Greatest Generation: Ed Bernat - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

  • Ed Bernat Pfc. 1942 – 1945 Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, the "Screaming Eagles",
    One of the best-known companies in the United States Army. Their experiences in World War II are the subject of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers based on the book of the same name by historian Stephen Ambrose. In 2009, twenty of the last few remaining survivors from Easy Company recounted their stories in the oral-history book project We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers.
  • Richard D. "Dick" Winters (21 January 1918 – 2 January 2011) was an officer of the United States Army and a decorated war veteran. He is best known for commanding Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, during World War II, eventually being promoted to major rising to command of the entire 2nd Battalion.
  • As first lieutenant, Winters parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day, 6 June 1944, and fought across France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and eventually Germany. Following the German surrender, he left the 506th and was then stationed in France, where senior officers were needed to oversee the return home.
    Winters was discharged from the Army and returned to civilian life, working first in New Jersey and later in Pennsylvania, where he set up his own company selling chocolate byproducts from The Hershey Company to producers of animal feed. He was a regular guest lecturer at the United States Military Academy at West Point until his retirement in 1997. He was the last surviving Easy Company commander.
  • Operation Overlord (D-Day)
    For Operation Overlord, Easy Company's mission was to capture the entrances to and clear any obstacles around "Causeway 2", a pre-selected route off Utah Beach for the Allied forces landing from the sea a few hours later. The company departed from Upottery airbase in Devon, England, and dropped over the Cotentin Peninsula of Normandy, France in the early hours of the morning of 6 June 1944. After assembling on the ground, the men of Easy Company disabled a battery of four German heavy guns on D-Day that threatened forces coming along Causeway 2.

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