This study describes a detailed investigation on the effects that upstream step misalignment and upstream purge film cooling have on the endwall heat transfer for first stage nozzle guide vanes (NGVs) in a gas turbine at transonic conditions. Endwall Nusselt number and adiabatic film-cooling effectiveness distributions were experimentally measured and compared with flow visualization. Tests were conducted in a transonic linear cascade blowdown facility at an inlet freestream turbulence intensity of 16%, an exit Mach number of 0.85, and an exit Re = 1.5 × 106 based on axial chord. Varied upstream purge blowing ratios (BRs) and a no-blowing case were tested for three different upstream step geometries, the baseline (no misalignment), a span-wise upstream step of +4.86% span, and a step of −4.86% span. Experimentation shows that compared with no-blowing case, the addition of upstream purge film cooling increases the Nusselt number at injection upward of 50% but lowers it in the passage throat by approximately 20%. The backward facing step induces more turbulent mixing between the coolant and mainstream flows, thus reducing film effectiveness coverage and increasing Nusselt number by nearly 40% in the passage throat. In contrast, the presence of a forward step creates a more stable boundary layer for the coolant flow aiding to help keep the film attached to the endwall. Increasing the blowing ratio increases film-cooling effectiveness and endwall coverage up to a certain point, beyond which, the high momentum of the coolant results in poor cooling performance due to jet liftoff.