General News

Band of Brothers hero dies at 90

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Mar 09, 2014 | 5:23pm EDT

A World War II veteran whose story inspired Tom Hanks' mini-series Band Of Brothers has passed away at the age of 90. William 'Wild Bill' Guarnere died of a ruptured aneurysm on Saturday (09Mar14) in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the paratroops in 1942, and served as a non-commissioned officer with the legendary Easy Company, making his first combat jump with the rest of his unit on D-Day in 1944 as part of the Allied invasion of France. Nicknamed 'Wild Bill' for his daring and courageous battlefield exploits, Guarnere's life was captured onscreen in the hit U.S. TV miniseries Band of Brothers, and he was portrayed by actor Frank John Hughes. Guarnere's time in the war ended after he was shot in the leg while trying to help a wounded soldier. He was later awarded a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts for his heroic service in the military. In 2007, he wrote the best-selling book, Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story, with fellow unit member Edward 'Babe' Heffron, who died last December (13), also at the age of 90.

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