Darrell "Shifty" Powers

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This note from Maj.Gen. Chuck Yeager has been circulating around among military aviators and jumpers, with the hope it will be distributed more widely.

We're hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services.
I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell "Shifty" Powers.

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy  
Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st  
Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the  
History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10  
episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't  
know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having  
trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was  
at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol of  
the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne  
or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the  
101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served,  
and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so,  
and was in until sometime in 1945 .. . . " at which point my heart  

At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training  
jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know  
where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped.

I told him "yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what  
D-Day was." At that point he said "I also made a second jump into  
Holland, into Arnhem." I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . .  
and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of  

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said  
"Yes. And it's real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are  
left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart  
was in my throat and I didn't know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in  
Coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to  
get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came  
forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have  
it, that I'd take his in coach.

He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are  
still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to  
make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it.  
And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.
No big event in Staples Center.
No wall to wall back to back 24x7 news coverage.
No weeping fans on television.
And that's not right.

Let's give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet  
way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the  

Rest in peace, Shifty.


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Hi Howard,
That's quite a post for quite a guy!! Perhaps if anybody's interested, a "missing man sunset formation load" at the DZ this weekend (your DZ, My DZ, any DZ) may be in order. The 4th of july just passed so maybe Labor Day weekend would be a good one, any weekend. We can post photos here. Just a passing thought.
SCR-2034, SCS-680


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Wow I mourn his passing.

Too bad most of our country could not give a shit and yet held MJ as such a hero and icon.

Heroes are not athletes, they are not actors, they are not scientists, they are not politicians.

They are people who were thrust into something they could not or would not avoid.

We are lucky that people like these ever existed.

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Howard thanks so much for posting this I would have never found out about his passing.He is a true hero along with all those other men and women in WWII.My grandfather was killed in normandy rite after they landed on the beach he is buried there in france in a town I cannot spell but hope to visit one day.If anyone out there has not seen band of brothers go out and rent the series it will open your eyes I promise you.With the main stream media not reporting on this it just goes to show how screwed up it is.

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Thank you for sharing that.

...and to you Shifty Powers:

Stands Alone!

-SGT Maxwell Ramsey
C/1/506 IN 101 ABN
So I try and I scream and I beg and I sigh
Just to prove I'm alive, and it's alright
'Cause tonight there's a way I'll make light of my treacherous life
Make light!

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