Great to find some photos and an article online, written on occasion of Easy Co's Roy Gates birthday! well done!Roy Gates is pictured at “Eagle's Nest,” Adolph Hitler's mountaintop retreat, in a photo taken at the end of World War II. South Walton firefighter Patrick Armitage, right, shakes hands with Roy Gates on Monday during a birthday party for the 90-year-old World War II veteran. Armitage, who served in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, presented a unit coin to fellow paratrooper Gates, who served with the 101st Airborne Division's Easy Company, on which the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” was based Santa Rosa Beach ‘Band of Brothers' soldier turns 90
July 25, 2011 7:30 PM
Wendy Victora, Florida Freedom Newspapers
SANTA ROSA BEACH – On Monday, Roy Gates wore his Easy Company cap commemorating his role with the 101st Airborne Division during World War II.
He also wore a T-shirt made for him by the staff of Grand Boulevard Health and Rehab, with his name on the front in lime green paint and the number 90 ironed onto the back.
Gates, a former Seagrove resident, celebrated his 90th birthday Monday with a party at his new home.
The humble World War II veteran was one of 20 contributors to historian Steven Ambrose’s now-famous book, “Band of Brothers.” The book was turned into an HBO miniseries in 2001.
He has stories to tell, but doesn’t share them often. And he doesn’t say much at all about the book or the mini-series.
“It’s a bunch of hooey,” says his close friend, Tom McGee of Seagrove, adding that Gates was not mentioned prominently enough in either.
But, he adds, Gates has stories, if he can be prodded into telling them.
For example, the second lieutenant was there when Easy Company freed a number of concentration camp survivors at the end of the war.
“It was terrible,” Gates said. “Pretty dramatic to see the prisoners running from the camp. So emaciated that some of them died.
“We caught the general who was commandant of that place and we shot him after a firefight,” he added.
On a more upbeat note, Gates was with the 101st when they went to Eagle’s Nest – Adolph Hitler’s private retreat – in the final days of the war.
While the German leader was spending his last days underground in Berlin, Gates and his fellow para-troopers were joyriding in Hitler’s touring car. And Gates, who liked to drink, was put in charge of Hitler’s stash of exotic champagnes and whiskeys.
“What did I do with it?” Gates asked, smiling. “Drank it.”
He also made sure that officers’ clubs and NCO clubs all the way back to France were well-supplied with the expensive liquor. And he helped them make sure nothing was wasted.
“Top of the line,” Gates reminisces, smiling. “Top grade.”
For his 90th birthday, friends and family came from across the country.
Among them was his son-in-law, R.D. Martin of Texas, who read “Band of Brothers” and says he learned a lot about the devotion of men like Gates.
“He was quite a leader,” he says. “And the people that he was leading, according to the book, really trusted him.
“He was just a part of the Band of Brothers – a very important part of the war.” http://www.waltonsun.com/articles/santa ... -rosa.html