Niland, Robert J, born 1919 in Tonawanda, New York, Company D, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment , 82nd Airborne Division . Killed in action on June 6, 1944 in Normandy. He volunteered to stay behind with 2 other men and hold off a German advance while his company retreated from Neuville-au-Plain. He was killed while manning his machine gun; the other two men survived. The Niland brothers were four American brothers from Tonawanda, New York, serving in the military during World War II
Of the four, two survived the war, but for a time it was believed that only one, Frederick ” Fritz ” Niland had survived. Frederick was sent back to the United States to complete his service and only later learned that his brother Edward, missing and presumed dead, was actually captive in a Japanese POW camp in Burma. Steven Spielberg’s film Saving Private Ryan is loosely based on the brothers’ story. Sergeant Frederick “Fritz” Niland born 1920, Company H, 501st
Warren Muck. Donald Malarkey.
Parachute Infantry Regiment, ment, 101st Airborne Division, “Screaming Eagles” Fritz was close friends with Warren Muck and Donald Malarkey, from Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (“Easy Company”) , who were both featured prominently in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. Fritz fought with the 501st through the first few days of the Normandy campaign. Several days following D-Day, Fritz had gone to the 82nd Airborne Division to see his brother, Bob. Once he arrived at division, he was informed that Bob had been killed on D-Day. Fritz was shipped back to England, and, finally, to the U.S. where he served as an MP in New York until the completion of the war. Fritz was awarded a Bronze Star for his service..This story is evidenced in Stephen Ambrose’s book, Band of Brothers, as well as from biographical data on padre Francis Leon Sampson “Flying Padre” and Irid “Ike” Eitreim. Fritz died in 1983 in San Francisco at the age of 63.
Death and burial ground of Niland, Robert J.
Robert is buried next to his brother Preston on the war cemetery of Coleville sur Mere, France.