Babe Heffron Dies: Inspired 'Band of Brothers' Book, Miniseries

Image: Babe Heffron Dies: Inspired 'Band of Brothers' Book, Miniseries

Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 12:28 PM

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Army veteran Edward "Babe" Heffron, whose service during World War II helped inspire the book and the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," died Sunday. He was 90.

Heffron was a paratrooper in Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, according to The Associated Press. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and helped free prisoners at the Kaufering concentration camp in Landsberg, Germany.

Heffron received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service.

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Historian Stephen Ambrose featured Heffron in his 1992 book "Band of Brothers," which the television miniseries, which began airing in 2001, was based on, noted the AP.

Actor Robin Laing portrayed Heffron in the miniseries, which followed Easy Company from basic training in Georgia in 1942 to the end of World War II in 1945. Tom Hanks and Steve Spielberg produced the miniseries.

After war, Heffron returned to Philadelphia where he worked at a whiskey distillery and then checked cargo along the Delaware River waterfront. Heffron is survived by his wife, Dolores Heffron. and a daughter.

According to WCAU-TV, Heffron visited the families of two fellow fallen soldiers in his company after the three made a pact promising that whoever survived would visit the loved ones of those who died.

"When he came home from the war he made a point to go down to Alabama and visit the family," Jake Powers, a historian who traced the progress of Easy Company in World War II, told WCAU-TV. "He said it was the hardest thing he ever had to do in his life and he didn't know how it was going to be received but they accepted him just as if he was their own son."

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WCAU-TV reported that Heffron wrote his own story about the war with William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and journalist Robyn Post in his 2007 book "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story."

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