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RIP: 'Band of Brothers' veteran William Guarnere Dies

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  • RIP: 'Band of Brothers' veteran William Guarnere Dies

    William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, one of the World War II veterans whose exploits were dramatized in the TV miniseries "Band of Brothers," has died. He was 90.

    His 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.

    The younger Guarnere told FoxNews.com that like so many of his generation, "Wild Bill" didn't talk about his service, even though he lost his leg in combat.

    "All we knew was he lost his leg, and that was it," William Guarnere Jr. said. "People knew more about (his service) than we did."

    The HBO miniseries, based on a book by Stephen Ambrose, followed the members of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division from training in Georgia in 1942 through some of the war's fiercest European battles through the war's end in 1945.

    Its producers included Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Guarnere was portrayed by the actor Frank John Hughes.

    Guarnere, whose combat exploits earned him his nickname, lost his leg while trying to help a wounded solider during the Battle of the Bulge. His commendations included the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

    Although he gained fame following the book and miniseries, Guarnere remained "the same person," his son said.

    "His life didn’t really change, other than the fact that he was signing books and posters," he said.

    When he returned from the war, Guarnere lived in the row house in South Philadelphia, where he would eventually reside for 60 years. He worked in construction, but was limited by his injury, and helped put together Easy Company reunions.

    In 2007, Guarnere helped write a nationally best-selling memoir called, "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends," with fellow south Philadelphian veteran Edward J. "Babe" Heffron and journalist Robyn Post.

    William Guarnere Jr. said his father and Heffron met during the war and remained friends until Heffron died in December.

    "Now they're together again," the son said.

    Jake Powers, who operates a Band of Brothers tour company in Grafton, Mass., said Guarnere worked behind the scenes to ensure that his comrades received the recognition they deserved.

    "He did more things behind the scenes for other veterans than (for) himself," Powers said.

    The viewing is set for Thursday at Ruffenach Funeral Home in Philadelphia, and the funeral will be held Friday.
    Every time one of these guys passes away, it represents the loss of a national treasure.

    Rest in peace to another hero from the greatest generation. We will never - EVER - forget you, and every other brave sole who defended our freedom.




    :usa:

  • #2
    Saw this yesterday. Band of Brothers should be required watching in History class in every High School so we are reminded what people had to go through to have a normal life.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bronco51 View Post
      Saw this yesterday. Band of Brothers should be required watching in History class in every High School so we are reminded what people had to go through to have a normal life.
      Couldn't agree more.

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      • #4
        .



        RIP Wild Bill !!!

        .

        May God Bless all men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present
        The Only Thing Necessary For The Triumph Of Evil Is For Good Men To Do Nothing
        http://www.navyjack.info/history.html
        My Adopted Bronco is #95 Derek Wolfe

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        • #5
          .



          I'm a bit dismayed by the response to this thread.
          We have the OP, Broncos51 and myself.
          This can't be all of the Bronco fans that care about our greatest generation ?



          If any of you still have great grandparents, grandparents, great uncles or aunts, uncles or aunts, fathers or mothers or friends that served in WWII, please relay to them your gratitude while you still can.

          They are called the greatest generation for a reason. Get to know them while you can.
          I am so proud of the members of my family that fought for our freedom in WWII.
          Unfortunately, they are no longer with me.

          The greatest generation is fading fast, thank them while you still have time.


          RIP William "Wild Bill" Guarnere


          .

          May God Bless all men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present
          The Only Thing Necessary For The Triumph Of Evil Is For Good Men To Do Nothing
          http://www.navyjack.info/history.html
          My Adopted Bronco is #95 Derek Wolfe

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          • #6
            Hey, Peerless....

            ... you hit it on the head. These men, and the women like them, are our "national treasures".

            May he rest in peace. :saluteL
            *2011 BCMB Locker Room Division I League Champion*
            *Voted; 2013 & 2015 BCMBA's Scariest Mod*
            *Voted; 2014 BCMBA's Best Avi and Most Friendly*


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            • #7
              R.I.P. , Bill, and thanks for your service and sacrifice! :usa:

              BoB is my favorite miniseries of all time. I wish they'd do another one like that in the ETO. I'm proud to have known several veterans of that war, including my grandfather. May they all RIP with honor.
              Last edited by L.M.; 03-13-2014, 08:37 PM.

              Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AZ Snake Fan View Post
                .



                I'm a bit dismayed by the response to this thread.
                We have the OP, Broncos51 and myself.
                This can't be all of the Bronco fans that care about our greatest generation ?



                If any of you still have great grandparents, grandparents, great uncles or aunts, uncles or aunts, fathers or mothers or friends that served in WWII, please relay to them your gratitude while you still can.

                They are called the greatest generation for a reason. Get to know them while you can.
                I am so proud of the members of my family that fought for our freedom in WWII.
                Unfortunately, they are no longer with me.

                The greatest generation is fading fast, thank them while you still have time.


                RIP William "Wild Bill" Guarnere


                .
                I just noticed this thread. The bolded is so sad and so true. Unfortunately for me, about the only time I get to interact with them is when I go to the Japanese Street Festival in DC. I always make sure I stop by the 100th/442nd/MIS booth to talk and take pictures. It's really sad to think that one day the booth is going to be empty.

                RIP William Guarnere
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