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01/22/2011

Ed Mauser of ‘Band of Brothers’ dies at 94

January 22, 2011 |  5:52 pm

Ed Mauser, a member of the "Band of Brothers" who fought in some of World War II's fiercest European battles, shunned the limelight and kept his service with the Army unit a secret, even from some of his family members.

His role came to light only after his brother-in-law got him a copy of the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," said Terry Zahn, who met Mauser during a 2009 Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II memorial.

Mauser told his family that some details in the miniseries, such as the locations of buildings, weren't quite what he remembered from being there in person.

Mauser died Friday in Omaha. He was 94 and had been fighting pancreatic cancer, said Zahn, president of the Midwest chapter of the 101st Airborne Division Assn. Mauser had been the oldest living member of Easy Company.

Born Dec. 18, 1916, in LaSalle, Ill., Mauser was drafted in 1942 and volunteered for the 101st Airborne Division.

He was assigned to Company E, 506th Regiment -- Easy Company -- which participated in the D-day invasion of France and the follow-up Operation Market Garden. The 101st also helped defend Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Historian Stephen Ambrose interviewed Easy Company leader Dick Winters for the 1992 book "Band of Brothers," upon which the HBO miniseries was based. Winters died earlier this month at age 92. The miniseries followed Easy Company from its training in Georgia to the war's end in 1945. 

Mauser was not among the soldiers portrayed in the miniseries.

Zahn said Mauser kept his service a secret, even from his relatives. After it became known, he reunited with some of his Army buddies and made a few public appearances. He preferred to stay out of the limelight.

"Don't call me a hero," Mauser told the Lincoln Journal Star in 2009. "I was just one of the boys. I did what I was told and let's leave it at that."

-- Associated Press

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