Who was saving Private Niland?
Sgt. Frederick Niland (1920-1983) was a real life soldier who was returned from Europe following the deaths of two of his brothers in action during the D-Day invasion. A third brother was thought to have been killed in Burma, but turned up as a POW.
Sgt. Niland, a paratrooper, was not in combat at the time and was simply located and then reassigned to stateside duty as an MP for the rest of the war.
Private Ryan in Saving Private Ryan never existed as he was portrayed in the movie. His story, however, was based on an actual event that happened to a member of Easy Company from the 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne. (This is the same company featured in the book and mini series Band of Brothers) Private Ryan (in the film) is from Iowa. Private Niland was from Tonawanda, New York.
Several of them did: most obviously the landing at the beginning of the movie, known as D-Day. The story of Private Ryan's 3 brothers being killed in combat was loosely based off the story of the Niland Brothers. To quote: "Of the four, two survived the war, but for a time it was believed that only one, Frederick Niland, had survived. Frederick was sent back to the United States to complete his service and only…