In honor of Lt. Buck Compton, 1921-2012
In great sadness and tribute I write to tell of the passing late evening February 25, 2012, of Lt. Lynn “Buck” Davis Compton, one of the original Band of Brothers.
He died peacefully and comfortably at his home in Burlington, Washington. He was 90.
Buck was born in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve, 1921. He was named after his grandfather, Lyndley, but gave himself the nickname “Buck” in grammar school, taking a cue from a star catcher for the Angels, “Truck” Hannah.
During the Depression, Buck worked in the movies as a child actor, appearing in several films as an extra. Actor Mickey Rooney was a childhood friend.
In college, Buck was a two-sport athlete for UCLA, playing both football and baseball and excelling in both. In football, he played in the 1943 Rosebowl. In baseball, the legendary Jackie Robinson was a teammate.
When World War II broke out, Buck became an officer with the famed Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, the elite group of paratroopers known as the Band of Brothers. He parachuted into Normandy on D-Day, fought valiantly in Operation-Market in Holland where he was wounded, and braved the snow and ice of the battle of Bastogne. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the assault on Brecourt Manor.
After the war Buck became a detective, an attorney, and later a judge. While an attorney, he successfully prosecuted Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Bobby Kennedy.
Buck was active long after retirement. In later years he hosted a radio commentary show and volunteered for the Skagit County Republican Party Headquarters. Four mornings each week he met for breakfast with other veterans for coffee. Buck spoke and travelled extensively, and was a staunch supporter of today’s troops.
In later years, through the influence of attorney Vance Day, Buck professed a faith in Jesus Christ. Buck’s family is confident he is in heaven today.
Buck was preceded in death by his parents and by wife Donna. He is survived by his daughters, Tracy and Syndee, his grandchildren Samantha, Lyndsie, Shannon, and Hayley, and by his beloved dog, Ernie. Buck wrote in the dedication to his memoir that his family was “the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”
Two memorial services are being planned—a smaller one for the immediate family, and a larger one for the public. Dates will be announced soon.
On a personal note, I was so greatly honored to have met this man, to speak with him on many occasions, to have participated in the writing of his book, and to travel with him to several shows and signings around the country.
I can’t say enough good things about him.
It hasn’t sunk in yet that his physical life is passed.
This picture of Buck and me was taken by George Luz Jr. just a few weeks back, early January, at Buck’s 90th birthday party. It was at the end of the party, and Buck and I shared a few quiet moments in the lobby of the building. We didn’t talk much. He was tired then. But we just sat together, and that spoke volumes to me.
I deeply miss this man who came to mean so much to me.
Buck Compton–simply put, you were the greatest.