Dick Winters was born on January 21, 1918, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in science and economics from Franklin and Marshall College in June 1941, and enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 25, 1941. After completing basic training at Camp Croft, South Carolina, Winters served in infantry training before being selected for Army Officer Candidate School in April 1942. He graduated from OCS and was commissioned a 2d Lt of Infantry on July 2, 1942, and then returned to Camp Croft as a training officer before being accepted into the parachute infantry. Lt Winters was assigned to Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, in August 1942, and the Regiment was declared operational and attached to the 101st Airborne Division in June 1943. He deployed with his unit to England in September 1943, and participated in the Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, with a parachute jump behind enemy lines. The Company Commander was killed on D-Day, and Lt Winters served in that position until October 1944, when he was made Battalion Executive Officer, receiving a promotion to Captain in July 1944. During this time he participated in the parachute jump during Operation Market Garden in September 1944, and he later participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He was promoted to Major in March 1945, and took command of the 2nd Battalion of the 506th PIR the same month, serving in this position until the end of the war. Maj Winters remained on occupation duty in Europe until returning to the U.S. in November 1945, and he received an honorable discharge from the Army on January 22, 1946. He was recalled during the Korean War in June 1951 and served as a regimental planning and training officer at Fort Dix, New Jersey, until leaving active duty in 1953. Dick Winters died on January 2, 2011, and was buried at the Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Ephrata, Penssylvania.
His Distinguished Service Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Richard D. Winters, First Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company E, 2d Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, in France. First Lieutenant Winters with seven enlisted men, advanced through intense enemy automatic weapons fire, putting out of action two guns of the battery of four 88-mm. that were shelling the beachhead. Unswerving in his determination to complete his self-appointed and extremely hazardous task, First Lieutenant Winters and his group withdrew for reinforcements. He returned with tank support and the remaining two guns were put out of action, resulting in decreased opposition to our forces landing on the beachhead. First Lieutenant Winters' heroic and determined leadership exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 101st Airborne Division, and the United States Army.