Intermission Stories (1)

 

"Wild Bill" Guarnere w/ fellow troopers

“Wild Bill” Guarnere w/ fellow troopers

Personal note – The posts listed under the title of Intermission Stories will be numbered just as the Korean War series is.  These will be first hand stories, events missed, pieces I found to be interesting, obituaries and my own experience climbing into a B-17 “Flying Fortress.” (Try not to laugh too hard at that one.)  This will enable me to gather and try to organize the data I have accumulated for the forthcoming WWII series.

Please remember – all of your stories are welcome in the comments and they need not be only of these two wars; some of you are current members of the military and some are civilians with home front experiences.  If you have a post or web site dedicated to a veteran and/or event, please supply a link so that all of us can read it.

Thank you ALL for your loyalty, friendship and willingness to participate with me in our goal to REMEMBER!

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Band of Brothers Obituary

William “Wild Bill” Guamere – one of the World War II veterans whose exploits were dramatized in the TV miniseries “Band of Brothers” has dies; he was 90 years old.  He was a member of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.guarnere1

His exploits during some of the fiercest battles of the European Theater earned him his nickname and cost him his leg while trying to help a wounded soldier during the Battle of the Bulge.  His commendations included the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

When he returned from the war, Guarnere lived in the row house in South Philadelphia, where he would eventually reside for 60 years.  He worked in construction despite his disability and helped to put together Easy Company reunions.  In 2007, he helped to write, “Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends,” with fellow veteran Edward J. “Babe” Heffron and journalist Robyn Post.

Babe Heffron and Wild Bill met during the war and remained friends until Heffron died 1 December 2013,

Babe Heffron during WWII

Babe Heffron during WWII

also 90 years of age and a Bronze Star  recipient.  Guarnere”s son said, “Now they’re together again.”

The viewing is set for tomorrow, Thursday, at Ruffenach Funeral Home in Philadelphia and the funeral will be held this Friday.

10 Sept. 2008, Guarnere, Babe Heffron & Forest Guth in Kuwait en-route to Iraq

10 Sept. 2008, Guarnere, Babe Heffron & Forest Guth in Kuwait en-route to Iraq

**This information supplied by FoxNews.

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Please click to enlarge this inspirational story of survival.

Holocaust survival

Holocaust survival

Information supplied by “The Week” magazine.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Sanford Ames – Takoma, MD; US Army, WWII

Frederick Cavlovic – Cleveland, OH & N.Palm Beach, FL; US Army, WWII, PTO

Russell Clanahan – Springfield, VA; US Navy, KoreaVeterans_Day-thanks

Colin Gibson – Wheaton, MD; US Navy, WWII, PTO, medical team

Kathleen Grasmeder – Colonial Beach, VA; US Army (Ret.)

Carroll Jordon – Chickasaw, AL; veteran of Korea, targeted and brutally beaten and stabbed by 3 youths.

Spero Kitsakos – Brooklyn, NY & W.Palm Beach, FL; US Navy, WWII

Edward Makowski – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

Frank Owen – Ste-Agathe, Quebec; British Columbia 28th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own), Major (Ret.)

Edward Touhy – Chicago, IL; US Navy, WWII

Norman Wetzel – Union Bridge, AR; US Army, WWII, 3rd Armored/813th Engineer Corps/29th Division

Charles Zeigman – Manchester, AR; US Army, Korea

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on March 12, 2014, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 71 Comments.

  1. A wonderful insight the lady pianist had for living her life without hate or ugliness. She was quite a soul!

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  2. Will be sharing your blog with “the Man” he should enjoy reading it.

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  3. You are doing such a wonderful thing by keeping these memories alive. Thank you.

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    • The video expressed more than just the memory of one day; in your voice the Vietnam tour was with you. Thank you for the link and I hope many of the other readers will watch as well (It’s only 1:20 folks!)

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  4. Great inspirational post, both on the mates in the Band of Brothers but also the great pianist who survived the concentration camps.
    Ian

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    • I try to locate these types of stories; they ease the tension of the constant war reports but still make the war more realistic by their personal touch. Thanks for reading, Ian.

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  5. We’re midway through watching BoB for the third time! I look forward to your WWII series – I note that it will focus on the Pacific War but it will complement the reading I’ve started ahead of an Eastern Europe trip I’m planning for next year (assuming the Ukraine business doesn’t escalate into extreme madness) which will incorporate some WWII elements.

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    • Once I get past the initial history and steps that lead into the war, the research is chaotic – events going on everywhere – I just would not be able to include the ETO. So, it is good that you are reading up on it, on your own. You will truly see just how big a World War can be! Thanks for staying with us, Haley.

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    • OMG, Carl – that was AMAZING! Thank you so much for this link. And I must say, it’s very nice to hear something good about Nixon for a change. I may not be very popular on the subject of him, but to me he was one of the best. My TV screen went black the day the Watergate trial brought up the fact that Kennedy’s group were doing the same thing.
      I digress – what the subject here is are the POWs and believe me – there is no dry eye in this house today. Their endurance was beyond human!

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      • I met and shook hands with him 3 times: at a luncheon with several dozen people at the Deauville Hotel on Miami Beach in 1965,in the rope line at Tampa airport in 1968, and at the rope line at Miami airport in 1972.

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  6. Band of Brothers was such a moving series, I have the full set of DVDs. I found the most emotional part to be the actual interviews of the elderly vets recalling their experiences. Having been to visit the towns and villages of the Belgian Ardennes (Bastogne) where the battles took place it made it easier to appreciate those difficult days in history.

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    • Then you should be well aware of these two men. It was quite a remarkable story and nothing increasing the intensity like a first-hand interview. Thanks, Mike.

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  7. A fine blog on this topic – I’ll refer it to my son, who became a WW2 armchair general at the tender age of twelve, and sixteen years later is still gung-ho.

    But I’m looking for active WWW1 bloggers who would be friendly towards a newbie anorak. Do you know any? Thank you for your attention.

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    • Try typing “WWI” into the tags area on your wordpress Reader (just below: Blogs I follow, Find Friends etc.) or “History” there are quite a number of buffs on that subject. You just to explore the Reader and your own tags – not the Freshly Pressed (that has never helped me). Thank you for referring me to your son, he should learn quite a bit here. (Or maybe he’ll teach us)

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  8. I loved that series. And Alice’s story was inspiring. What an amazing positive attitude she had.

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    • Isn’t it?! I love to find these personal stories normally pushed on page 35 of the newspaper. Such inspiration to others should be on the front page.

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  9. hilarycustancegreen

    I read about Alice Herz-Sommer in the papers here in the UK. her tolerance was humbling.

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  10. The story about the pianist really touched my heart. May she rest in peace.

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  11. Inciteful as usual. Much of what you share isn’t found in other places. Well, not easily found. I’m looking forward (as is Pierre) to WWII. I just finished Shaara’s trilogy on that and am eager for more.

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    • As you so nicely said, some of my stories were a little difficult to locate, so these intermission ones are those that were found after I had passed thru the area that was relevant. I’ll get back to WWII as quickly as I can along with adding a link to your Wednesday Heroes. Thanks for coming by, Jacqui.

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  12. I was very moved to see the photo of them in Kuwait… and the distinctive uniform of the jumpers is downright awesome. So proud.

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  13. Thanks again. Please keep the stories coming. I look forward to them.

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  14. Enjoying the intermission and looking forward to the main event!

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  15. It sounds like another great series from you gpcox. This post is proof that short obituaries can make huge impact – filled with bravery and delight before a backdrop of tragedy and danger

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  16. My wife Peggy brought home letters last week from her dad to her mother describing his airplanes crash as a Hump pilot and how he hiked out of the jungle following the crash. He spent is first night dangling from his parachute in a tree during a horrendous storm. I’ll blog about it during your WW II series and supply you the link, GP. –Curt

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  17. Very nice, including the obit.

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  18. These are great stories, GP! Thanks! 🙂

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  19. It is always good to read about a hero!

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  20. Marvelous stuff – in anticipation of your important work. This blog of yours is truly unique.

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  21. Well done, GP. Looking forward to your next series.

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  22. I look forward to your work on World War Two. I love your style. My wife lost her uncle in that war and if you wish I will send you some of the material on him. It left a big hole in the family. He had much potential and lies in Italy in an American grave.

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    • Being that this blog is basically about the Pacific War, please put something together and add to the comments for us all to read. Thanks, Barry. Your interest in this subject is always appreciated.

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      • It will be my pleasure. I am into the Pacific Triangle which is opposite of the Devils Triangle and will investigate what disappeared during the war. There are secrets out there in underwater graves that have long been forgotten. I believe the Japanese had a secret fleet that was going to invade Hawaii and it disappeared. I made that up but who knows?

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  23. Pierre Lagacé

    If you have a post or web site dedicated to a veteran and/or event, please supply a link so that all of us can read it.

    I think I have one or two…

    http://georgesnadon.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/why-i-started-writing-about-ww-ii-in-the-first-place/

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  24. Pierre Lagacé

    Forthcoming WWII series!
    You know what that means don’t you?

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    • I’m afraid to ask…

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      • Pierre Lagacé

        I will be your wingman when it comes to WWII stories about airplanes. I will be watching your 6 o’clock, your 3 o’clock…

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      • Pierre Lagacé

        This documentary explains so well how pilots felt during air combat over Europe during WWII. Pierre Clostermann was my hero when I read his book as a teenager and started this passion for aviation… It’s only in French though.

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        • Thanks, Pierre, I greatly appreciate you including this video. I have watched it in the past, but now it’s here for everyone!

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          • Pierre Lagacé

            I was riveted for 53 minutes in front of my computer screen even though I knew most of what he was recounting. It was like putting the pieces of a puzzle together I had started back in 1964. What he says at the end about the war is exactly what I think about wars and madmen who start them.

            Like

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