There is much to say about the way Bill was portrayed in the TV Series. But if you disregard all the Hollywood-isms,
and if you look at early testimonies to his character, you'll find that his reputation was already set 'in stone' when he
jumped into The Netherlands (September 1944) during Operation Market Garden. David Kenyon Webster wrote the
book 'Parachute Infantry' in the 50's (published it in the '60's). He talks about Bill Guarnere being a fearless leader.
Dick Winters kept his dairy during WWII and was pretty clear of his opinion about Bill. Don Malarkey wrote about
Bill and the episode with the horse-drawn carts, and the German POW's. One tried to get away and was shot by Bill.
In many 'E/506' books you'll find stories about Bill: joyriding a motorcycle in The Netherlands, slipping girls into the
house he was at, in the UK, hiding the gals in the attic until one them dropped through the ceiling. Legendary stories.
Post war Bill teamed up with his South Philly 'brother' Babe, and together they perfected the veteran-road-show act
they performed while touring the former ETO. Never seen a better comedy team in action. One setting up the other,
quick responses and one-liners. Bill shouting out: 'Find my leg!' in the Bois Jacques. Or Babe telling Bill 'he's never
seen him work as hard' while using a symbolic shovel at Rachamp (Belgium), planting the famous Liberation Tree.
To me 'Wild' Bill Guarnere will always be that veteran who responded to every letter we were sending him. The man
who took the time to answer the zillion questions people had, in his flourish handwriting. Who even opened his home,
to many. The man who kept in touch with his fellow E-Company veterans, organized reunions and appeared in many
a documentary. He toured the world following 'Band of Brothers' and many of us got to meet him. Wild Bill. Legend.
We were fortunate to attend the 2001 World Premiere of Band of Brothers, when almost 50 veterans of E/506 gathered
at the ceremonies on Utah Beach, Normandy. We're also fortunate to attend the Stephen Ambrose 'Band of Brothers'
Tours in the first half of the 2000's, and spend some time among very colorful persons. No one more colorful than Bill.
© Paratrooper Research Team - Staff Sergeant 'Wild' Bill Guarnere Tribute
Special thanks to: Steph Leenhouwers, Chris Anderson, Jake Powers & the Screaming Ducks