Capt. Ronald Speirs: Flash.
Pvt. Albert Blithe: Thunder, thunder. Lieutenant Spiers, sir.
Capt. Ronald Speirs: Where are you going, private?
Pvt. Albert Blithe: Check out the noise, sir.
Capt. Ronald Speirs: I just came from there. Everything’s under control.
Pvt. Albert Blithe: Yes sir.
Capt. Ronald Speirs: You got some nervous privates in your company.
Pvt. Albert Blithe: We do, sir. Yeah we do. I can vouch for that.
Capt. Ronald Speirs: They just don’t see how simple it is.
Pvt. Albert Blithe: Simple. What is, sir?
Capt. Ronald Speirs: Just do what you have to do.
Pvt. Albert Blithe: Like you did on D-Day, sir? lieutenant. Sir, when I landed on D-Day, I found myself in a ditch all by myself. I fell asleep. I think it was… it was the air sickness pills they gave us. When I woke up I really didn’t try to find my unit… to fight. I just… I just kinda stayed put.
Capt. Ronald Speirs: What’s your name, trooper?
Pvt. Albert Blithe: Blithe, sir. Albert Blithe.
Capt. Ronald Speirs: You know why you hid in that ditch, Blithe?
Pvt. Albert Blithe: I was scared.
Capt. Ronald Speirs: We’re all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there’s still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier’s supposed to function. Without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends on it.
Pvt. Ed Tipper said of his first day in Easy, “I looked up at nearby Mount Currahee and told someone, ‘I’ll bet that when we finish the training program here, the last thing they’ll make us do will be to climb to the top of that mountain.’ […] A few minutes later, someone blew a whistle. We fell in, were ordered to change to boots and athletic trunks, did so, fell in again - and then ran most of the three miles to the top and back down again.”
Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose
Happy 93rd birthday, Ed Tipper!
Born August 3rd, 1921
"From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother”
Shakespeare’s Henry V, 1598
Buck Compton came back to let us know he was all right. He became a prosecutor in Los Angeles He convicted Sirhan Sirhan and was later appointed to the California Court of Appeals. David Webster wrote for The Saturday Evening Post and Wall Street Journal. and later wrote a book about sharks. In 1961, he went out on the ocean alone, and was never seen again. Johnny Martin would return to his railroad job and then start a construction company. He splits his time between Arizona and a place in Montana. George Luz became a handyman in Providence, RI. And as a testament to his character 1 600 people attended his funeral in 1998. Doc Roe died in Louisiana in 1998. He’d been a construction contractor. Frank Perconte returned to Chicago and worked a postal route as a mailman. Joe Liebgott returned to San Francisco and drove his cab. Bull Randleman was one of the best soldiers I ever had. He went into the earth-moving business in Arkansas. He’s still there. Alton More returned to Wyoming with a unique souvenir: Hitler’s personal photo albums. He was killed in a car accident in 1958. Floyd Talbert we all lost touch with until he showed up at a reunion just before his death in 1981. How we lived our lives after the war was as varied as each man. Carwood Lipton became an executive directing factories across the world. He has a nice life in North Carolina. Harry Welsh, he married Kitty Grogan. Became an administrator for the Wilkes-Barre, PA school system. Ronald Speirs stayed in the Army, served in Korea. In 1958, returned to Germany as governor of Spandau Prison. He retired a lieutenant colonel.
For Easy Company, it was D-Day plus 434. Regardless of points, medals or wounds each man in the 1 01st Airborne would be going home. Each of us would be forever connected by our shared experience. And each would have to rejoin the world as best he could. Lewis Nixon had tough times after the war. He was divorced a few times. In 1956 he married a woman named Grace and everything came together. He spent his life with her, traveling the world. My friend Lew died in 1995. I took his job offer and was a manager at Nixon Nitration Works until I was called into service in 1950 to train officers. I chose not to go to Korea. I’d had enough of war. I stayed around Hershey, PA, finally finding a little farm a little peaceful corner of the world, where I still live today. And not a day goes by that I do not think of the men I served with who never got to enjoy the world without war.
"A lot of those soldiers, and I’ve thought about this often, that man and I might have been good friends, we might have had a lot in common, he might’ve liked to fish you know, he might’ve liked to hunt, you never know you know. ‘Course they were doing what they were supposed to do, and I was trying to do what I was supposed to do, but under different circumstances we might’ve been good friends.”