William Guarnere, a World War II veteran depicted in HBO’s “Band of Brothers” miniseries, died on Saturday night. He was 90.
“Wild Bill,” as he’d come to be known in combat, was rushed to a Philadelphia hospital early on Saturday and died of a ruptured aneurysm in the evening, according to media reports. The death was confirmed by his son.
“He had a good, long life,” his son said.
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Guarnere had lost a leg trying to help a wounded solider in the war. His commendations for service included the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.
In 2007, Guarnere helped write a best-selling memoir, Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends, with fellow south Philadelphian veteran Edward J. “Babe” Heffron and journalist Robyn Post.
A funeral service will be held this week in Philadelphia.
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The seven-episode HBO miniseries was based on a book by Stephen Ambrose and followed the members of Easy Company of the US Army 101st Airborne division and their mission in WWII Europe from Operation Overlord through V-J Day. Guarnere was played by Frank John Hughes.
Hughes posted the following on Twitter:
I’ve lost my hero and my friend. Knowing him made me a better man and playing him was the greatest honor of my life. pic.twitter.com/8lvLzsUhaz
Rest Easy, Bill… See you in the drop zone. CURRAHEE!