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Guadalupe veteran, last Pathfinder Paratrooper dies at 96

A Guadalupe veteran and the last surviving Pathfinder Paratrooper has passed away.

Bindo Grasso was one of three American paratroopers who dropped behind enemy lines on the night before D-Day.

On Monday, he passed away at the age of 96.

Those who knew him remember him as a local hero and as a jovial person who loved cracking jokes.

“History books are written by people like my grandfather,” said Stacy Moody, Grasso’s granddaughter.

Friends and family are remembering the guadalupe World War II veteran, the last surviving Pathfinder paratrooper.

Grasso was part of a team that played a key role in the Allied invasion in Normandy.

“I jumped behind St. Mere Eglise and then we hid out all night and then in the morning we set up, there were three of us, we set up the beacons for the invasion to come in,” said Grasso in an interview with our news station earlier this year.

Steven Baird is the President and CEO of Band of Brothers California.

“He truly created a legacy,” Baird said.”His stories were amazing, I mean he could recall everything, he had the sharpest mind.”

“He was a war hero,” Moody said.

Grasso didn’t see himself as a hero, but rather as someone who had a mission that day.

“To me, it was something I did that I had to do, you know, it wasn’t something that I think was special. A lot of people ask me, ‘Well weren’t you scared?’ you know, and I guess I was, but with all the excitement and my age, you know, and everybody doing it, I wasn’t going to back out.”

One of 16 children born in new jersey to italian immigrant parents, his granddaughter remembers his sense of humor.

“When I was stationed in Germany he would call me at like 4:30 in the morning, you know ’cause he never got that time change right, and I was on the third floor, and I would have to come all the way down the stairs to get my joke of the month,” Moody said.

Moody says the 96-year-old was battling cancer and was ready to say goodbye.

“He was not feeling well, he hadn’t been for a while, and he was. He was ok with it.”

Baird says he will be missed by many.

Grasso was just honored by the County Board of Supervisors last month. He’s also received special recognitions by some of the veteran organizations on the Central Coast.

Now local veteran groups are arranging a memorial. His granddaughter says that’ll take place later this week.

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