Tag Archive: Greatest Generation


The Greatest Generations Foundation

” We are deeply saddened by the passing of World War II veteran Mr. William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, age of 90 and original member of Easy Company, Band of Brothers. 

  Guarnere was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in April 28 1923, to Italian parents Joseph and Augusta Guarnere, with ten other siblings. He attended Citizens Military Training Camp for three summers – (took 4 years to complete). His mother had lied to the owners that Guarnere was 17, when he was actually 15. 

  He enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 31, and was put in Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, and was put in the Mortar Squad of 2nd Platoon. He went through rough training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia under Captain Herbert Sobel. After training at Camp Mackall, he and the 101st went to Aldbourne, England to await their next mission. “

” In Upottery, England, the night before the invasion of Normandy, Guarnere found out his brother was killed at Monte Casino, Italy. This gave Guarnere a desire for revenge.

  He made a parachute drop on D-Day Normandy, was separated from his company, and later successfully regrouped with the rest of the company. He fought during Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he got many jobs as a salesman, a clerk, and a carpenter. He eventually married a woman named Frances, and had two sons.  On behalf of a grateful nation, we salute you for your dedication and service to your country. 

Remember Those Who Served
The Greatest Generations Foundation

 — with Timothy Davis.”

    Readers can find a very informative biography of Staff Sergeant Guarnere’s military career at Together We Served . His awards included the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf cluster and two Purple Hearts . God Speed Sgt . Thank you for your service .

 Only 7 World War II Medal of Honor Recipients Remain

 

 

 

 

” Walter Ehlers belonged to the “Greatest Generation” — men like my dad who left the warmth of homes to fight the tyranny of Naziism, fascism and imperialism. They are the men for whom our eyes well up when we meet them and hear their stories.

  Today unfortunately we bid farewell to a piece of American history: World War II Medal of Honor recipient, Walter D. Ehlers.

  When Ehlers was 23 years old, he charged through enemy fire to destroy two German machine gun nests, killed seven enemy soldiers, put a halt to a mortar barrage and carried a wounded buddy to safety – all after he had been shot in the side by a sniper. The date was June 9, 1944 at Normandy. His mission was to liberate Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.”

 

 

From the Congressional Medal Of Honor Society

 

 

EHLERS, WALTER D.

Rank: Staff Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company:
Division: 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
Born: May 7, 1921, Junction City, Kans.
Departed: Yes (02/20/2014)
Entered Service At: Manhattan, Kans.
G.O. Number: 91
Date of Issue: 12/19/1944
Accredited To: Kansas
Place / Date: Near Goville, France, 9-10 June 1944

 

EHLERS, WALTER D. Photo

 

 

 

S/Sgt Ehlers’ citation reads:

 

” For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville, France. S/Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership.

  Without waiting for an order, S/Sgt. Ehlers, far ahead of his men, led his squad against a strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing 4 of an enemy patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under withering machinegun fire, he pounced upon the guncrew and put it out of action. Turning his attention to 2 mortars protected by the crossfire of 2 machineguns, S/Sgt. Ehlers led his men through this hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar section, killing 3 men himself. After mopping up the mortar positions, he again advanced on a machinegun, his progress effectively covered by his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped to his feet and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position single-handed.

  The next day, having advanced deep into enemy territory, the platoon of which S/Sgt. Ehlers was a member, finding itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought increased mortar, machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to withdraw. S/Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon, stood up and by continuous fire at the semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk of the heavy hostile fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to withdraw.

   At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned fearlessly over the shell-swept field to retrieve the automatic rifle which he was unable to carry previously. After having his wound treated, he refused to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad. The intrepid leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed by S/Sgt. Ehlers in the face of overwhelming enemy forces serve as an inspiration to others.”

 

 

For more information on this great and humble warrior go here , here , here and here .

 

 

Godspeed S/Sgt Ehlers … Rest in peace and thank you for your service.

 

 

Col. West has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WWII Vets Knock Over Shutdown Barrier To Visit Memorial

 

 

WWII vets

 

 

” A group of World War II veterans in an Honor Flight group Tuesday knocked over barriers imposed during the government shutdown at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., to get inside.

As part of the federal government shutdown, national parks are closed. But the group of veterans continued to the monument Tuesday, as reported by Stars and Stripes reporter Leo Shane.”