Skip to comments."Band of Brothers" WWII Vet Bill Guarnere Dies at 90
Posted on 03/09/2014 6:55:33 PM PDT by DBCJR
Friends and family are mourning the death of a national hero. William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, a South Philly native and World War II vet who was portrayed on the television miniseries, Band of Brothers, died on Saturday at the age of 90.
Guarnere's son, William Guarnere Jr., confirmed Sunday that his father died at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Guarnere was rushed to the hospital early Saturday and died of a ruptured aneurysm early Saturday night.
Born in South Philadelphia on April 28, in 1923, Guarnere was a non-commissioned officer with the legendary Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division during
Guarnere was six months away from graduating South Philadelphia High School in December of 1941, when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. Guarnere left school and worked for Baldwin Locomotive Works, an American builder of railroad locomotives based in Philly, and made battle tanks for the army. However, in order to please his mother, Guarnere switched to the night shift and finished school, eventually earning his diploma.
After enlisting in the paratroops in 1942, Guarnere joined Easy Company, earning the nickname Wild Bill for his daring battlefield exploits. Guarneres time in World War II was dramatized in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" in which he was played by actor Frank John Hughes.
"He was without a doubt one of the bravest and best soldiers in all of Easy Company," said Easy Company historian Jake Powers. "He was one of the best combat leaders not only in his company but also the division. If there was a fight going on with the 1st Platoon or 3rd Platoon, Bill would miraculously show up and leave 2nd Platoon to go help. He would 'march to the sound of gunfire.' He had no reservations and was just a fearless man in combat."
Hand Salute, SSG Guarnere!
You can now join your buddies Joey Toye and Babe Heflin...
Great series. Read the book by Stephen Ambrose before watching the series. Both great.
Rest easy, Wild Bill. Others have taken over the watch.
Rest in Peace, American hero.....
I was privileged to have spent a rowdy and wonderful evening with ‘Wild Bill’ at the WWII Veterans Center conference in Washington DC almost ten years ago, (well at that, and the after-party!) We talked about girls and brought each other drinks, and talked about politics, towns in the Eastern Seaboard, rifles, and girls. It was my first ‘date’ with a girl I later married, too, and she wondered why I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek as the night waned and folks started to go home... He was sharp as a razor, funny, and had a sort of dry, sarcastic sense of humor in that amazing Philadelphia accent.
God bless him - I was only watching Band of Brothers for the umpteenth time last night. Sleep easy in God’s loving care!
Thank you for sharing. I never met the man but feel like I know him.