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Easy Companys Wild Bill Guarnere, Immortalized on HBOs Band of Brothers, Dies at Ninety

On March 8, at the age of 90, Wild Bill, the nicknamed bestowed on William Guarnere for his tenacit in battle, died! "ou ma remember him as a member of #as $om%an in the hit &BO miniseries Band of Brothers! 'n the series, (rank )ohn &ughes %ortra ed his character! *here now remains eighteen members of the legendar #as $om%an still ali+e! Guarnere enlisted in the ,rm on ,ugust -., .9/0! (ollowing training, he de%lo ed to #uro%e with #as $om%an 1s 2econd 3latoon, 0nd Battalion, 405th 'nfantr 6egiment in the .0.st ,irborne 7i+ision! &e made his first combat 8um% o+er 9ormand on )une 5, .9// :7;7a < as %art of the ,llied in+asion of (rance! 2oon after, Guarnere recei+ed a battlefield %romotion to sergeant! ,longside the 6hine 6i+er in mid;October .9//, 2econd 3latoon1s %lacements were about a mile a%art, so Guarnere confiscated a farmer1s motorc cle to facilitate his task of checking their %ositions that ended when a sni%er1s bullet fractured his right leg! *hrown from the motorc cle, he fractured his shinbone and shra%nel found his rear end! 'n #ngland, reco+ering from his wounds, he went ,WO= to re8oin #as $om%an in fear of his reassignment to another %latoon! Guarnere was caught, court;martialed, and demoted! But because his court;martial notification hadn1t reached #as $om%an in time, he re8oined #as $om%an as sergeant of 2econd 3latoon 8ust before their de%lo ment to Belgium! 7uring the Battle of the Bulge, Guarnere, while attem%ting to hel% a wounded comrade, )oe *o e, lost his right leg in an artiller barrage on his %osition! #+identl his court martial ne+er did catch u% to him and he returned home in March .9/4 with man commendations, medals, and decorations! 'n the inter+ening 58 ears, he de+oted his life kee%ing #as $om%an together! &e coordinated reunions, %roduced newsletters, and hel%ed members kee% in touch!

'n 000>, Guarnere co;wrote with another member of second %latoon, #dward Babe &effron, along with 8ournalist 6ob n 3ost, the national best;seller Brothers in Battle, Best of (riends? *wo WW'' 3aratroo%ers from the Original Band of Brothers *ell *heir 2tor ! Guarnere, and &effron who died on 7ecember ., 00.-, were born .8 da s a%art, li+ed a few blocks from each other on 3hiladel%hia1s south side, and in war fought side b side! ,fter the war the continued their friendshi%, became best friends, +isiting and talking to each other e+er da ! #as $om%an 1s commanding officer, Ma8or 6ichard Winters :=ieutenant at the time<, described Guarnere and &effron as natural killers! 3erha%s with greater determination than others, the , ne+ertheless, did what our countr re@uired of themA as the described it, the did their dut , doing what the needed to sur+i+e! But, in the midst of all the adulation, we shouldn1t forget there are millions of other warriors who don1t get the %raise that Guarnere, &effron, and some others recei+e, e+en though the too %erformed e@ual feats of courage, did their dut , and did what their countr re@uired of them! 2o it1s im%ortant to kee% in mind that we should hold in re+erence the li+es of all our warriors with an understanding that war is all about killing!