HR 2790 Information

HR 2790 IH
1st Session
June 7, 2005

To authorize and request the President to award the Medal of Honor to Richard D. Winters, of Hershey, Pennsylvania, for acts of valor on June 6, 1944, in Normandy, France, while an officer in the 101st Airborne Division.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


(a) Authorization- The President is authorized and requested to award the Medal of Honor under section 3741 of title 10, United States Code, to Richard D. Winters, of Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the acts of valor described in subsection (b).

(b) Action Described- The acts of valor referred to in subsection (a) are the actions of Richard D. Winters on D-Day, June 6, 1944, in Normandy, France, while executive officer and acting commanding officer of Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, in leading an assault to neutralize four enemy 105-millimeter cannon firing on Utah Beach.

(c) Waiver of Time Limitations- The award under subsection (a) may be made without regard to the time limitations specified in section 3744(b) of title 10, United States Code, or any other time limitation with respect to the awarding of certain medals to persons who served in the Army.

The word "Currahee" means Stands Alone but it has also been used a battle cry when a member of the 506th is in need of help. Right now the Battle Cry - CURRAHEE is being called out for us to help Major (retired) Richard D. Winters obtain the Congressional Medal of Honor that he deserves, earned, and was nominated for during World War II.

At the 506th Association's General Meeting held August 16, 2002 at the Holiday Inn Select in Timonium, Maryland the Members in attendance voted unanimously to support an afford to upgrade Major (retired) Winters' Distinguished Service Cross to the Congressional Medal of Honor, our nation's highest award for valor.

His courage, heroic action and leadership on D-Day June 6, 1944, when he was a First Lieutenant in E (Easy) Company, 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Infantry Division is an example of conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. For his heroic leadership under fire during the attack at Brécourt Manor, Colonel Robert F. Sink, the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment Commander, recommended Winters receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, but the time it was a unwritten 101st Airborne Division policy that only one man in the 101st would to be awarded such medal during any one combat campaign. For the Normandy Campaign the Congressional Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Cole - Commander, 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. Instead, Winters was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, with Silver and Bronze Stars awarded to the men of Easy Company who participated in the assault.

Proposed Citation:

First Lieutenant Richard D. Winters - Company E, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action on 6 June 1944 in the vicinity of Le Gran Chemin, Normandy, France. During the early phases of the airborne assault on D-Day, Lieutenant Winters assumed temporary command of Easy Company, then numbering twelve men, and advanced to destroy a German four-gun battery of 105mm artillery pieces that was placing indirect fire on UTAH Beach. Lieutenant Winters personally conducted a reconnaissance under direct enemy fire and quickly stabled that quick, violent action was required to destroy the battery and it's 50-man enemy garrison. Organizing his men into support and assault teams, Winters crawled toward the jump-off position. In the process, he noticed one German Soldier and killed him instantly. With the support team engaging one enemy gun. Winters placed himself in the lead of the assault column and charged across the fire swept open field into the hedgerow where they silenced the first gun. As the enemy crew retreated, Winters killed three more Germans and planned to assault the second howitzer. Placing a machine gun to fire down the trench, he gathered two soldiers and prepared to charge down the trench in the direction of the second gun. Crawling forward in the trench he noticed that his path was blocked by an enemy machine gun getting ready to fire. Without hesitation Winters fired and wounded both members of the enemy crew. Leaving three men to hold the first gun, Winters lead his remaining five on a charge directly down the enemy trench throwing grenades ahead of him. Urging his men forward by shouting encouragement and leading the assault team, Winters captured the second gun and discovered a map that depicted all the German artillery and machine gun positions throughout the Cotentin Peninsula. Sending the map back to headquarters, Winters then directed the assault on the third gun, which he quickly captured. With three guns under his direct control, Winters halted only long enough to destroy the barrels of the enemy guns. Still under direct fire, Winters then ordered another platoon to capture the final gun, which they did in short order. With his mission accomplished and now under intense fire from machine guns from the hedgerows adjacent to neighboring Brecourt Manor, Winters finally ordered a withdrawal. As was his custom, Winters was last out, but not before killing another German rifleman. With what amounted to a squad. Winters and his men had killed 15 German soldiers, wounded many more, and taken 12 prisoners. In all, Winters killed at least five Germans and his whirlwind hand-to-hand assault had resulted in the destruction of the complete battery and the entire fifty-man platoon of the elite German paratroopers defending the battery. Later that afternoon Winters harassed the enemy forces, preventing their return to the fortified position until armored forces from the amphibious forces secured Brecourt Manor. The superb leadership, conspicuous courage, and consummate devotion to duty demonstrated by Lieutenant Winters were directly responsible for the successful accomplishment of a hazardous mission and served as an inspiration to his men and exemplify the heroic traditions of the military service.