Heyliger, Frederick Theodore “Moose”.

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Heyliger, Frederick Theodore “Moose” born 23-06-1916, in Acton, Massachusetts, worked as a farm hand throughout his youth, and graduated from the Lawrence Academy at Groton in 1937. Heyliger completed three years of college.

Heyliger was assigned to 506th  E Company of the 101 Airborne Division under command of, later Lieutenant General, Sink, Robert Frederick “Bounding Bob”. before it left the U.S. and was later assigned as the Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, mortar platoon leader. Post-war, his love for nature would eventually find Heyliger at Stockbridge College of Agriculture; but, as a soldier, Uncle Sam had Fred jumping out of airplanes. After enlisting in 1940, Fred became an officer and participated in the D-Day invasion , leading a mortar platoon in France and Holland, and earned commendations that  included the British Military Cross and an Army citation for gallantry (both for leading an operation that resulted in the rescue of 130 British soldiers); the European African-Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with two Battle Stars and Bronze Arrowhead; a WWII Victory Medal; an American Theatre Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation; the Belgian Croix de Guerre; and the Holland Lanyard. After Richard  “Dick” Winters was assigned as 2nd Battalion Executive Officer (XO), First Lieutenant Heyliger took command of Easy Company from Winters’ first replacement. Heyliger commanded Easy Company during Operation Pegasus on  23-10-1944, and oversaw the rescue and evacuation of some of the British 1st Airborne Division under command of General Major Urquhart, Robert Elliott “Roy” that were stranded on the German side of the line after the failed Operation Market Garden across the Rhine. After the successful rescue of 138 men from the British 1st Airborne Division, for which he received the British Military Cross, he was accidentally shot by one of his own men, an uneasy veteran, on 31-10-1944, while on patrol and talking with Richard Winters about commanding Easy Company. He then underwent skin and nerve grafts before being discharged in February 1947. Wounded by this friendly fire, Heyliger spent nearly three years in military hospitals recovering from his wounds. “Dad never talked about his injury,” recalled Fred Heyliger Jr. ’61, when interviewed for Marcus Brotherton’s book  A Company of Heroes. “But he had a good-sized scar on his shoulder and the whole calf on the back of his right leg was gone.

Death and burial ground of Heyliger, Frederick Theodore “Moose”.

After Heyliger returned home to Massachusetts, he enrolled at the University of Massachusetts and graduated in 1950 with a degree in ornamental horticulture. Heyliger died on  03-11-2001, in Concord, Massachusetts, at the age of 85. He is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.

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