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Sunday 20 April 2014

'Band of Brothers' inspiration Edward J "Babe" Heffron dies aged 90

Edward J "Babe" Heffron, whose Second World War service as a member of the US army's famed Easy Company was recounted in the book and TV miniseries Band of Brothers, has died aged 90.

 

Heffron died on Sunday at Kennedy Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey, said his daughter Patricia Zavrel.

 

Heffron and the rest of his "Band of Brothers" fought through some of the Second World War's fiercest European battles between 1941 and 1945.

 

A paratrooper in Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Heffron took part in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and helped liberate the Kaufering concentration camp in Landsberg, Germany. He received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

 

After the war, the Philadelphia native returned home and found work at a whiskey distillery. He later checked cargo on the Delaware River waterfront.

 

He was featured prominently in historian Stephen Ambrose's 1992 book Band of Brothers, upon which the HBO miniseries that began airing in September 2001 was based. The miniseries followed Easy Company from its training in Georgia all the way to the war's end in May 1945. Its producers included actor Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Heffron was portrayed by Scottish actor Robin Laing.

 

Along with one of his comrades, William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, and journalist Robyn Post, Heffron wrote a 2007 memoir called Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends.

 

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, Dolores. Ms Zavrel said funeral arrangements are private.

Reuters

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