A Soldier's Story: Captain Lewis Nixon III


Captain Lewis Nixon III was born on September 30, 1918, in New York, New York. His family was shipbuilders, and he learned to sail early in life. Captain Lewis Nixon traveled extensively through the US and Europe and was privately educated for much of his life. He graduated from the Cate School in Santa Barbara, California, before he attended two years of university at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

In response to World War II, Captain Lewis Nixon III enlisted in the US Army on January 14, 1941, volunteering for the newly created parachute infantry.  

Captain Lewis Nixon was first assigned to the 506th Parachute Regiment before his unit was absorbed into the 101st Airborne. 

He deployed to Aldbourne, England, on September 1943 and participated in the June 6, 1944, airdrop on Normandy. Captain Lewis Nixon III was also present at the Battle of Carentan on June 12, 1944. Captain Nixon also served on patrols in Belgium and Germany before being wounded in the Netherlands when a bullet pierced his helmet and grazed his head.  

After Captain Lewis Nixon recuperated, he was assigned to the 17th Airborne Division, and during Operation Varsity's crossing of the Rhine, his transport plane was shot down. He and three other soldiers were the only ones to survive the crash.  

One of the most distinctive notes to Captain Lewis Nixon's military career is he never fired his weapon during combat. This is particularly unusual as he was an infantry officer, especially since Captain Nixon was also noted for his ability to think clearly and act bravely during combat.

He returned to the United States at the end of 1945 and worked at the family-owned Nixon Nitration Works in Edison, New Jersey. Captain Lewis Nixon retired to Los Angeles, California, and died on January 11, 1995. He rests at the Forest Lawn Memorial Garden in Glendale, California.

Captain Lewis Nixon III's character has been immortalized in the HBO series "Band of Brothers."


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

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