Shifty Powers (1923-2009)

Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 by Travis Cody in

I was going to complain about something today. But then I read something that made me re-think.

And so I'm going to leave you with some words from Darrell C "Shifty" Powers. Mr Powers was a veteran of E Co/2/506 of the 101st Airborne Division. He was one of the original members of Easy Company, who trained at Camp Toccoa. Shifty participated in every major battle that Easy Company fought.

Shifty died on 17 June, from cancer. He was 86.

During the filming of the HBO series Band of Brothers, Mr Powers was one of several Easy Company veterans who contributed his thoughts to the program. In his soft Virginia accent, he summarizes the simple yet profound commonalities between men in different uniforms in time of war.

"We might have had a lot in common. He might've liked to fish, you know, he might've liked to hunt. 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."

The only things I know about Shifty Powers, I know from watching Band of Brothers and reading books about Easy Company. But those sources tell me that he was a fine gentleman who went to war, did his duty, and came home to enjoy the peace for which he and his fellows sacrificed so much.

To a man, combat veterans will tell you that the real heroes are the ones who didn't get to come home. With respect, the ones that came home are heroes too.

Darrell C "Shifty" Powers, 13 March 1923 - 17 June 2009
Easy Company, 506th PIR
"We Stand Together - Then, Now, and Always"


  1. Anonymous says:

    Very informative as usual. I believe anyone serving in our military is a hero whether they come home or not. Excellent and thanks for sharing this :)

  1. barb says:

    I have never watched it but my Dad loves Band of Brothers. He often mentions it. My Dad served in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic during the Korean Conflict. He still speaks fondly of his own Band of Brothers as he looks at snapshots. Dad still remembers all of their names, but he simply calls them his buddies.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Very interesting and informative post Trav.

    Let's face it all those who don a uniform and fight for their country are heroes aren't they?

  1. Kanani says:

    I read about him too. A remarkable man, resilient, thoughtful, articulate and humble.

    I think his daughter had the nicest thing anyone could say about him. That he was a loving father.

    Thanks for sharing this. And yes, I agree that anyone who goes through war has no doubt practiced small acts of kindness and large doses of bravery.

  1. I remember reading quite a lot about Easy company in my youth but I never managed to follow Band of Brothers. I wanted to but TV doesn't fit my life much these days.

  1. jennifer says:

    One of my favorite things about your blog (and you as a person) is the respect that you show our Service men and women.

    I enjoyed reading about "Shifty" Powers.

    And I know what you mean about not complaining. My attitude has really undergone an adjustment!

  1. Jeni says:

    I love that show -"Band of Brothers" but didn't realize (although, in retrospect, I should have) there were any books about this. I guess I didn't realize it wasn't totally a piece of fiction. Will have to look into reading about that group, etc. Great post and very informative too.

  1. Bond says:

    Excellent Travis..spreading the word!

  1. Travis says:

    Thom: This kind of post is always my honor to do.

    Barb: It's a special bond that none of us can understand unless we've been through the same circumstances.

    Akelamalu: Pretty much.

    Kanani: He seemed such a gentle man, but certainly had the strength of character to make it through.

    Charles: The series was so incredibly well done. It remains one of my favorites and I can rarely pass it by when I come across it on tv.

    Jennifer: It just seemed pointless and a bit frivolous to fuss about traffic yesterday.

    Jeni: Not only is there a book called Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose, but many of the men of Easy have written memoirs as well.

    V: Indeed...paying my respects.

    John: Agreed.

  1. Linda says:

    What a great post to come back to after my extended break. Shifty Powers sounds like the personification of what fighting men were and are. My Dad never called himself a hero even with his Bronze Star Medal and his Purple Heart but to me he sure was.

  1. I read about Shifty Powers on another blog I follow. What an amazing person.

  1. I have the band of brothers on DVD. God Bless Mr Powers and the rest of the men of EASY Company.

  1. excellent travis.

    He lived in a different time.