Lewis Nixon (United States Army officer)

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Lewis Nixon
Cpt Lewis Nixon.jpg
Nickname(s)"Blackbeard"
"Lew"
"Nix"
Born(1918-09-30)September 30, 1918
New York City, New York, US
DiedJanuary 11, 1995(1995-01-11) (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California, US
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1941–1945
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
UnitUSA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Battles/warsWorld War II
Battle of Normandy
Operation Market Garden
Battle of the Bulge
Operation Varsity
AwardsAmerican Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Bronze Star
Presidential Unit Citation
European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (3)
American Defense Service Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
Croix de Guerre
Belgian World War II Service Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge (3 combat jump stars)
Relations
  • Lewis Nixon I (grandfather)
  • Sally Lewis Wood (grandmother)
  • Stanhope Wood Nixon (father)
  • Doris Ryer Nixon (mother)
  • Fletcher Ryer Nixon (brother)
  • Blanche Nixon (sister)
  • Katherine Page (1st wife)
  • Grace Umezawa (3rd Wife)

Captain Lewis Nixon III (September 30, 1918 – January 11, 1995)[1] was a United States Army officer who, during World War II, served with Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division ("The Screaming Eagles"). Nixon was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Ron Livingston.

Youth[edit]

Lewis Nixon was born to Stanhope Wood Nixon and Doris Ryer Nixon on September 30, 1918 in New York City. He was a grandson of shipbuilder Lewis Nixon (1861–1940) 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 (890 mm) boat class.[2] As a youth, Nixon lived in New York City and Montecito, California; he traveled the world extensively, including Germany, France, and England. Nixon graduated from the Santa Barbara school before attending Yale University[3] for two years.[4]

He enlisted in the United States Army on January 14, 1941 in Trenton, New Jersey.[4] On December 20, 1941, he married Katharine Page of Phoenix, Arizona.[5]

Military service[edit]

Nixon served during World War II and, after graduating from Army Officer Candidate School in 1941 as an infantry second lieutenant, he made the decision to volunteer for the parachute infantry, part of the U.S. Army's fledgling airborne forces. He was assigned to Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (506th PIR), commanded by Colonel Robert Sink. The 506th was initially an independent regiment until June 1943, when it became part of the 101st Airborne Division. He went through the regimental unit training and pre-airborne training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, and Airborne School at Fort Benning, eventually training at many locations throughout the United States and, in September 1943, was sent to Aldbourne, Wiltshire, England, in preparation for the Allied invasion of Normandy.

Nixon was appointed as the 2nd Battalion intelligence officer (S2),[6] and showed enough skill at his job to be moved up to the regimental level as the 506th S2, shortly after Easy Company fought in the Battle of Carentan on June 12, 1944. He served in Normandy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, though he never fired a shot during the war. However, in the Netherlands he was hit by a stray bullet from a German MG 42 machine gun. The bullet went through his helmet, but only grazed his forehead and left a small burn mark. He developed a drinking problem,[7] and was eventually removed and assigned back down to the 2nd Battalion as the operations officer (S3), where he continued to display his skill at planning and operations, but did not have to deal with the politics and high visibility at the regimental level. In Berchtesgaden, he had first choice of a captured, extensive wine collection originally assembled at Hermann Göring's orders, comprising bottles which were stolen from wineries across France and other European occupied territories.[8][9]

Nixon was one of the few men of the 101st Airborne to jump with another division or regiment. On March 24, 1945, Nixon was assigned by Major General Maxwell Taylor, the Commanding General (CG) of the 101st, to be an observer with Major General William Miley's 17th Airborne Division during Operation Varsity, the airborne crossing of the river Rhine.[10] Nixon's plane took a direct hit and only he and three others got out.[11] He is also one of very few men in the 101st to earn three Combat Jump Stars on his Jump Wings.[10]

Nixon ended World War II with the rank of captain and did not fire a single shot in combat. He saw the defeat of Germany, and returned home in September 1945.[12]

He is known and remembered for his love of the blended whisky Vat 69.[13] This is commemorated several times both in the book and miniseries Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose. Lewis Nixon was also remembered as always having a source of whisky no matter where the company was.

Family[edit]

Nixon had several failed marriages; he married his last wife, Grace Umezawa, in 1956.[13] She had been a student [14] in California in the spring of 1942 when the President ordered the internment of Japanese Americans.[15] Richard Winters served as the best man at the wedding. Nixon got his life back together and overcame his alcoholism during their marriage. They had no children.[citation needed]

Later Years[edit]

After the war, Nixon worked at the family-owned Nixon Nitration Works in Edison (then Raritan Township), New Jersey alongside his father, Stanhope.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Lewis Nixon died of complications from diabetes in Los Angeles, California, on January 11, 1995. Dick Winters gave the eulogy at the request of his wife Grace. [16]

Medals and decorations[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Presidential Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster
American Defense Service ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Arrowhead
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 service stars and arrowhead device
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg Army of Occupation Medal
Ruban de la croix de guerre 1939-1945.PNG Croix de guerre
Belgian World War II Service Medal
Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Cbtabn-3.jpg Parachutist Badge with 3 combat jump stars

References[edit]


Other articles of the topics Biography AND United States Army : Alex Penkala, Charles E. Grant, Luis F. Castro, Darrell Anderson, Denver Randleman, Eugene Roe, Joe Toye

Other articles of the topics United States Army AND World War II : Charles E. Grant, Paul Rogers (soldier), Norman Dike, Frank Perconte, Joseph Lesniewski, Joseph Liebgott, Denver Randleman

Other articles of the topics Biography AND World War II : Alex Penkala, Leland Evan Thomas, George I. Falgout, Maurice Joseph Manuel, Robert Burr Smith, Alvin C. Cockrell, Woodrow Wilson Barr

Other articles of the topic Biography : Fedmyster, Doug Underhill, Judy Wadsworth, Deborah Lipp, Alexis Texas, Dimitrios BaltzisΔημήτριος Γ. Μπαλτζής, Michael S. Steinger

Other articles of the topic United States Army : Allison Paganetti, Clancy Lyall, Regular Army (United States), Paul Rogers (soldier), Kevin Benderman, Steven Dale Green, Darrell Anderson

Other articles of the topic World War II : Lyman Knute Swenson, Robert Harvey Bolton, Sr., Gust J. Swenning, William Frank Seiverling Jr., Remi A. Balduck, Edwin William Hurst, Gordon Carson
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  1. "Lewis Nixon - United States Social Security Death Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  2. "Young Nixon Wins Yachting Honors" New York Times. 1926-05-23.
  3. Winters & Kingseed 2006, p. 13
  4. 4.0 4.1 "NARA - AAD - Display Full Records - Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946 (Enlistment Records)". archives.gov. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  5. "Katharine Page's Marriage". New York Times. December 21, 1941. Retrieved 2010-03-22. Miss Katharine Page, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hickok Page of Phoenix, Ariz., was married yesterday in the Municipal Building to Lewis Nixon 3rd, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stanhope W. Nixon of this city, and grandson of the late Lewis Nixon, naval designer. The bride was attended by her ...
  6. Ambrose 1992, p. 103
  7. Winters & Kingseed 2006, p. 240
  8. Ambrose 1992, p. 270
  9. Winters & Kingseed 2006, pp. 220–221
  10. 10.0 10.1 Winters & Kingseed 2006, p. 205
  11. Ambrose 1992, p. 245
  12. Winters & Kingseed 2006, p. 252
  13. 13.0 13.1 Winters & Kingseed 2006, pp. 275–277
  14. Lieberman, Bruce. "Colleges award diplomas to WWII internees". sandiegouniontribune.com. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  15. "Grace H Umezawa WW2 Japanese Relocation Camp Internee Records". japaneserelocation.org. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  16. Winters & Kingseed 2006, pp. 276

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Lewis Nixon at Find a GraveLua error in Module:WikidataCheck at line 23: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).


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