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StSgt. William Guarnere

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StSgt. William Guarnere
Bill Guarnere
Rank Staff Sergeant
Status Deceased 3/8/2014
Nickname Wild Bill, Gonorrea
Actor Frank John Hughes

William Wild Bill Guarnere was a Paratrooper from Easy Company.


Current statusEdit

William "Wild Bill" Guarnere- April 28 1922 to March 08 2014. - Deceased.

Early lifeEdit

William Guarnere was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in April 28 1923, to Italian parents Joseph and Augusta Guarnere, with ten other siblings. He attended Citizens Military Training Camp for three summers - (took 4 years to complete). His mother had lied to the owners that Guarnere was 17, when he was actually 15. It was cancelled when war broke out in Europe.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he found work as a Sherman Tank maker, at Baldwin Locomotive Works. However, his mom wasn't happy that he hadn't finished High School, since none of his other siblings did, so he returned, and graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1942.


He enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 31, and was put in Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, and was put in the Mortar Squad of 2nd Platoon.

Bill guarnere

The Real Bill Guarnere

He went through rough training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia under Captain Herbert Sobel. After training at Camp Mackall, he and the 101st went to Aldbourne, England to await their next mission. On their way, he revealed that he thought that Winters was a Quaker, just because he wasn't Catholic. "Neither is Sobel," said Donald Malarkey. "Heh, that prick's a son of Abraham," Guarnere replied. Joseph Liebgott overheard, and asked what he said. "He's a Jew," Guarnere merely replied. That evidently got Liebgott mad because he was a Jew, and everyone hates Sobel that anything could be meant as an insult. At Aldbourne, Guarnere was among the NCOs to rebel against Sobel, saying "I will not follow that man into combat." He was given hell by Colonel Robert F. Sink, commander of the 506th, but he spared their lives.

In Upottery, England, the night before the invasion of Normandy, Guarnere found out his brother was killed at Monte Casino, Italy. This gave Guarnere a desire for revenge.

He made a parachute drop on D-day, was seperated from his company, and later successfully regrouped with the rest of the company. They encountered a German patrol, and ambushed it. 1st Lt. Richard Winters ordered a cease fire, but Guarnere continued to fire his Thompson SMG, killing the remaining Germans. He was chewed out by Winters: "When I say wait for my command, you wait for my command!" Winters said. As Winters walked away, Guarnere muttered, "Fine Quaker." As they prepared to leave, one man, John Hall from Able Company asked Donald Malarkey what Guarnere's problem was. Guarnere overheard, and snarled, "None of ya fucking business cowboy!" Guarnere participated in the Brecourt Manor Assault, and fought at Carentan.

After heading back to Aldbourne, Guarnere decided to chat with some Easy Company replacements in his platoon. As he sat down, a replacement called Private Hashey told him that seat was saved for Private Heffron. "Really? I don't care if it's fucking Eisenhower's," Guarnere replied. He then told them a joke about his friend Edward Heffron.

Old Guarnere

Guarnere as he looked most recently before his death.

He fought during Operation Market Garden. He helped drag wounded Lt. Compton to safety at the town of Nuenen. He later gathered a group of men to attempt to find the missing Sergeant Denver "Bull" Randleman. They found him, and Guarnere said, "I don't know whether to slap ya, kiss ya, or salute ya. I told these scallywags you was okay."

When Guarnere was taking a joyride on a stolen motorcycle, he was hit in the leg by a sniper. He went AWOL from the hospital to get back to Easy Company, but was caught and was going to be busted to Private, but the court martial papers were lost. He told them he would keep going AWOL until he'd be allowed to return.

He returned to Easy Company, was again made Staff Sergeant, and fought at the Battle of the Bulge. At Bastogne, Guarnere claimed that because of the cold, he was "pissing needles." During a German bombardment, Joe Toye had his leg blasted off, and Bill tried dragging him to safety, only to have his leg mangled in another shell attack. As they were taking him away, he said to Joe Toye as they were bandaging him up, "I told you I'd make it to the States first." He had to have his leg amputated. He received the Purple Heart and went home.

Guarnere and Heffron

Later lifeEdit

After the war, he got many jobs as a salesman, a clerk, and a carpenter. He eventually married a woman named Frances (Frannie), and had two sons.

He wore an artificial leg, before throwing it away after retiring. He and Private Heffron wrote a joint memior, Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story, which described their combat experiances.

He would be interviewed for the war later for the HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers.

Guarnere died on March 8, 2014. Guarnere's family confirmed his death.


Bill was a friendly, joking man, but was also hotheaded. He was very brave by how he returned to the fields of battle early despite injuries and not having to because of the friendships he had made.

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