Combat Story (Ep 50): Vincent Speranza | WWII Veteran | Battle of the Bulge | Airborne Beer | Author

11.11.2021 - By Combat Story

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Today we have a special Veterans Day 50th Episode of Combat Story from Vincent Speranza, who was a paratrooper in the storied 101st Airborne Division in World War II. Vince was a machine gunner at the Battle of the Bulge where he and his fellow paratroopers held Bastogne after being encircled by the Germans. [Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Loansteady LLC. A small-by-design lender, Loansteady believes in bringing a much-needed dose of humanity to the mortgage process. With their experience, agility, and creativity at Loansteady, they offer better rates, a simpler process and a much stronger personal connection. They're here to find a mortgage that works for you, not the other way around. They are waiving all lender fees for Veterans in 2021. Visit to request a rate quote or start an application. Loansteady LLC, All rights reserved, NMLS# 1701910, (, Equal Housing Lender. For more licensing information, please visit] While fighting, Vince earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, but he’s gone down in history for being the GI who miraculously found and transported draft beer in his helmet from the last standing bar in Bastogne during the attack. This story later became the basis for Airborne beer, which can be purchased throughout Belgium and is designed to be enjoyed from a small ceramic cup shaped like a WWII helmet. Vince, in the last 10 years, has written a book, aptly titled “Nuts!: A 101st Airborne Division Machine Gunner at Bastogne,” has jumped out of airplanes again, and speaks to soldiers and organizations about his experiences. His story is nothing short of legendary and reminds us all why we refer to his as the “Greatest Generation.” I hope you enjoy this amazing combat story as much as I did. Follow Ryan on Instagram @combatstory Show Notes 0:00 - Intro 0:48 - A word from our Sponsor (Loansteady) 2:15 - Guest intro 3:22 - Interview begins 4:18 - Growing up an Italian immigrant 16:00 - Did you miss out on a “fun” or easy childhood? 18:20 - AWESOME Pearl Harbor story from Dec 7th,1941 22:21 - The Draft letter 23:43 - Shipping off to WWII (wait for his dad’s comment) 38:04 - Training to go to WWII 41:01 - Volunteering for Airborne 50:40 - Taking the Queen Mary over to the war 52:34 - The feeling on the boat on the way to WWII 54:28 - You’re going in! 59:29 - Battle of the Bulge - Basic numbers and the environment 1:01:41 - The importance of artillery at Bastogne 1:04:44 - Asking for our surrender 1:06:15 - Like the Colonel already said 1:07:10 - “Freedom in your heart” (you can’t help but smile when you hear this) 1:07:50 - How was I feeling at the Battle of the Bulge? 1:10:15 - The sobering moment comes after the shooting… 1:11:45 - German strategy going in 1:14:50 - Airborne Beer (INCREDIBLE story) 1:18:30 - Made myself a promise 1:33:45 - Combat Story (WWII Edition) Begins with description of digging into frozen ground and fighting from those positions 1:36:00 - “The whole world exploded” 1:38:48 - A machine gunner’s delight 1:47:16 - A once in a lifetime R&R; 1:58:59 - Did you carry anything with you into combat? 1:59:57 - Would you do it all again? 2:00:09 - At the Eagle’s Nest! 2:03:26 - Not a hero… 2:05:23 - Listener comments

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