About the Book
Compton fought in critical battles of World War II as a member of Easy Company, immortalized as the Band of Brothers. This is the true story of a real-life hero who traveled to a faraway place and put his life on the line.
FOREWARD BY SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN:
aThe aBand of Brothersa story rightly took America by storm. In telling of that remarkable generation of men who risked everything a everything a to defeat the evils of fascism, the tale of Easy Companyas bravery and valor has inspired its own, new generation of Americans.
As rightly it should. America has relied throughout its history on the courage and honor of extraordinary citizens who, though they may come from the most ordinary of situations, stand up when duty calls them to act. The aBand of Brothers, a that company of citizen- soldiers who helped our country wage and win World War II, represented that timeless virtue, the unselfish determination to serve a cause greater than our self-interest. In choosing this course, no matter its cost, an entire generation of men and women helped save the world from the evils of Nazism. We today, and all who follow, are in their debt.
Men and women, no matter how meager their origins or difficult their circumstances, possess within them the potential to alter the course of history. Buck Compton knew this, and this understanding shaped his life and destiny. He knew that there is no greatness without courage, no faith in country without devotion to fellows, no commitment to duty without service to others. Through his life and his words, we can find much to admire in men like him.
Second Lieutenant Compton commanded the second platoon of Easy Company in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the famed 101st Airborne Division about which so many tales are told. In an episode familiar to any viewer of the aBand of Brothersa series, in 1944 Buck Compton and others assaulted a Germanbattery operating four 105 mm howitzers directed at Utah Beach, disabling the guns and routing the enemy. Buck was awarded the Silver Star for that action. Later, after being wounded in an operation aimed at seizing bridges in the Netherlands, Buck returned to his unit in time for the month-long siege that would in time become known as the Battle of the Bulge.
In the course of my military service, I have learned what itas like to fight on foreign soil. When bullets begin flying and fighting grows thick, the ability of any individual to make correct decisions is sorely tested. Indecisiveness can be costly; poor judgment deadly. As this memoir so ably details, Buck Comptonas performance in battle demonstrates that firmness and strategic thinking can save lives. In critical moments on the World War II battlefront, Buck Compton was there: fighting, persevering, and never relenting.
Yet Buckas story doesnat end there. He returned from war to a life of public service, measuring success not only by victories on the battlefield but also through his conduct during seasons of peace. Turning down an offer to play minor league baseball, he focused on a career in law, became a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department and, ultimately, an Associate Justice on the California Appeals Court. In reaching a level of success in civilian life commensurate with his victories in battle, Buck Compton showed us the many ways in which Americans fight for justice.
This memoir does his story the service it deserves. This book is the next best thing to having this courageous, thoughtful, and exceedingly modest hero relate in person the adventures and exploits of Easy Company, the prosecutionof Sirhan Sirhan, and other tales from the life of an extraordinary American called to duty in an extraordinary time. In understanding the life of honor and service Buck Compton has bestowed upon his country, we glimpse anew the greatness that is America.
aUS Senator John McCain
The true story of an American heroain his own words.
As part of the elite 101st Airborne paratroopers, Lt. Lynn aBucka Compton fought in critical battles of World War II as a member of Easy Company, immortalized as the Band of Brothers.
Here, Buck Compton tells his own story for the first time. From his years as a two-sport UCLA star who played baseball with Jackie Robinson and football in the 1943 Rose Bowl, through his legendary post- World War II legal career as a prosecutor, in which he helped convict Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy, Buck Compton truly embodies the American Dream: college sports star, esteemed combat veteran, detective, attorney, judge.
This is the true story of a real-life hero who traveled to a faraway place and put his life on the line for the cause of freedomaand an insightful memoir about courage, leadership, camaraderie, compassion, and the opportunities for success that can only happen in America.