Monday, December 2, 2013


Photo: A man died yesterday who didn't receive quite as much media attention as others...

'Band of Brothers' WWII Vet "Babe" Heffron Dies at 90

South Philadelphia native and World War II veteran Edward "Babe" Heffron, best known for the book and television miniseries "Band of Brothers," which portrayed him, died yesterday at the age of 90.

During World War II, Heffron was a member of the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army called Easy Company, often referred to as one of the most revered companies in the history of the U.S. Army.

Heffron fought in several major battles with Easy Company, including D-Day, and the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star.

After the war, Heffron continued to live and work in South Philadelphia, impacting the lives of many who crossed his path including City Councilman James Kenney.Noting the passing of Edward "Babe" Heffron, 90, of Philadelphia, PA. A member of the 101st Airborne Band of Brothers, he uttered the words "The real men, the real heroes, are buried over there, or come (sic) home to be buried." My late father uttered those words before they were broadcast as part of the miniseries, having seen the black sands of Iwo Jima close up.

Years ago, my Uncle Jim, Aunt Mary, Cousin Carol and I stopped by a cafe in Bastogne, Belgium. Lunch time, and we took a table toward the rear of the establishment. We chatted after a fabulous morning touring the gorgeous countryside. The proprietor stopped by our table, literally hat in hand. "Americans?" he asked. We answered that we were. Our lunchtime bottle of wine was on him. "Thank you for what you did for us," he said.

Babe Heffron earned those thanks in a cold foxhole not far from where we sat. We bid you farewell, sir. You did your country credit and deserve to be remembered forever.

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