Lewis Nixon

Lewis Nixon (September 30, 1918 - January 11, 1995) was a United States Army officer in the 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Easy Company. Lewis Nixon was portrayed by Ron Livingston in the HBO production Band of Brothers.


Early life

Lewis Nixon was born to Stanhope Wood Nixon and Doris Ryer Nixon on September 30, 1918, in New York City. He was the older brother of Blanche Nixon (born 1923). He was the grandson of Lewis Nixon (1861-1940), shipbuilder, and Sally Wood Nixon (died 1937). At age seven, Lewis took third place in the model yacht regatta at Conservatory Lake in Central Park on May 22, 1926, earning a gold and bronze medal in the 35-inch boat class. As a youth, Nixon lived in New York City, New York, and Montecito, California; he traveled the world extensively, including Germany, France, and England. Nixon attended Yale University for two years. He enlisted in the army in January, 1941. After graduating from Army Officer Candidate School in 1941, Nixon made the decision to join the paratroops.

World War II

Nixon started out in the army as a private, and went through Officer Candidate School, emerging as a second lieutenant. He was then assigned to Easy Company of the 506th PIR. Nixon was put through basic training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, and eventually trained at many locations throughout the United States and England for the invasion of France.

Nixon was promoted to intelligence officer (S2) at the battalion level, and showed enough skill at his job to be promoted to regimental level shortly after Easy Company took Carentan on June 12, 1944. He served in Normandy, the Netherlands, Bastogne, and Germany, though he never fired a shot. He did, however, manage to get shot in the helmet in Holland, but it bounced off, saving his life. He developed a drinking problem, and was eventually demoted back down to battalion operations officer (S3). In Berchtesgaden, he had first choice of a captured, extensive wine collection originally assembled at Hermann Goering's expense.

Nixon was one of the few 101st Airborne men to have jumped with another division or regiment. On March 24, 1945, Nixon was assigned by General Maxwell Taylor as an observer with the 17th Airborne Division on Operation Varsity. Nixon's plane took a direct hit as soon as he and three others got out of the plane.

He survived the war, ending it with the rank of captain. He saw the defeat of Germany, and returned home in September 1945.

He is known and remembered for his love of the blended whisky VAT 69. This is commemorated several times in the book and miniseries Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose.

After the war

After the war, Nixon worked at Nixon Nitration Works in Nixon, New Jersey, alongside his father, Stanhope. Wartime pal Richard Winters, who was offered a job by Nixon after the war, eventually became a personnel manager at Nixon Nitration Works. Nixon had two failed marriages before marrying his last wife, Grace, in 1956. He got his life back together and overcame his alcoholism during this third marriage. Lewis Nixon died of complications from diabetes in Los Angeles, California, on January 11, 1995.

Nixon, New Jersey, is now a section of Edison Township; it is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The former site of the Nixon Nitration Works lies beneath Middlesex County College and Raritan Center Industrial Park.


  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest, Stephen Ambrose, Simon & Schuster, 1992. ISBN 0-7434-6411-7
  • Band of Brothers miniseries
  • The New York Times, May 23, 1926, pg.16

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