Segment 1

Annotation

[Annotators Note: The interview begins with Guarnere and the interviewer talking about previous interviews Guarnere has taken part in.]William Guarnere grew up in South Philadelphia. He was the youngest of 10 kids. He has written a book on his life. Guarnere had two brothers in the service. His brother Henry was killed during the war and is buried near Cassino, Italy. Guarnere initially wanted to join the Marine Corps because he heard that they were the best. On his way to the enlistment center he saw a poster advertising the Airborne. It looked exciting and paid more so he joined the Army. After enlisting, Guarnere was sent to Camp Tombs, Georgia, later called Camp Toccoa, Georgia. Captain Sobel trained them. At the beginning all of the training was physical. A lot of good men were weeded out because they could not handle the hard physical training. They would get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and run up Curahee Mountain. Guarnere joined the company in July 1942. In 1938, 1939, and 1940 he had been in the CMTP [Annotators Note: Civilian Military Training Program]. When he joined the 3rd Platoon he did not tell anyone. He had two steps up on everyone. Captain Sobel was a good training officer. He did everything he told the men to do. But in combat he was no good. Everyone knew that he was not good, but it was not until just before D-Day that they got rid of him. After Sobel, they got Lieutenant Meehan [Annotators Note: 1st Lt. Thomas Meehan]. Meehan went down with the plane carrying the company headquarters and was killed. If Winters had been made the company commander he would not have survived D Day. He would have died in that plane.

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