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Tom Hanks Teaming up with Dale Dye on D-Day Blockbuster

hanks dye

By Debbie Gregory.

The landing on June 6, 1944, of Allied forces on the beaches of Normandy has been powerfully re-created in films over the ensuing decades. The massive assault that helped end the Nazi domination of Europe inspired a host of directors, screenwriters and actors.

Having previously covered the boots-on-the-ground perspective of the landing, Tom Hanks has signed on to both act in and executive-produce “No Better Place To Die” that covers the airborne perspective.

Written and directed by Marine Corps veteran Dale Dye, the film will follow a band of pre-D-Day airborne soldiers scattered across Normandy.

Although they were from different units, the troops melded together to form a single rifle company. Their mission, seizing and holding La Fière bridge against German reinforcements headed for Omaha and Utah beaches prevented a catastrophic failure. The fight over the bridge and nearby causeway contained some of the most intense small-unit combat of the invasion, as well as a rarely used method of reinforcement by U.S. forces: gliders.

Dye, a decorated Marine combat veteran and a three-time Purple Heart recipient who became an iconic Hollywood military adviser, will take his first turn in the director’s chair.

Dye has worked as a technical adviser on some of the biggest and most successful war films, including Saving Private Ryan with Hanks, as well as Band of Brothers and Platoon.

This is such an important and dramatic story that I’ve always wondered why no one has made a movie about it,” said Dye. “It’s a thrilling and inspiring look at how our American soldiers … can overcome long odds with guts and determination.”

Dye hopes to begin filming this summer. The planned release date in 2019, which coincides with  the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

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Band of Brothers Veteran Dies

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Edward Tipper, one of the last remaining members of the famous “Band of Brothers” paratroopers, has died at the age of 95.

Tipper leaves behind a legacy as both a famous soldier and career teacher. He received a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his service during World War II and D-Day. In 2011, the French government bestowed on him the French Legion of Honor medal, the country’s highest honor.

Tipper and his fellow brothers-in-arms were made famous by the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” which told the story of the 101st Airborne Division’s Easy Company during World War II, from their first jump into German-occupied France on D-Day all the way to the end of the fight in the European theater.

Tipper was born in a working class Detroit neighborhood in 1921 and volunteered as a paratrooper shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He participated in the combat jump on Normandy on June 6, 1944, and the subsequent fight for the French town of Carentan. Tipper was hit by a mortar shell while clearing a house in the town, which cost him two broken legs and his right eye.

His daughter, Kerry Tipper, recalled that her father never gave in to his injuries, defying doctor’s warnings on what he could and could not do. Doctors gave him a list of activities he couldn’t do, such as driving and sports requiring depth perception. But for Edward Tipper, that became a checklist.

Tipper began his teaching career in Iowa, eventually returning to Colorado to teach English and literature. He also ran drama programs in Jefferson County, west of Denver.

After retirement in 1979, Edward Tipper began traveling and three years later he met and married his wife, Rosalina, in Costa Rica.

“We didn’t talk about the war,” Kerry wrote on Facebook. “His greatest sense of pride and accomplishment came from being a loving son to his mother. It came from his near 30 years of teaching. From his years traveling the world. And finally, from the 34 years he gave to his small, but adoring family.”

“So much of what people talk about with him is what he did in the war. That was two years and really six days starting on D-Day,” said Kerry. “Teaching was 30 years.”

The family will have a private burial this month at Fort Logan with full military honors. A public ceremony will be held June 1 in Lakewood. Those interested in attending are asked to send an e-mail [email protected].

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.