By Marcus Brotherton Darrell “Shifty” Powers was a soft-spoken machinist who never aspired to greatness. He was born, grew up, got married, raised his family, worked, retired, and died in Clinchco, a remote mining town in southwest Virginia. Aside from a few years he spent working in California and his years in the war, he seldom traveled outside his tiny hometown. Shifty was a self-described mountain man, a hillbilly. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, working in his vegetable garden, and shooting rifles at targets from his front porch. He began the war as a lowly private and ended the war as a squad leader, never leading a group larger than 12 men. After the war, he was never the boss of anything. He never held public office. He never made much money. He never chased any of the contemporary definitions of success—popularity, power, or position. Yet, despite this humble life, the world knows his name today. Why? Certainly much of Shifty’s notoriety has to do with his association with the Band of Brothers. Shifty Powers was a soldier with the now-legendary Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. The Band of Brothers formed and trained at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, under the tough and controversial Captain Herbert Sobel. After training stateside, the men rode the troop ship Samaria to Aldbourne, England, for further battle preparation. They parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and later into Holland for Operation Market-Garden. They fought their


$2 / Month

Subscribe now for only $3.99 $2 a month!

Unlimited Website Access, Thousands of Searchable Articles, Warfare Newsletter, and more.

Back to the issue this appears in