Darrell "Shifty" Powers

Darrell "Shifty" Powers

Nickname Shifty
Place of birth Clinchco, Virginia
Place of death Clinchco, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Years of service 1942-1945
Rank US Army E-6.svg Staff Sergeant
Unit E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

* Bronze Star
*Good Conduct Medal
*American Campaign Medal
*European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and others[1]

Relations -Margo Johnson (daughter)
-Sandy Powers (daughter-in-law)
Other work Machinist

Staff Sergeant Darrell C. Powers (March 13, 1923 – June 17, 2009)[2] was a non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Powers was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Peter Youngblood Hills. The 2011 book Shifty's War by journalist Marcus Brotherton, published by Penguin/Berkley-Caliber, captures Sgt. Powers' full life story.

Powers was born in Clinchco, Dickenson County, Virginia and volunteered for the paratroopers with his good friend, Robert "Popeye" Wynn. Shifty spent a great deal of time in the outdoors hunting game prior to joining the service. This later proved useful as many of the skills he obtained helped him as a soldier. He graduated from high school. Powers enlisted on August 14, 1942 at Richmond, Virginia.[

Military service

Powers jumped into Normandy on D-Day, missing his drop zone. He eventually came in contact with Floyd Talbert and the two made their way to Easy Company. He also participated in the Allied military operation Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands, and the Battle of the Bulge in Foy, Belgium. While in Foy, a German sniper shot three members of Easy Company, and everyone hid for cover. With the aid of C. Carwood Lipton, Shifty made a heroic attempt and silenced the German with his M1 right between the eyes. Company members say Powers saved many lives that day.He was generally considered to be the best shot in Easy Company. One of his most truly remarkable achievements, and a testament to the extraordinary gifts his backwoods upbringing brought to Easy Company, was the story documented in the Ambrose book, Band of Brothers, about the time in Bastogne when Shifty mentioned to his commanding officer that he noticed a tree in the distant forest that was not there just the day before. The "tree" was ultimately discovered to be a camouflaged German artillery piece. Were it not for Shifty's keen observations and outdoors experiences, many lives may have been lost, had that enemy weapon not been spotted from a distance of nearly a mile away and amongst a literal forest of other trees.

Later years

Because many men serving in the 101st lacked the minimum points required to return home, a lottery was put in place.Shifty Powers won this lottery after the rest of the company rigged it in his favor by removing their own names, and was set to return stateside. During the trip to the airfield, the vehicle that Shifty was in was involved in an accident and he was badly injured. He spent many months recuperating in hospitals overseas while his comrades in arms arrived home long before he did.

Honorably discharged from the Army in the postwar demobilization, he became a machinist for the Clinchfield Coal Corporation. He is listed as one of 20 men from Easy Company who contributed to the 2009 book We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers, published by Penguin/Berkley-Caliber. Powers died on June 17, 2009 of cancer in Dickenson County, Virginia.

1 Comment

6 years 44 weeks ago, 5:56 PM


inkmancool's picture

Private First Class
Join Date:
May 2011

R.I.P. Shifty, and thanks.

Snake's picture
Posted by: Snake
7 years 1 week ago

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