Compton, Lynn, 1LT

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
42 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1944-1946, 1542, 101st Airborne Division
Service Years
1943 - 1946

Infantry

First Lieutenant


One Service Stripe



Two Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

23 kb

Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1921
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 6 Gary McJimsey to remember Compton, Lynn ("Buck"), 1LT.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Los Angeles

Date of Passing
Feb 26, 2012
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Belgian Fourragere Netherlands Orange Lanyard Honorably Discharged WW II Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

French Fourragere


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division,

At UCLA Compton also participated in ROTC under Cadet Commander John Singlaub, and in early 1943, he joined the Army and was assigned to Company E of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division prior to Operation Overlord. During the company's action at Brécourt Manor, Compton and others, under the leadership of First Lieutenant Richard Winters, assaulted a German battery of four 105 mm howitzers firing on Utah Beach, disabling the guns and routing the enemy. Compton was awarded the Silver Star for his action in disabling the guns. Episode two ("Day of Days") of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers depicts this assault.

Later in 1944, Compton was wounded while participating in Operation Market Garden, the Allies' ill-fated attempt to seize a number of bridges in Holland and cross the Rhine River into Germany. After a partial recovery, he returned to Easy Company in time for the month-long siege in the frozen Ardennes that would become known as the Battle of the Bulge. In January 1945, Compton left Easy Company for another assignment.

According to Band of Brothers, though ostensibly evacuated for severe trench foot, his transfer was due in part to combat fatigue, culminating when Compton witnessed two of his closest friends (SSgts Joe Toye and William "Wild Bill" Guarnere) being badly maimed by artillery fire.

World War II disrupted his studies at UCLA. Compton graduated from the school?s ROTC program and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He commanded the second platoon of Easy Company in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division. He parachuted into Normandy during the early hours of D-Day, was part of the assault group that destroyed the German artillery during the battle at Brecourt Manor, fought on the line at Carentan, helped liberate Holland during Operation Market Garden, and fought in the freezing cold of the Battle of Bastogne.

As a combat veteran, Lt. Compton received the Silver Star, for valor in the face of the enemy, the Purple Heart, for being wounded while in the U.S. military, the World War II Victory Medal, for active duty during World War II, the Orange Lanyard of the Royal Netherlands Army, for bravery, leadership and loyalty in the defense of the Netherlands, the Combat Infantry Badge, the American Campaign Citation, the American Defense Medal, and the European, African Mid-Eastern Campaign Medal. Compton, along with his unit, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy when holding the main line of resistance during the Battle of the Bulge.

In those first few split seconds after jumping out of the Douglas C-47 Skytrain military transport, nothing existed. No feeling of falling. No rush. No markers or indicators of orientation. Just floating.

I don?t recall fear. And though it was my first official jump from an airplane, everything appeared to be going smoothly. I didn?t know it yet, but something was horribly wrong.

In my mind raced a thousand thoughts. And no thoughts. By the time you get to your first official jump, you know it by the numbers. It?s reflex. The drop zone nears. You stand up, hook up, check the equipment of the guy ahead of you, count off?10 okay! 9 okay! 8 okay! 7 okay!?you shuffle to the door, the jumpmaster taps your calf, when the guy ahead of you clears, you jump. It?s all so routine by then; you do it without thinking. The training that leads up to the time when you make your first exit from a plane is so intense that you to step forward without hesitation.

Accelerating downward, I knew I?d soon feel the static line jerk my chute from its pack. I?d soon float gracefully the rest of the way down to the drop zone at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where the paratrooper school was situated. No more than a few yards long, the static line connected the deployment bag of my parachute to the aircraft. Once the line caught, it would separate from the parachute and remain in tow behind the aircraft, later to be pulled in and stowed by the crew chief. Nobody told us why we jumped with static lines. I assumed it was for safety and uniformity. If you had a bunch of soldiers freefalling, they?d all pull their chutes whenever they saw fit?and that would never do in the military. You?d have increased causalities and a very erratic pattern of landing.

We absolutely couldn?t be scattered when we hit the ground. Our whole point was to jump as a unit, ready to fight. We were soldiers first, before we were parachutists. The tactical advantage we offered was our ability to be slotted from the sky into virtually any battlefield. We could parachute into areas not accessible by land, and attack enemy fortifications normally considered untouchable because of geography. On paper, it was a crack idea. But America was still working out the bugs.

Pushing through the branches of the hedgerow, I spotted a trench immediately in front of me. The trench made an L shape, with a large circle at the point of the L. I could have turned and gone either way. Immediately, I glimpsed two Germans in the end of the trench that ran perpendicular to the hedgerow. They were loading and firing one of their artillery pieces down onto the beach.

With my borrowed Thompson submachine gun in front of me, I sprang through the hedgerow and jumped into the trench. Winters, who was now acting as company commander, had told me to go take a look, then report back to him?but I figured I could take out the two Germans easily enough first.

The trench was about waist deep, and I ran along it toward the Germans. They were situated in another large circle at the end of the trench, a gun emplacement about a foot and a half deep. Halfway along the trench I stopped running and planted myself, the Thompson at hip level. I had never killed a man before but knew what I needed to do. The Germans heard me, stopped what they were doing, and wheeled around. Their faces were instantly full of surprise, replaced by instant horror. Without hesitation, I pulled the trigger. All I heard was a soft ?plunk.? I racked it back, and a live round popped out. My borrowed machine gun was completely useless.

I looked at the Germans. They looked at me in surprise. There were two of them and one of me. They were armed to the hilt. My gun was completely useless.


 

   
Other Comments:

Lt. Compton received the Silver Star, for valor in the face of the enemy, the Purple Heart, for being wounded while in the U.S. military, the World War II Victory Medal, for active duty during World War II, the Orange Lanyard of the Royal Netherlands Army, for bravery, leadership and loyalty in the defense of the Netherlands, the Combat Infantry Badge, the American Campaign Citation, the American Defense Medal, and the European, African Mid-Eastern Campaign Medal. Compton, along with his unit, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy when holding the main line of resistance during the Battle of the Bulge.

Before the War
Compton was a star athlete at UCLA, where he was a catcher on the university's baseball team alongside Jackie Robinson. He majored in Physical Education, with a minor in Education. He also played with the UCLA football team in the 1943 Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 1943.

 

After the war, Compton married and had two children. In 1946, he turned down an offer to play minor league baseball, choosing instead to concentrate on a career in law. He attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and became a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department in the Central Burglary Division. He joined the District Attorney's office in 1951 as a deputy district attorney, and was promoted in 1964 to chief deputy district attorney.

During his time with the District Attorney's office, he successfully prosecuted Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy. In 1970, Governor Ronald Reagan appointed him as an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal. He retired from the bench in 1990 and now resides in the state of Washington. In 2005, he appeared in an advertising campaign for repeal of the estate tax.

Compton's memoirs, entitled Call of Duty: My Life before, during and after the Band of Brothers and written with Marcus Brotherton, were published by Berkeley Publishing on May 6, 2008.

Collegiate sports star. Esteemed war veteran. Detective. Attorney. Judge. Lt. Lynn ?Buck? Compton, 85, serves as an example of a true American hero. As a college athlete, Compton competed alongside legends such as Jackie Robinson. Among combat veterans, Lt. Lynn ?Buck? Compton?s name and autograph are recognized internationally along with Dick Winters, ?Wild? Bill Guarnere, and Don Malarkey. As a public servant, Compton?s name will forever be associated with high profile cases.

Born Dec. 31, 1921, Compton grew up in the Great Depression. He graduated from public high school in Los Angeles and attended UCLA in the fall of 1939 where he majored in Physical Education with a minor in Education. He lettered two years in football and three years in baseball and was captain of the baseball team where he played catcher. Compton played guard on the Rose Bowl team in 1943. He was a member of the advanced ROTC program and served as Cadet Executive Officer to Cadet Commander John Singlaub (today Major General, U.S. Army, Retired).

World War II disrupted his studies at UCLA. Compton graduated from the school?s ROTC program and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He commanded the second platoon of Easy Company in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division. He parachuted into Normandy during the early hours of D-Day, was part of the assault group that destroyed the German artillery during the battle at Brecourt Manor, fought on the line at Carentan, helped liberate Holland during Operation Market Garden, and fought in the freezing cold of the Battle of Bastogne.

As a combat veteran, Lt. Compton received the Silver Star, for valor in the face of the enemy, the Purple Heart, for being wounded while in the U.S. military, the World War II Victory Medal, for active duty during World War II, the Orange Lanyard of the Royal Netherlands Army, for bravery, leadership and loyalty in the defense of the Netherlands, the Combat Infantry Badge, the American Campaign Citation, the American Defense Medal, and the European, African Mid-Eastern Campaign Medal. Compton, along with his unit, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy when holding the main line of resistance during the Battle of the Bulge.

Following the war, Compton worked his way through Loyola Law School as a policeman for the LAPD, and later as a detective in the Central Burglary Division. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1949.

He served as Deputy District Attorney for LA County, 1951-1970, and had extensive trial experience involving the prosecution of major felony cases of all types. As Chief Deputy District Attorney, he served as second in command of LA County, the largest prosecuting agency in the world. Compton handled a number of high profile cases, including the prosecution of Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy.

In 1970, Compton was appointed by Governor Ronald Reagan to the California Courts of Appeal as an Associate Justice. During his term on the bench, Judge Compton authored more than 2,000 written opinions in all areas of law.

Compton was portrayed by actor Neal McDonough in the acclaimed HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

A widower since 1994, Compton lives in the Pacific Northwest today where he stays in close contact with his two children and four grandchildren. Compton is a sought-after speaker, and in his spare time provides policy and political commentary on a radio station based in Anacortes.

 

   
 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Master Parachutist (2 Combat Jumps)
Bayonet
Pistol
Carbine

 
 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1940, (Select in Colleges) (ROTC), C/4
 Unit Assignments
2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division
  1943-1946, 1542, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment
  1944-1946, 1542, 101st Airborne Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 D-Day Glider Landings/Mission Detroit
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Operation Market Garden
  1944-1944 Operation Overlord/D-Day Beach Landings - Operation Neptune
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1944-1945 Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)
  1944-1945 Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Siege of Bastogne
  1945-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
  1945-1945 Central Europe Campaign (1945)/Victory in Europe Day (VE Day - 8May45)
 Colleges Attended 
University of California, Los AngelesLoyola Law School of Los Angeles
  1939-1943, University of California, Los Angeles
  1947-1950, Loyola Law School of Los Angeles
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011