefore, no further action was taken.
It was also noted in that same book, that Speirs saved the lives of several other men by shooting the sergeant.
Spiers was one of two men that Maj. Winters called "natural killers," The other being Bill Guarnere. Sometime during the war, Speirs received the nickname of "Sparky," a nickname he was not partial to, and was never used to his face.
The misconception of Speirs in the book and movie "Band of Brothers," is the character's habitual looting, something the real Speirs was a vocal opponent to, this was addressed by several "Easy" Company veterans that served with Speirs.
After World War II, Speirs attained the rank of Lt. Colonel, and took over as Governor of Spandau Prison, where Nazi War criminals such as Rudolph Hess were held, in fact, Albert Speer mentions in his book, "Spandau: The Secret Diaries," of, "a hard-nosed, irritating U.S. Commandant," that person would later be identified as Speirs. He was portrayed by Matthew Settle in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers."
Although a veteran of "Easy," Speirs rarely attended any reunions, and didn't speak about his wartime experiences.
He died suddenly on April 11, 2007.
Created by: Douglas Brown
Record added: Apr 22, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19055962