George Luz, Jr., whose father, George Luz, served in the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division during World War II, will speak about his dad’s military service in Europe during a special presentation on Thursday, April 27, as part of the EAA Aviation Museum Aviation Adventure Speaker Series.
Made famous by Stephen E. Ambrose’s 1992 book Band of Brothers and the 2001 HBO miniseries of the same name, E (“Easy”) Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne participated in some of the major events of WWII’s European theater, including D-Day, Operation Market Garden, and Battle of the Bulge. George Luz, a technician fourth grade during the war, was portrayed by Rick Gomez in the HBO miniseries.
Growing up, George got to know many of the people that served alongside his father in Easy Company by attending numerous reunions, developing personal relationships along the way.
“I was really lucky to be able to meet his guys, his buddies and their wives at a young age,” George said. “As the years ticked on, and after my dad passed away, I had the opportunity to meet them at a different level. I certainly wasn’t Luz, but I was Luz’s kid. They were able to share some moments with my dad and it was really neat to see that, to hear that. You got a good sense that these guys loved each other and would do anything for each other.”
George said that his father didn’t really talk all that much about his time in the service, viewing it as something that everyone did during the war.
“He was pretty unassuming,” George said. “He really didn’t make a big deal about his military career unless somebody asked him about it. Everybody served in the military during World War II and they didn’t come home thumping their chest. They just came home and started their life and my dad did that, too. … My dad was a special guy, he was a hard worker. That’s kind of where I get it from. Although he’s much funnier than I am.”
George began presenting about his father and the 101st Airborne about seven years ago and also travels with Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, which take patrons to many of the historic battlefields in Europe and trace the footsteps of Easy Company in 1944-45. As part of his presentations, George talks about his dad’s experience in Europe as well as that of his wartime comrades, many of whom he became friends with himself over the years.
“There’s plenty of people out there that could tell the entire story about Airborne, this story, that story. But for me, this is kind of a personal journey more than a tactical speech.”
Thursday’s event is free for EAA members and youths 5 and under, and just $5 for nonmembers.