Amidst The Death Of Celebrities, A True American Hero Passes...Shifty Powers


Ed McMahon died on Wednesday, June 24th.  On the morning of June 25th it was announced that 70′s stunner Farrah Fawcett passed away.  Then, before the sun could set on the East coast, pop icon Michael Jackson joined the other two.  I was rather quick to report the deaths of Fawcett and Jackson, missed the McMahon death until after Jackson’s.  While I was writing about the death of Jackson, I realized that in the overall scheme of things, one of America’s greatest hero’s had passed away last week and he left this world with little fanfare.

His name will only be recognized by a handful, not the masses that come along with the likes of the trio mentioned above.  His name was Darrel Powers.  To his friends he was called “Shifty“.  A simple man from the hills and mountains of Virginia, Shifty Powers never recorded an album, never acted in a movie, and never sat on the “Late Show” or any other late night talk show.  Instead, Powers was a part of a dying group of men and women who fought for this nation in World War II.

He will be immortalized however.  Featured in the film “Band of Brothers” an epic 10 part mini-series on HBO, Shifty Powers was an “Easy” company man in the 506′th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regimen) “Screaming Eagles“.  On a day when Jackson and Fawcett passed away, and McMahon the night before, I find myself not looking at the three of them with sadness but my own regret for not announcing the passing of an American hero last week.

Shifty Powers battled Germans and numerous medical issues in his later years.  He was 86 and represents a continual increase in the number of WWII veterans who are leaving our lives.  Unlike the above, these are our grandfathers and even our grandmothers.  They represent a simpler time and even now, decades later, an era that today is hardly understood by us younger generations.

For those who are familiar with the “Band of Brothers” story, first brought to the public by the late historian Anthony Ambrose, then you too will know that even now, it seems that many of the fallen soldiers of WWII are once again re-uniting with their friends.

It is a sad day when 3 celebrities die, one at least completely unexpected.  While we may think we know them through their popularity, it’s often the ones that we don’t know that have done the most for our way of life.  It’s because of the sacrifices of those men and women, that I wrote this article.  I’m truly glad you found it.

May Shifty Powers and all the men and women who have done so much for our country by putting themselves in harms way find peace in the here after.  May they realize their childhoods and young adult lives that were so devastatingly taken away from them.

Perhaps I could have put this on the site as a front page article, honoring all of the American hero’s.  Instead, I think much like they lived their lives, it’s a quiet tip of the hat in a way that many of them wanted to live.  I put this article where it is at out of complete respect.

Rest in peace Mr. Powers, another Eagle has flown home.

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Tags: Band Of Brothers Darrel Powers Ed McMahon Farrah Fawcett Michael Jackson Shifty Powers WWII

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  • tanksoldier

    I agree with your sentiments with regard to Jackson and Fawcett.   However, from your article it appears that you may be unaware of General McMahon’s military service record.

    McMahon was a USMC fighter pilot awarded -six- Air Medals who fought in WWII _and_ Korea. He retired as a Colonel from the USMCR and was then appointed to the rank of Brigadier General in the California National Guard.

    Hardly a “nobody” like Jackson or Fawcett with regard to his military service and certainly equal to Powers.

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    Tank:  I can’t thank you enough for that information.  Sadly, I was not aware of his military service.  Thank you for bringing that to my attention and to this article.

  • http://www.manions.com Andrew

    A most fitting tribute, found in an unexpected place. A google news search lead me to this page. Nicely done, sir.  Too bad more “news” writers didn’t follow your lead.

  • Paul Warfford

    I got this through an email and you right all of our heroes are dieing. Like Ed McMahon all of the older stars in Hollywood were in the WWII unlike the new stars that want to take shoots at our country. I am a vet my self and I feel we are losing our country. If our for fathers were here there would be a new fight. IN GOD I TRUST and hope you feel the same, we do need HEROS.

  • Cindy

    Sad that our WWII heroes are mostly gone…but we still have heros. Look to Vietnam, there are guys from there that have outstanding records. Mostly they keep quiet about it. Look to the Gulf wars..there are heroes there and with Iraq and Afghanistan there are more everyday. Thanks to ALL veterans and God bless everyone of them. These are my heroes!

  • Martin

    Farewell and thank you Shifty.  And thanks to all of those who paid such a high price for this great nation of ours.
    One last time….CURRAHEE!!