I had another post planned for this evening, but I’ve just learned that William “Wild Bill” Guarnere – of the 101st Airborne, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Easy Company – has passed away. Made famous by HBO’s Band of Brothers and excellently portrayed by actor Frank John Hughes, Bill gave a unique and lasting voice to the heroes of World War II. Having been captivated by their story and of the time in which they lived and fought, I have followed the stories of each of the men of Easy Company and, as each one passes, my heart grows a little heavier. Luckily, they allowed their histories to be told and then to be immortalized forever in such a fantastic mini-series, ensuring that their deeds and sacrifices will not be forgotten as they leave this earth.
Rest in peace, Wild Bill. I’m sure you’re now reunited with Babe, Joe, Buck, Luz, Winters, and the rest of Easy Company. And, most importantly, thank you.
Below is video from when Bill appeared on stage at the AFI’s tribute to Tom Hanks.
And here, Katherine Jenkins singing Requiem for a Soldier set to scenes from BoB.