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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How The Mighty Have Fallen!

While the rest of the world is still recovering from the death of Michael Jackson, a far greater man slipped out of this world on June 17th, three days ago.

It is a widely known fact that Southern riflemen are the most formidable fighters in the world, bar none. They have been called bandits, barbarians, and mongrels, but they won our nation's independence, conquered the savage Indians, and died at the Alamo. They provided the Confederacy with the best fighting infantry the world had seen. Barefoot, clothed in rags, and half starved, they "responded magnificently to magnificent leadership" and almost won America's second war of independence. Down through the years, they have provided the majority of servicemen in the US Army.

Such a man was Darrell "Shifty" Powers, World War II veteran and sniper.
He was born in Clinchco, Virginia and spent much of his time in the woods hunting, developing skills that would prove invaluable later.
When World War II began, he became a member of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Powers was considered the best shot in the company and he often got opportunities to use his skill. One of his closest friends, on viewing the body of a German sniper that had been eliminated by Powers with a single round to the head, said: "It just don't pay to cross Shifty when he's got a rifle in his hands".
He was held in such high esteem by his buddies that when the war in the European theater ended, they fixed a lottery, determining who would go home soonest, so he would win it.

He died of cancer three days ago.
His daughter later said of him:
“I loved everything about my daddy. He never bragged about what he did in the war. And for a lot of years, he never even talked much about what he did – unless someone asked him about it. But he truly was a hero to me,” she said. “Just like he’d been to the people who know him as a soldier in a [mini-series].”

I don't know if Mr. Powers was a Christian or not, but his example is certainly worth following.

The last thing seen by many German soldiers.
(Shifty Powers, as played by Peter Youngbloog Hills in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers)

'They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old;
age shall not wither them nor the years condemn;
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them''

- Tomb of the Scottish Unknown Soldier, Edinburgh

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Blogger Johnson said...

Wow, Stephen, I thought I would have known about Mr. Powers, as familiar as I am with Band of Brothers. Which episodes is he in, and how did you find out about him? Read the book?

July 20, 2009 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

He's in all ten episodes. The most memorable scenes involving him are in Caretan (I think) where he shoots various Nazis out of windows. Also, once, in Foy I think, Lipton draws fire from a sniper so Shifty can shoot him.

I've never read the book, but I've gotten the abridged version from my younger sister.

July 20, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Johann Van De Leeuw said...

Powers died?? Man! That's sad. I pray that I may someday meet him in Heaven. Any relation to Mike Powers? I've never seen the film, though I've read the book twice. You really ought to read the book, Mr. Boyd. (And I should see that film sometime.)
Where is he being buried? (Just curious). I hope that myself and those of my generation may follow the example he has set: No mercy to those who would kill our families and burn the homes of our fore fathers! Hurrah for the South! Hurrah for State's Rights! Hurrah for Darrell Powers!

July 20, 2009 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Johann Van De Leeuw said...

P.S. Do you have any articles on the War Between The States? I would most greatly appreciate any material you might provide.

July 20, 2009 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

I don't think he's any relation to Mike (I asked him once).
I'm not sure exactly where he was buried, here's a link to the article I found:

You mean articles that I have written on my blog?

July 20, 2009 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Johann Van De Leeuw said...

That is correct.

July 20, 2009 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Try this link, it may be what you are looking for:

July 21, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Leisel said...

Hey, I am new to your blog & so far I've really enjoyed reading it!
This article was especially great!
I never ever was a fan of Michael Jackson or any other celebrities, for that matter, & it is really encouraging to know that there are people who still remember the true heroes, our soldiers, & who honor them & appreciate what they've done for us. I wish the media would do more of that!! Anyway, thank you very much for this post...Keep it up!

July 21, 2009 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Bria said...

Wow, he sounded like a man worth knowing. That is precious what his daughter said about him. Although I think any daughter would say that about her dad. I know my dad is a hero, my hero.

July 21, 2009 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thanks for dropping by, ladies!

Leisel: Welcome! Thanks for the compliments. I feel like our current society is so "anti-warrior" and as Christians we have such an incredible warrior heritage, so I do all I can to honor those who make sacrifices so we can be free.

Bria: I know! That was so encouraging that he apparently had a great relationship with his daughter.

July 21, 2009 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I can't believe that I haven't heard about this!
I have been unable to link Powers to my family, though I would like to.

I hope that he now "rests in the shade of the trees," with the other christian warriors gone before him.


July 21, 2009 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Johann Van De Leeuw said...

Amen Mike! Pvt. David Webster, also of E Company, 506th PIR, 101st. Airborne, said this about the Nazi regime after touring the work camps of Dachau: "This was the Third Reich, this was the New Order: Work till you died." (I took this quote directly from the book "Band of Brothers", by Stephen E. Ambrose.)

July 22, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

I found out about it on DoubleTapper's blog (a site I visit rarely for obvious reasons, assuming you've seen it before).

Johann: That's a great quote!

July 22, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger R said...

There are not many good men left these days. My Great Grandaddy joined the marines at 15 years old after Pearl Harbor (He joined the navy at 14 but they kicked him out). He got injured by a grenade at the end of Iwo Jima, and was send home (after fighting 3 1/2 years in countless battles), a few days before he would be legally able to fight.

He passed away last year. The motives of our government in starting WWII were questionable, but courage and dedication to duty of "The Greatest Generation" is not.

Deo Vindice.


July 25, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Johann Van De Leeuw said...

Amen RG!

August 28, 2009 at 12:04 PM  

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