Friday, March 14, 2014

"Wild Bill" Guarnere RIP

A real live "hero" died this week. "Wild Bill" Guarnene, one of the World War II veterans whose exploits were dramatized in the TV series "The Band Of Brothers" has died . He was 90. I first met Bill and his son at a Riviera Owners meet in Flint Michigan. My wife Deinna and I attended a Round-Up of his unit, the 101st Airborne, in Scottsdale AZ. a few years later. When we traveled to Pennsylvania, we made sure to travel to South Philly were Bill lived alone to visit him. He was in his 80's then, I climbed the few steps of the stoop and knocked on the door.  Bill did not come to the door, he lost his leg in the war and getting around was a challenge at his age. So he yelled, "Who is it?" from the couch. I said it was Lou. Bill replied, come on in, and bring the "Broad" with you. This was Bill at his best - a warm and loving person that was a great inspiration to me. 
The book "Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose, recounts Easy Company, 506th Regiment Airborne, through basic training to the end of the war. Here is Bill's web site:

Wild Bill

Bill showed us a picture of Fran, his wife.
He said he carried this picture throughout the war.

Bill & I in his home in South Philly.
Bill's home since the war.

His car