South Carolina ETV


South Carolinian’s Heroic WWII Actions Told in “Man and Moment: Moffatt Burris and the Crossing”

Premieres Monday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m. on ETV

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2012

High resolution images are below

Columbia, SC… Few know the privilege of being portrayed on the silver screen by Robert Redford, but that’s exactly what happened to South Carolinian Moffatt Burriss.

Major Cook, Redford’s character in “A Bridge Too Far,” was based in part on Burriss’ heroic actions during World War II. The 1977 film tells Hollywood’s version of the failed attempt to capture several bridges in Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation in history.

But on Monday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m. on ETV, Burriss tells the story in his own words in the new program “Man and Moment: Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing.” An encore presentation will air on Thursday, July 5 at 8 p.m. on the SC Channel.

Burriss, now of Columbia, was a paratrooper from Anderson in the famed 82nd Airborne Division, and played a critical role in the crossing of the Waal River in Nijmegen, Holland. In their attempt to take the bridge, Burriss and his men were forced to cross the swift river in canvas boats with few paddles. Some were forced to use the butts of their guns to row, leaving them even more vulnerable to attack by the Germans who were easily picking off the soldiers.

Burriss, and fellow paratrooper Roy Hanna, of Pinehurst, NC, talk about their harrowing experiences, and their feelings of exasperation when, after finally securing the bridge, the British wouldn’t move down the road and rescue their own paratroopers trapped behind enemy lines at Arnhem.

The program also portrays Burriss’ return to Nijmegan in 2010 for the 65th anniversary of the battle. To commemorate the occasion, Burriss, four days shy of his 90th birthday, parachuted out of an airplane in tandem with a female Dutch paratrooper. During the visit, he also came face to face with the British commander who refused to move.

The 30-minute film is part of the South Carolinians in World War II project, which is a partnership between The State newspaper, ETV and the ETV Endowment. The production was funded by the AT&T Foundation.

South Carolina ETV (presenting station) is the state's public educational broadcasting network.  Using television, radio and the web, SCETV's mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment and instilling the joy of learning.  South Carolina ETV currently presents A Chef’s Life, Expeditions, and For Your Home on public television in addition to national radio productions Song Travels, Piano Jazz, Spoleto Festival USA, and World of Opera.

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Photos may be downloaded for the sole purpose of publicizing this program. To download an image, click on the picture below. A new Web page will open containing the hi-res version. Right click on the hi-res image, and select "Save As" or "Save Picture As."
South Carolinian’s Heroic WWII Actions Told in “Man and Moment: Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing”
At a preview of "Man and Moment: Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing" held on June 13, 2012 at ETV, Lt. Roy Hanna (left) of Pinehurst, NC and Moffatt Burriss were reunited after many years. Photo credit: ETV.
South Carolinian’s Heroic WWII Actions Told in “Man and Moment: Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing”
Lt. Roy Hanna (left) and Moffatt Burriss reunite at a screening of "Man and Moment: Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing" on June 13, 2012 at ETV.

South Carolinian’s Heroic WWII Actions Told in “Man and Moment: Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing”
Moffatt Burriss during World War II. Photo courtesy Moffatt Burriss.
South Carolinian’s Heroic WWII Actions Told in “Man and Moment: Moffatt Burriss and the Crossing”
Moffatt Burriss during World War II. Photo courtesy Moffatt Burriss.


Photos may be downloaded for the sole purpose of publicizing this program. To download an image, click on the picture below. A new Web page will open containing the hi-res version. Right click on the hi-res image, and select "Save As" or "Save Picture As."
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