Darrell Cecil “Shifty” Powers

Darrell Cecil “Shifty” Powers

Clinchco, Dickenson County, Virginia, USA
Death 17 Jun 2009 (aged 86)
Clinchco, Dickenson County, Virginia, USA
Burial Castlewood, Russell County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 39433467 · View Source
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World War II United States Army Soldier. Nicknamed "Shifty" due to his ability to be nimble on his feet while he was a basketball player during his high school days, he served as a staff sergeant with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division, and the stories of he and his comrades were featured in the 2001 HBO television mini-series "Band of Brothers," based on the book by Stephen Ambrose. His father was an excellent rifle and pistol shot, and taught him how to shoot when he was young. After graduating from high school, he took a machinist course in a vocational school in Norfolk, Virginia where he befriended future Easy Company soldier Robert 'Popeye' Wynn, and the two went to work in the shipyards in Portsmouth, Virginia after finishing the course. When they found out that they were about to be frozen to the jobs, they both enlisted in the US Army in August 1942, 8 months after the US entry into World War II. Volunteering for the paratroopers, he started training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia. After completion of his basic training, he became a paratrooper at Fort Benning, Georgia and was sent overseas to Aldbourne, England. As a member of Easy Company, he made his first combat jump on D-Day (June 6, 1944) in Normandy, France. Missing his drop zone, he linked up with two other comrades and they were able to reunite with Easy Company in time for their assault against German forces in Carentan, France. He fought in several other major battles in the European Theater, including Operation Market Garden (September 1944) in the Netherlands and the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium (December 1944). He was considered to be the best sharpshooter in Easy Company and demonstrated his skill on many occasions against enemy snipers. Having never been wounded in combat, he lacked the sufficient points to return home under the military point system after the end of the war, despite his serving on the front line every day when Easy Company was engaged in combat. He joined the lottery that was organized to allow one man from each company to return home early on a furlough and won it due to the rest of the company removing their own names. During the trip to the airfield, the vehicle that he was riding in was involved in an accident and he was badly injured, and he spent many months recuperating in hospitals overseas before he was finally discharged and returned home. For his military service, he received the Bronze Star with 1 oak leaf cluster, the Presidential Unit Citation with 1 oak leaf cluster, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 service stars and arrow device, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal, the French Croix de guerre with palm, the French Liberation Medal, the Belgian World War II Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge with 2 combat jump stars. After the war, he returned to the US and became a machinist, moving to California where he worked for 3 years before being laid off and he returned home, where he worked as a machinist for the Clinchfield Coal Corporation for more than twenty years. He was portrayed in the HBO "Band of Brothers" mini-series by actor Peter Youngblood Hills. He died of lung cancer at the age of 86. He was a contributor to the book "We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers" (2009). The book "Shifty's War" (2011), written by journalist Marcus Brotherton, details his full life story.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Claudia Jansen Hartley
  • Added: 13 Jul 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 39433467
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Darrell Cecil “Shifty” Powers (13 Mar 1923–17 Jun 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 39433467, citing Temple Hill Memorial Park, Castlewood, Russell County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .