June 17, 1921|
Fall River, Massachusetts
|Died||October 15, 1998
West Warwick, Rhode Island
|Place of burial||Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1942-1945|
|Rank||Technician 4th Grade|
|Unit||Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division|
|Other work||Maintenance consultant|
Technician Fourth Grade George Luz, Sr. (17 June 1921 - 15 October 1998) was a non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Luz was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Rick Gomez.
Luz was born in Fall River, Massachusetts to Portuguese descended parents, and grew up in West Warwick, Rhode Island. He had nine siblings while growing up. He dropped out during his junior year of high school and enlisted on 25 August 1942 at Providence, Rhode Island.
George Luz had a knack for causing trouble with his sense of humor, and his ability to imitate just about anyone. During a training exercise in England, Luz did an impression of one of the Regimental staff to Easy Company Commander Herbert Sobel, fooling him into cutting an English farmer's fence and letting loose a herd of cows.
Luz jumped into Normandy on 6 June 1944. Because he thought he would never manage to get out of the plane (he was 5th in the stick), he asked Roy Cobb to exchange seats, as he would jump out of his stick earlier this way. There was heavy flak; Cobb was hit and couldn't jump. Luz did after he had kicked out his leg bag containing his radio and other equipment. When Luz landed, he was alone and was unable to locate any of his comrades. Before his death in 1998, Luz recalled ducking behind a hedgerow for cover, looking up and seeing fellow paratroopers shot by tracer rounds.
Luz managed to regroup with his company the next day and assisted in the taking of Carentan. A few months later, Luz jumped into the Netherlands with the rest of Easy Company during Operation Market Garden. Near Christmas 1944, Luz and the rest of Easy Company participated in the Battle of the Bulge, where Luz lost several friends to German artillery. Luz is credited with keeping Easy Company morale up with his humor in dire times.
Right after returning home, Luz settled in West Warwick, Rhode Island and married Delvina. In Stephen E. Ambrose's book, Band of Brothers, it was wrongly stated that after the war, George became a handyman. His son revealed that he had worked as a maintenance consultant, and he was killed in an industrial accident.
Death and funeral
While working on a large 7,200 lb. industrial dryer, it slipped off its supports and fell on Luz. Doctors said he died immediately. In Luz's remembrance at the funeral home, there was a line down the street of 1,600 people waiting to pay their respects. Luz was buried with his medals on his chest, of which his family had no prior knowledge. Luz is buried at the Veterans Cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island.
- Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7434-6411-6.
- Brotherton, Marcus (2009). We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from The Band of Brothers. Berkley Caliber. ISBN 0-7434-6411-7.
- Winters, Richard D., with Cole C. Kingseed (2006). Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-425-20813-3.