GETTYSBURG, PA –The Gettysburg Museum of History curator, Erik Dorr, announced yesterday a new exhibit centered around WWII hero Major Dick Winters. Portrayed in the 2001 HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers, Winters led “Easy Company” of the 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. Winters took over command of Easy Company on D-Day after their Commander Lt. Thomas Meehan’s plane crashed killing all on board. Winters commanded “easy company” through the Normandy Campaign and Operation Market Garden in Holland. He was then promoted to Assistant Battalion Executive officer and fought in the battle of the bulge. He eventually made the rank of Major. Easy Company and Winters secured Hitler’s Eagles Nest and Berghof at the end of WWII.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to exhibit the wartime artifacts of one of our nation’s most beloved soldiers,” Dorr said. “It is our hope and intention to raise awareness of the sacrifices Winters and all veterans made during WWII,” Dorr went on to say. The Gettysburg Museum of History joined with Bill Shea, of The Ruptured Duck, and Robert Hoffman of the Robby Wilson History and Research Center, to bring the Major Winters artifact collection together for the first time. The collection will be exhibited free of charge starting June 6, 2016, the 72nd anniversary of D-Day. Some highlights of the items on exhibit are:
- Class A dress uniform.
- Paratrooper Jacket worn on D-Day.
- Coat worn at the battle of the bulge.
- Colt .45 automatic M-1911.
- Dog Tags.
- Medals including The Distinguished Service Cross.
- Winters photo album.
- Jump certificate signed by Col. Sink.
- Complete Easy Company Archive files.
- Silver taken from Berchtesgaden.
- Currahee album signed by the men of Easy Company.
- Combat used binoculars and case.
- D-Day Normandy map.
- Helmet given to Major Winters worn by Damian Lewis in “Band Of Brothers.”
- D-Day Diary.
The Gettysburg Museum of History is located in Gettysburg, PA, featuring American military and political history artifacts. In 2014, they opened an exhibit on D-Day and General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower lived in Gettysburg. Dorr said, “We are hoping the Major Dick Winters collection will complement this existing exhibit.” Major Dick Winters was from Pennsylvania and he also lived in the Gettysburg area for several years in the 1950’s. “Bringing the Winters collection to Gettysburg has been a project we have been working on for years,” Dorr said. “We are very grateful to all those involved and we think Gettysburg will give Major Winters artifacts the maximum exposure and is a very proper location in his home area,” Dorr explained. Files and photos from the collection will also be made available into a research center with access for students and historians within the next year. Dorr noted, “Major Winters wanted his files and correspondence to be shared and we hope to honor this wish. Copies of some of his files are in other institutions, but we have the only complete set and we intend to open them as soon as it is possible.”
The Gettysburg Museum of History is located at 219 Baltimore St. in Gettysburg, PA.
The Major Dick Winters collection at The Gettysburg Museum of History opens on June 6, 2016 and runs indefinitely. The Major Dick Winters files and photo collection research center is currently in development.
SOURCE: The Gettysburg Museum of History