‘Wild Bill’ Guarnere – Easy Company – Band of Brothers – Statue Dedicated

Recently, hundreds gathered in Philidelphia for the unveiling of the Wild Bill Guarnere statue, about 18 months after the death of the U.S. Army soldier and member of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division whose story was portrayed in the HBO miniseries, “Band of Brothers.”

The miniseries Band of Brothers was based on a book written by Stephen Ambrose. The series is the portrayal of the journey by Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division’s soldiers, starting from their very first days under training all the way to the fiercest of the battles in the Second World War. The series was produced by two of the biggest names in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.


In the series ‘Wild Bill’ Guarnere was played by Frank John Hughes, who received a lot of appreciation from the audience and critics alike. Costing a gigantic $12.5 million per episode Band of Brothers was, at that time, the most expensive series ever produced for the TV. With Exquisite storytelling and breath-taking cinematography the Band of Brothers secured six Emmy Awards and got nominated for 19 more in various categories, the Daily Times New reports.

‘Wild Bill’ earned a number of commendations for his role and bravery in the war including two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and one Silver Star. He earned his nickname ‘Wild Bill’ after he lost his leg in the Battle of Bulge while trying to help an injured comrade.

Wild Bill’s journey in the Second World War commenced when his company took part in the Legendary D-day Invasion. Guarnere’s East Company actually landed miles away from their dropzones on June 6,1944.

The Paratroopers  including William Guarnere had to trek several miles to Utah Beach to open the way for the seaborne invasion on the Coastline of Normandy. The first major success they achieved was the destruction of German artillery guns at Brecourt Manor that were firing upon the allied forces pushing their way inland from the beaches.

After Normandy he fought in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden, helping to liberate Eindhoven and fighting along Hells Highway. He then fought for nearly 3 months on the Island, the low lying area between Nijmegen and Arnhem. After the 101st Airborne was relieved and brought to Mourmelon in France for rest and training they were rushed to Bastogne to help stop the German attack in the Battle of the Bulge. During a heavy German artillery barrage he lost his leg in the woods north of Bastogne.

Frank John Hughes and ‘Wild Bill’ Guarnere

According to friends and family, William Guarnere lived a very simple, humble yet fairly busy life. He not only took part in a number of activities concerning the welfare and security of veterans, Wild Bill also undertook a number of community support projects earning more respect for him.

Despite the fact that William Guarnere did not really like people calling him a hero, he absolutely honoured those who gave their lives for the freedom of Americans and people elsewhere.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE