The Band of Brothers Tour follows a totally different itinerary to the American Experience Tour. It visits the actual sites made famous in the HBO/BBC TV series Band of Brothers, from where the men de-trucked and walked in on to the battles for Foy , Noville and Rachamps .
It really is imperative that you watch the TV series before booking the tour, and indeed many of my clients will be hardcore fans, having read many of the spin-off books by the veterans that have been published since the series aired. The tour follows the exploits of Easy Company of the 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, together with other units that fought in similar engagements.
Over the past decades Reg was honored to have personally guided or escorted veterans from Easy company and their families on the Bastogne battlefields. Bill Guarnere, Babe Heffron, Forrest Guth, Ed Shames, Earl McClung, Shifty Powers were among them and he was priviledged to spend some time with Ed Mauser , Paul Rogers , Don Malarkey , Buck Compton, Frank Soboleski, Herb Suerth, Brad Freeman. He has also taken the family of Robert Burr Smith, Myron Ranney, George Luz, Eugene Roe, ‘Smokey’ Gordon, John Van Kooijk, Maj Bob Harwick, Colonel Robert Sink, Col Robert Strayer and Walter Wentzel to the sites on this tour. Many times these tours resulted in a lifetime friendship. Because of these great experiences Janswas able to gather a lot of anecdotes and information you won’t find in any spin-off books.
In December 2016 Reg Jans hosted and guided 14 Actors of the HBO series Band of Brothers in Bastogne. The cast was amazingly interested to hear the stories of these great men they once portrayed. Actors: Cpt Dale Dye (Col Sink), Philip Barantini (Skinny Sisk), Robin Laing (Babe Heffron), Ross McCall (Joe Liebgott), Ben Caplan (Smokey Gordon), Douglas Spain (Tony Garcia), James Madio (Frank Perconte), Doug Allen (Alton Moore), Shane Taylor (Doc Roe), Bart Ruspoli (Ed Tipper), Nick Aaron (Popeye Wynn), Rick Gomez (George Luz), Rick Warden (Harry Welsh), George Calil (Moe Alley).
In June 2018 Reg connected with Peter McCabe (Donald Hoobler) , Christian Black (Walter Hendrix), Matthew Leitch (Floyd ‘Tab’ Talbert), Marc Huberman (Lester Hashey) and Tim Matthews (Alex Penkala).
“I just got back to the U.S. from one of the most stirring and insightful battlefield tours of my long experience in that kind of endeavor. The reason it was such a unique and enjoyable time at Bastogne was simply Reg Jans and his staff of guides. I know a lot of WW II buffs and run into them constantly making movies and TV shows but there are none out there anywhere that match Reg and his group of experts who turn a simple walk into a world history lesson. Reg knows the intimate details that really bring WW II history alive for both the serious student and the merely curious. Reg has a deep and abiding respect for the soldiers who fought in the bitter battles of the ETO and it shows in everything he does. He and his staff are also hugely personable, friendly and caring for everyone who very wisely signs up to tour with them. I can’t recommend Reg and his services highly enough. If you want more than just sightseeing, you need to contact Reg Jans.” Cpt Dale Dye– Actor/Military Historian/USMC Veteran
Sample Itinerary Band of Brothers Tour
Short overview on the Battle of the Bulge and narrowing it down to Bastogne. Structure of the 101 Airborne Division. Tidbits.
Talking about nurses Reneé Lemaire and Augusta Chiwi at the site of their future Memorial.
Seminary School – The Walk to Bastogne
101 ABN Divisional Hospital and Regimental CP of the 501 PIR. The tragic truck explosion. Paratroopers walking into Bastogne. Explanation of positions of the 506 PIR upon arrival in Bastogne.
Halte Station – The First Patrol
On our way to Halte Station we drive by the second 506th Regimental CP in Luzery that was installed there by Col Robert Sink on December 25, 1944. Using aerial photo’s taken on Christmas day 1944, we explain the first movements of E Co and the rest of the battalion. Easy Company Memorial. We walk the first patrol that was performed by first platoon. The patrol in which John Julian was killed. The sad death of Cpl Donald Hoobler and the 1000 Yard Advance.
Bois Jacques- Jack Woods
Cpt Richard Winters’ Command Post. Easy Co lines overlooking the town of Foy. The Platoon leaders. We stand where these men were dug in from Dec 20 1944 until-Jan 4 1945. The 24 December attack on the woods. Smokey Gordon’s Machine Gun Nest!
Bois Champay – Chemin Madame
At the Bois Champay we visit Medic Barney Ryan’s 3rd Bn Aid Station and LtCol Lloyd Patch’s CP. These locations will be referred to while explaining the build-up and the 13 January 1945 attack on Foy. At the Chemin Madame, assembly area for the attack, we share the latest movements of E Co and other units.
(pronounced Fwa..) You will have a ridiculously detailed and extended account of the attack on Foy and all the parties involved; such as F Co, H Co, I Co, 2nd BN HQ Co, …. . Seen from three different angles we go over every detail of this 18 hour long battle, Speirs’ incredible run (did it really happen?), the Aid Stations, Shifty’s window, Lt Dike’s leadership, Doc Roe’s heroic dashes across the field… . More details will also be provided about previous battles there by other units and some civilian stories.
Cobru -Noville – Rachamps
At Cobru/Noville we talk about E Co’s participation in liberating the town. The execution of civilians. The day after Noville was liberated E and F Co attacked towards the north east in order to liberate the town of Rachamps. Lipton’s promotion. Earl Hale and the lucky cut. The pain sets in at the schoolhouse. Easy Company Memorial tree planted by Babe, Wild Bill and the children of the village.