Lynn Compton

Lynn D. "Buck" Compton (born December 31 1921) is a retired California Court of Appeals|Court of Appeal Judge who served as the lead prosecutor in Sirhan Sirhan's trial for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy. During World War II, Compton was awarded a Silver Star while serving as a Second Lieutenant commanding the 2nd platoon of Easy Company in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division, which gained him his promotion to First Lieutenant. His recent fame is from the book Band of Brothers, written by Stephen Ambrose. The book was also made into a miniseries on HBO, in which Neal McDonough portrayed him.


Prior to World War II

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 Rose Bowl on January 1, 1943.

World War II, Easy Company

At UCLA, Compton also participated in ROTC under Cadet Commander John Singlaub, and in early 1943, he joined the Army and was assigned to E/506 in England prior to D-Day. During the action at Brécourt Manor, Compton and others, under the leadership of First Lieutenant Richard Winters, assaulted a German battery operating four 105mm howitzers directed at Utah Beach, disabling the guns and routing the enemy. Compton was awarded the Silver Star for that action. Episode two of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers depicts this assault.

The former college baseball player is described by Dick Winters in Stephen Ambrose's book, Band of Brothers as throwing a grenade at a fleeing German soldier, roughly the same distance from home plate to second base. Well timed, the grenade explodes upon impact with the fleeing soldier's head, instantly killing him. This too is shown in Episode two of the miniseries.

Later that year, 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. He returned to his unit in time for the month-long siege 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 being badly maimed by artillery fire.

Compton insisted that if he was emotionally scarred by the shelling he doesn't think he would have gone on to work for the LAPD.

Medals and Decorations

After World War II

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 Washington. In 2005, he appeared in an advertising campaign for repeal of the estate tax.

Following his wife's death in 1994, Compton lives in Burlington, Washington and keeps in touch with his two children and four grandchildren.

Compton's memoirs are also due for publication in Spring 2008, entitled: "Call of Duty: My Life before, during and after the Band of Brothers" and written with Marcus Brotherton.

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