Remembering Sergeant Robert 'Popeye' Wynn on the anniversary of his passing on 18th March, 2000, aged 78.
Popeye was born in Virginia in July 1921. In 1941 he attended a machinist course at a local vocational school and met Darrell 'Shifty' Powers on the same course. The two became good friends and enlisted in the army after the Pearl Harbour attack. They volunteered for the paratroopers and were sent to Camp Toccoa where they were placed in E Company, 3rd platoon. The two friends made a bet with each other that they would see out the tough training to the end. If either quit, he would have to pay the other $10. When Dick Winters asked Popeye what got him into the Airborne, he replied "Shifty did!".
Popeye's first combat jump was on D-Day into Normandy. He met with other Easy members and took part in the Brecourt Manor Assault. It was during this battle that he recieved his infamous wound, getting shot in the behind. And he really did apologise for getting hit, believing that he had not been hugging the ground low enough like his training had taught him. He recieved a bronze star and a purple heart for his actions that day.
He recovered in England and was allowed out of the hospital to return to his company with doctors papers saying he was to be assigned light duty work only. He rejoined Easy on Sep 1st, but when he heard that they were jumping into The Netherlands for Operation Market Garden, he threw away the papers + made the jump with his buddies.
Popeye fought with Easy to the end of the war. After the war he returned home, married, and raised a family.
He was interviewed for Band of Brothers and appears in the doccumentary that accompanies the miniseries. But he sadly passed away before the series was aired.
Popeye was portrayed brilliantly by Nick Aaron in the miniseries.
So lets send up a big ole CURRAHEE to this incredibly brave man
#fbf to an article written about my grandfather (Chester Johnson; far-right) the day he put “into operation the first Negro owned and operated Auto Wash in the East Bay.” On the days I feel particularly “spent,” I proudly look at this article and think about how far he came and what he must have endured. To have been such a prolific entrepreneur after enduring the brutalities of the War in the South Pacific, and Jim Crow and economic depression before that, took a lot of grit. Knowing what he and so many of my forbearers accomplished always motivates me to power through my own pursuits and reminds me that the best days are always ahead. #ancestors#ihonorthem#thankful#family#grandfather # entrepreneur #strength#grit#oakland#westoakland#bayarea#proud#history#legacy#community#ww2veteran#ww2