Three members of the dwindling ranks of Wernher von Braun's World War II German rocket team, which after the war helped put Americans on the moon, died days apart.

Max Nowak, 89, Heinrich Paetz, 88, and Albert Schuler, 83, were members of von Braun's team of engineers who developed the V-1 and V-2 rockets that Nazi Germany used against Great Britain.After the war, they came to the United States under contract to the Army and worked on the U.S. rocket and space program, eventually for NASA.

"They were all three highly respected for their capability and their knowledge," said Ernst Stuhlinger, von Braun's chief scientist.

Nowak, who resided in Huntsville, died Tuesday. Paetz, a resident of Grant, died Thursday; Schuler of Huntsville died Friday. All three died of natural causes.

Von Braun died in 1977.