Julian, John Taylor “Johnny”.

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Julian, John Taylor “Johnny”, born 05-04-1924, in Walker County, Alabama,   to Alfred Monroe Julian and his wife Leah R Julian. John had one brother, Alfred M Julian, Jr;, and one older sister, Mary L Julian. His mother would have Walcie, his younger sister, a year after his birth. His younger brother Robert was born the year after Walcie. His parents might have also had two other children, Peggy. He had brown hair and blue eyes and had just graduated high school and was working in a coal company when he was drafted, and enlisted in the U.S Army on 20-05-1943. He completed basic training and volunteered for the paratroopers. At Fort Benning jump school he became good friends with Babe Heffron

  and Sergeant J .D Henderson, and the young men made a promise to each other in early 1944: “The 3 of us stuck together like glue all through jump school” recalls Babe “We made a pact that if one of us bought the farm, if we got killed in combat, whoever was left would go to the parents” All 3 were assigned to Easy Company, 506th PIR , under command of Major Winters, Richard Davis “Dick”    in June 1944, joining the men when they arrived back from Normandy. Julian was placed in 1st platoon, Babe in 2nd platoon, and J.D in 3rd. They made their first combat jump into  The Netherlands in September, 1944, as part of Operation Market Garden, and then headed to Bastogne in December to defend the town after the start of the Ardennes Offencive..

Sergeant JD Henderson survived the war and passed away in 2002 at the age of 80. Photo above: Babe Heffron visiting Julian’s grave in 2004

In Aldbourne, England, Julian was sent to 1st Platoon and Babe was sent to be with another South Philly boy “Wild Bill” Guarnere, 

  who lost his right leg in Bastogne, in 2nd Platoon. Babe and Julian still saw each other. Shortly after their arrival, Julian went on a weekend trip to London with Babe and Jim Campbell.   who was killed in battle age 22, on 08-10-1944 in the Netherlands. They went to Piccadilly Circus and eventually ended up at an “after-hours club” called Bow and Arrow. There they heard a lady sing “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square”  for them after they gave her a cigarette..

Death and burial ground of Julian, John Taylor “Johnny”.

On 21-12-1944, a group of the 1st platoon, there was only seven or eight men in his group and they were sent to see where everyone, including the enemy was, under command of of Lieutenant General Robert Frederick “Bounding Bob” Sink      set out on a patrol through the woods. The patrol had reached a railroad tracks and Julian, being the forward scout, had headed out first. But unknown to the Americans a German machine gun nest was dug-in beside the tracks. They opened fire at Julian and he was hit in the throat. This is where the outcome following Julian being hit differs. Some men say they got to him, he was shot in the neck and died from losing a massive amount of blood, some say he died in their arms, some say he made it to the aid station and died there, some say his body was only recovered on Jan 1st by the 501st. Regiment  under command og General Lieutenant Julian Johnson Ewell

, Babe’s account says he was sitting at his machine gun post, he heard Sergeant Johnny Martin

   shouting that Julian had been hit. A few guys from Julian’s squad come to tell Babe what had happened, and that nobody can reach Julian due to the German fire. Babe leaves his foxhole and tries to go get his friend, but to no avail. Everytime he tried, he’s pushed back by Machine Gun fire. What we do know is the brave 20 year old gave the ultimate sacrifice and was buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, Section F, Row 10, Grave 24.  Sergeant Johnny Martin survived the war and died on 26-01-2008, age 82, in Texas.

After the war, Babe never forgot his promise to Julian. After 12 years, he wrote Julian’s mother a letter. She called him and told him, “Babe. you don’t have to travel to ‘Sipsey’, Alabama.” At first, Babe thought she didn’t want to think about the loss of her son, but she was with her daughter in New Jersey, who had just had a baby.

Babe visited her at her daughter’s house. Babe said that he broke down but that Julian’s mother “was a better soldier than I was. Stiff upper lip. Didn’t show emotion.” Babe gave her the regimental scrapbook, which he only had one of. He told her that she deserved it and that Julian would want her to have it. He believes Julian was looking down at him, saying, “good job, well done.”

Babe was forever effected by Julian’s death. Even during interviews, he was pained to talk about Julian. Every New Year’s Day, Babe thought of Julian, making him hate New Year’s. Both him and Guarnere hated the holidays and just preferred to be left alone during them.

Around the time Band of Brothers came out, Babe and others went to Europe to visit the graves of their friends. Babe visited Julian’s grave in Luxembourg.

   Every time he visits, he says a pray, leaves some flowers, and moved on. He went about fifteen times in total.



Message(s), tips or interesting graves for the webmaster:    robhopmans@outlook.com



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