The Band of Brothers are coming to Nebraska.

Six of the men whose World War II service was the subject of the critically acclaimed miniseries agreed to appear next month at a fundraiser for the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland.

The elderly veterans of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, will visit the museum Dec. 5. The event will feature a book signing at 9 a.m. and a presentation at 10 a.m.

"It's such a wonderful opportunity to honor these men and meet them in person," said Evonne Williams, interim museum director. "A once in a lifetime opportunity."

Williams and her husband, Bill, know a little bit about honoring veterans.

Last year and in 2008, the Omaha couple organized the Heartland Honor Flight, providing free trips for about 1,500 World War II veterans from Nebraska and Iowa to visit war memorials in Washington.

Bill Williams has been working to arrange donated private charters for the Band of Brothers. Their health is too fragile to endure a regular commercial flight, he said Tuesday.

One of veterans is Ed Mauser of Omaha. The others are Buck Compton of Mount Vernon, Wash.; Don Malarkey of Salem, Ore.; Babe Heffron of Philadelphia; Earl "One Lung" McClung of Pueblo, Colo.; and Ed Tipper of Lakewood, Colo.

"Anyone who has seen the miniseries will know these names," Bill Williams said.

So far, Williams has secured flights for three of the veterans. He still needs to find a flight donor for the West Coast veterans.

The 10-part miniseries, produced in 2001 by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, tells the story of the paratroopers' service in several famous battles in the European Theater. The series won seven Emmy Awards in 2002 and made celebrities out of the men whose stories it told.

It was based on the nonfiction book of the same title by historian Stephen Ambrose.

There are few survivors from Easy Company, Bill Williams said, and even fewer who can still travel long distances.

Reach Joe Duggan at 473-7239 or


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