Today is the birthday of Pvt. Edward ‘Babe’ Heffron. Edward Heffron was born on May 16, 1923, in South Philadelphia. He dropped out of High School during the Great Depression, and went to work in New York before choosing to enlist in the US Airborne in 1942.
After going through Airborne Training for two years he was sent as a replacement for the 101st Airborne Division in July 1944. He was assigned to Easy Company of the 506th PIR as a Machine Gunner. He quickly made friends with veteran trooper “Wild Bill” Guarnere, who was also from Philadelphia.
Heffron first participated in the Airborne invasion of the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden. On 18th December, he and the Division were immediately sent to the Ardennes forest to replace the 28th Infantry Division and defend the town of Bastogne from the German offensive known as “The Battle of the Bulge”. After the Battle of the Bulge, Heffron would continue to serve all the way to Germany, and would be promoted to Sergeant.
In later life he was interviewed for the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers and also had a cameo role in Episode 4 as an old dutch man in Eindhoven waving a flag. He remains friends with Bill Guarnere and together they wrote their memior Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends which outlined their combat experience.
Babe Heffron was portrayed by Robin Laing in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.