Robie Street is a north-south artery and provincial road that runs for 7 kilometres within the Halifax Peninsula area of the Halifax Regional Municipality, from Memorial Drive in the North End Halifax, to Gorsebrook Avenue in the South End. The street in most places is 4 lanes wide with a centre median from Gorsebrook Ave to Cunard Street. From Cunard to Almon Streets, it is a 2-lane street. From Livingstone Street to Memorial Drive it is a 2 lane street. From Almon Street to the MacKay Bridge Ramps it is 4 lanes undivided. Massachusetts Avenue connects Robie Street from Livingstone Street to the MacKay Bridge. On the Halifax Peninsula street grid system the civic numbers range from 820 to 3899; the street was named for a prominent Nova Scotia judge and politician. There streets named after Judge Robie in Truro and Amherst, Nova Scotia. At first Robie was a residential and commercial street, but in 1882, the Nova Scotia Cotton Manufacturing Company was constructed at Robie and Almon and was followed by a series of other factories creating an industrial distinct in the north end of Robie.
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Edward James "Babe" Heffron was a private with E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. Heffron was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Robin Laing. Heffron wrote Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story with fellow veteran William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and journalist Robyn Post in 2007. Edward James Heffron was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1923, the third of five children to Joseph and Anne; the family was Irish Catholic and attended Mass every Sunday and Heffron and his siblings attended Sacred Heart Catholic School. He attended South Philadelphia High School, but had to drop out to earn money during the Great Depression, he went to work at New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, sandblasting cruisers in preparation for converting them to light aircraft carriers. Because of his job he had a 2B exemption from military service, but he didn't use it, since he wanted to go with his friend, Anthony Cianfrani, into the airborne.
As a teenager, he had developed an intermittent medical condition where his hands and fingers would curl under and lock-up, causing severe pain, but this was never mentioned to anyone as he wanted to continue playing football in school. Either the exemption or the medical condition would have allowed him to remain stateside, but he refused to stay home when his brothers and neighbors were all doing their duty. Heffron enlisted on 7 November 1942 in his hometown; as a replacement member of E Company, Heffron fought and proved himself in several major battles, including Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands and the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium. During the Battle of the Bulge he was awarded the Bronze Star, he helped liberate the Kaufering concentration camp in Landsberg, in the seizure of Hitler's Eagle's Nest. While at jump school Heffron made a pact with his two best friends, John T. "Johnny" Julian and J. D. Henderson, that if anything happened to one of them, the others would gather up that person's personal belongings and return them to that person's family, while making sure that they contacted the family and carried out any other individual requests.
Henderson was wounded in Veghel, made it back to the U. S. Julian became Heffron's best friend during the time. On 1 January 1945, Heffron was in his foxhole manning his machine gun when he heard Sergeant Johnny Martin cry out that Julian had been hit, he left his position and attempted to get to Julian. Every time he tried to make a move for Julian, the Germans opened fire, driving Heffron and his fellow soldiers back; the squad that Julian was in repelled the Germans and brought back his body, but Heffron couldn't bring himself to look at his friend's corpse. Heffron thereafter maintained he always hated New Year's Day, with its reminder of the anniversary of his friend "Johnny" Julian's death, it was twelve years after the war ended before Heffron could bring himself to call Julian's mother, honoring the pact he and his friends had made at jump school. In early May 1945, after E Company's penultimate operation, the capture of the Eagle's Nest, Heffron was standing guard duty at a crossroads near Berchtesgaden when German General Theodor Tolsdorff, commander of the LXXXII Corps, came down the road leading 31 vehicles.
The general told Heffron that he wished to surrender, but only to an officer, not to an enlisted man. The officer who accepted the surrender was Lt. Carwood Lipton. After the war, Heffron went to work for Publicker Industries, which operated a whiskey distillery plant at 3223 South Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia. In 1966, after he had been employed by Publicker for 20 years, it relocated its operation from Philadelphia to Linfield, Pennsylvania. Heffron and Guarnere remained lifelong friends after returning home. Guarnere was Heffron's best man at the latter's wedding in 1954, he was the godfather to Heffron's daughter Patricia. In the Band of Brothers miniseries Heffron was played by Scottish actor Robin Laing. Heffron appears as himself at the end of episode ten, speaking about the Company, makes a brief cameo appearance in the fourth episode, as an unidentified man sitting at a table in Eindhoven and waving a small flag, while Sgt. Floyd Talbert is seen kissing a Dutch woman. Heffron wrote Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story with fellow veteran William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and journalist Robyn Post in 2007, outlining the activities of E Company 1942-1945.
Despite having never graduated from high school, Heffron was named an honorary graduate of West Point High School in West Point, VA in 2013. For many years Heffron had trouble celebrating Christmas because of the friends he had lost during the hard fighting around Christmas time 1944. Toward the end of his life, Heffron expressed concern that he was dying so close to Christmas because he didn't want to spoil the holiday for his friends and family. Heffron died on 1 December 2013 at Kennedy Hospital in New Jersey. On 17 September 2015, the