"VINCE "CURSE AND TRAVERSE" SPERANZA
101st Airborne Division, 501st Parachute Infantry
Regiment, 3rd Battalion, H Company" Vince served as a machine gunner with Company H, 3rd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge. He is 96 years old today.
After receiving his wings and completing a stint in parachute school, he boarded the Queen Mary en route to Scotland and England, from there to Belgium and France during the Battle of the Bulge, which began on Dec. 16, 1944, and lasted until Jan. 25, 1945. The last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II launched through the thick Ardennes region in eastern Belgium, northeast France, and Luxembourg.
"We disrupted the Germans' plan. They were going to go cut across and capture Antwerp and tried to divide the American Army. But we changed the war. We stopped them at Bastogne, and they never made it. During Bastogne, things were bad. And we were running out of food and artillery. The Germans came in with their flags and told us we were surrounded. They wanted the Americans to surrender. They thought that maybe we would surrender. The answer our commander, Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, gave them was ʻNuts.’ He was our commander in the Battle of the Bulge.”
Speranza spent 144 days in combat. For his service, and other medals of distinction, He received two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for his service and other medals of distinction. After the war, Vince became a teacher at Curtis High School — most recently, he recounted the events attached to his years in the military in his books, “Nuts! A 101st Airborne Division Machine Gunner at Bastogne,”.
Dad of three, grandfather of nine, and great-grandfather of five, Vince Speranza lives by his words “Fai sempre cose biome.” Always do good things.