Edward ''Ed'' Mauser



, while he signing for my scrapbook, Bastogne, September 12, 2010 & Then.



Members of the 2nd Platoon, E-Company,
at Aldbourne, England.

Standing, L-R: Cleveland Petty, James Campbell (KIA, Holland), Rod Bain, John Plesha Jr., Vernon Menze (KIA, Holland), George Potter Jr., William Dukeman Jr (KIA, Holland), Sal Bellino, James McMahon, and Robert Mann. Middle: Eugene Ivie
Front, L-R: Don Malarkey, Joe Toye, Ed Joint, Richard Davenport, and Ed Mauser.

Easy Company’s oldest surviving veteran, Ed Mauser was born in 1916 and began his military service on January 15, 1942, when he was drafted shortly after Pearl Harbor. Initially assigned to an Army Horse Cavalry unit, at Ft. Benning he observed the paratroopers in training and volunteered. Following completion of jump school he joined the 101st Airborne at Ft. Bragg and Easy Company’s 2nd Platoon.
On D-Day, Mauser parachuted into the hedgerows of Normandy with Chalk #69. He landed alone before linking-up with Sgt. Robert “Burr” Smith outside the town of Vireville. They soon found themselves in a vicious firefight around a farm house near the town. Although assigned to a machine gun squad, Mauser served primarily as a rifleman throughout the war, trusting his M-1 from the initial fight on D-Day to the Alpine forests of Austria.
During Market Garden, Mauser was one of 23 E-Company men who participated in the famous mission to cross the Lower Rhine on the night of Oct. 22, 1944 to rescue 120 British paratrooper survivors of the 1st British Airborne Division after their battle at Arnhem. That night rescue in German-occupied territory electrified the Allied Command, then reeling after the loss of over 7,000 men killed, wounded, and missing in the Arnhem assault. This daring mission remains one of the most successful operations of the entire war with not one casualty recorded. Mauser remembers guarding the left flank of the river beach, expecting an imminent attack that thankfully never came. His job was to protect the withdrawal of the survivor at all costs.
Following Holland, Mauser made the truck ride to Bastogne, clad in his regular fatigues. He endured the “toughest” battle of the war, “thanks to good fortune and the brotherhood that was Easy Company.” He reports being blessed by having a foxhole complex built by “someone who knew what he was doing.” The sturdy structure with a roof saved his life.
Mauser vividly recalls the breakout battle at Foy. Prior to the fight he, Sal Bellino, Richard Davenport, and John Plesha were sent on a night recon patrol of the town that was successful because “nobody was injured.” Mauser remembers that the battle for the town, which followed, was memorable in that Lt. Speirs demonstrated that his reputation as a fierce combat warrior was true. After Foy was taken, the fighting moved to Noville, where Mauser was wounded in the hand and sent to a hospital in France.
Mauser rejoined the unit as it moved along the autobahn toward Hitler’s alpine home in Berchtesgarden. Mauser spent his time there securing homes and farms and enjoying the beauty of the area in the absence of combat. Later, in Kaprun, Austria, Mauser was awarded the 85 points he had earned and shipped back to the states. On Sept. 17, 1945 he was discharged from the army in Chicago. Today, Mauser enjoys his retirement, proud of the fact that he is the oldest survivor of Easy Company at age 94.


September 12, 2010, I was blessed to meet Ed Mauser and his friend Brian Kruse in Bastogne on the place McAuliffe! It were just 15 minutes, a picture and a signature and a short talk, but I'll remember it always!

I told him how honored I was to have met him and thanked him for his time. I call him a HERO! - "Don't call me a hero," he said. "I was just one of the boys. I did what I was told, and let's leave it at that."

We should always remember what his generation did for us!! All my thoughts to this great man!!

In memoriam

Ed Mauser, oldest living member of Easy Company, died on January 21, 2011 in Omaha. He was 94. One of the famed ''Band of Brothers,'' 101st Airborne, Ed was a decorated veteran, always humble and as he said, ''just one of the guys.'' He was always an inspiration and a good source of historical information. We will miss him and thank him for his life and service.

Always Remember - Never Forget

R.I.P. sir