When & Where: June 5, 6 & 7, 2015 at Overlord Omaha Beach Museum, the Utah Beach Museum and the Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, France.
What: 2015 will be the second and final reunion of the actors in Normandy for the foreseeable future. The 2015 events will recognize the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe (VE Day).
Band of Brothers Actors Who Plan to Be in Normandy Next June:
Douglas Spain-Antonio Garcia
Scott Grimes-Don Malarkey
James Madio-Frank Perconte
Ross McCall-Joe Liebgott
Rick Gomez-George Luz
Bart Ruspoli-Ed Tipper
William Tapley-British Tank Commander
Frank John Hughes-“Wild” Bill Guarnere
Robin Laing-“Babe” Heffron
Peter Youngblood Hills-“Shifty” Powers
Eion Bailey-David Webster
George Calil-“Mo” Alley
Philip Barantini-Wayne “Skinny” Sisk
Stephen McCole-“Moose” Heyliger
Shane Taylor-”Doc” Roe
Mark Lawrence-William Dukeman
Make sure you get your tickets as early as you can as this, like last year, will be a sell out. You can get your tickets here: WWII Foundation
Edward was one of the “Replacements” that came into Easy Company about a month after the first D-Day jump made by the 2/506th.
Heffron was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Robin Laing. Heffron wroteBrothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story with fellow veteran William “Wild Bill” Guarnere and journalist Robyn Post in 2007.
As a member of Easy Company, Heffron fought in several major battles, including Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands and the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium. During the Battle of the Bulge he served as a machine gunner and was awarded the Bronze Star. He helped liberate the Kaufering concentration camp in Landsberg, Germany, and in the seizure of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus).
You can buy your Reunion T shirts here
While at jump school Heffron made a pact with his two best friends, John T. “Johnny” Julian and J. D. Henderson, that if anything happened to one of them, the others would gather up that person’s personal belongings and return them to that person’s family, while also making sure that they contacted the family and carried out any other individual requests. Henderson was wounded in Veghel, and made it back to the U.S.
Julian became Heffron’s best friend during the time they shared while in front-line combat. On January 1, 1945, Heffron was in his foxhole manning his machine gun when he heard Sergeant Johnny Martin cry out that Julian had been hit. He left his position and attempted to get to Julian, but enemy fire prevented any approach. Every time he tried to make a move for Julian the Germans opened fire, driving Heffron and his fellow soldiers back. Later, the squad that Julian was in repelled the Germans and brought back his body, but Heffron couldn’t bring himself to look at his friend’s corpse.
Heffron thereafter maintained he always hated New Year’s Day, with its reminder of the anniversary of his friend “Johnny” Julian’s death; he also thereafter always felt a similar dislike concerning Christmas Day, with its reminder of the anniversary of his Battle of the Bulge experiences in Bastogne. It was twelve years after the war ended before Heffron could bring himself to call Julian’s mother, honoring the pact he and his friends had made at jump school.
“We’re not heroes. It burns me up how people use the word ‘hero’ today. The heroes are the kids who gave 100 percent; they gave their lives. The heroes are the mothers who gave up a son, who carried him for nine months, and raised him to do right, and he does right, and at eighteen, he goes to fight for his country, and he dies doing right. That’s a hero…Bill and I get furious when we hear it used in the wrong context. We know we’re not heroes. The kids who went to war and never walked back through his mother’s front door, he’s the hero.”
In early May, 1945, after Easy Company’s penultimate operation, the capture of the Eagle’s Nest, Heffron was standing guard duty at a crossroads near Berchtesgaden when German General Theodor Tolsdorff, commander of the LXXXII Corps, came down the road leading 31 vehicles (much of it loaded with the General’s personal property). The general told Heffron that he wished to surrender, but only to an officer, not to an enlisted man. The officer who ultimately accepted the surrender was Lt. Carwood Lipton.
Below is his shadow box:
Heffron also had non-speaking cameo appearance in “Band of Brothers” in part 4 – Replacements. He played one of the civilians in the town of Eindhoven. He was sitting at a table waving a Dutch flag.
All proceeds raised benefit the non-profit World War II Foundation and its mission of preserving the stories of the WWII generation.
You can get your tickets here: WWII Foundation