Richard (Dick) D. Winters Leadership Monument

The Richard (Dick) D. Winters Leadership Monument was dedicated on 6 June 2012. Before his death in 2011, Major Winters personally approved of the design and location of the twelve-foot bronze statue that presents him in an aggressive ‘attack’ position leading unseen men against an unseen enemy. His approval was predicated upon dedication of the memorial to all of the junior officers which found themselves commanding men in combat during the Second World War. The statue’s plinth includes a quote from Winters: ‘Wars do not make men great, but they do bring out the greatness in good men.’

The monument is located is Ste-Marie-du-Mont, less than one-half mile from Brécourt Manoir, the site of an thirteen-man attack against a vastly superior force, led by Winters, which eliminated a four-gun German position that was firing upon Utah Beach. The monument stands along causeway #2, one of the four selected Allied routes across flooded lowlands from Utah Beach landing sites to an inland ridge. The Brécourt Manoir guns commanded that causeway and could have inflicted numerous casualties on troops moving inland if not destroyed. Nominated for the Medal of Honor, Winters was awarded American’s second highest medal for bravery under fire, the Distinguished service Cross. Three men were awarded the Silver Star and nine men the Bronze Star.

The attack was famously portrayed in the D-Day episode of the television miniseries ‘Band of Brothers’ based upon a Stephen Ambrose book of the same title, which followed the men of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, from their training in Camp Toccoa, Georgia; through major battles in France, Holland and Belgium; to the capture of Hitler’s retreat in Berchtesgaden, Germany.

After the war, Winters returned to his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where, as he promised himself he would do after the heat of combat on D-Day, he brought a farm and lived quietly and peacefully for the remainder of his ninety-two years.

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