Pvt. Leland C. Heller was born in Illinois in 1921. He lived in Winnebago County, Illinois. Leland completed 1 year of High School and worked as a tracktor driver/truck driver light and heavy/chauffeur. On July 21, 1942, at age 21, Leland Heller voluntary enlisted in CP Grant, Illinois.

Pvt. Heller became part of the 82nd Airborne Division, 505th PIR, Regimental HQ (R/HQ). On December 25, 1944 at a hill near Trois-Ponts Pvt. Heller and a lot of other soldiers were fixing their Christmas meals early in the morning. Suddenly 4 American P-47’s flew over and dropped 500 pound bombs at the Germans at the other side of the hill. The last P-47 pilot thought that some of the Americans Germans were and dropped his bombs at the American troopers. As a result of this tragic misunderstanding 8 GI’s were killed. Pvt. Heller was one of those 8 men and Died of Wounds on December 26, 1944, at age 23, in Belgium. Mr. Allen C. Barger (82nd ABN, 505th PIR, D Co.) wrote a poem in honor of these men who died that day. The 8 casualties were:

Pvt. Kenneth R. Craig (D Co.)
Pfc. Edwin G. Davis (D Co.)
Pvt. Thomas H. Evans (D Co.)
Pvt. John L. Grant (D Co.)
Pvt. Leland C. Heller (R/HQ)
Sgt. Donald H. Olds (D Co.)
Cpl. Harold V. Schramm (D Co.)
Pvt. Bernard J. Schroeder (D Co.)

ASN: 16076777
Awards: Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart
Buried at: Plot C Row 1 Grave 38
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Belgium

Adoptant of Pvt. Leland C. Heller’s grave, Chris Mommers, is searching for more information about Pvt. Leland C. Heller. Every kind of information is more than welcome. You can contact Chris at: chris_mommers_1988@hotmail.com