Lewis Nixon III

Lewis Nixon was born in 1918 on September 30th. He made his entrance to the world in New York City. Stanhope Wood Nixon and Doris Ryer Nixon were his parents. As a young man, Nixon lived in NYC and Montecito. He travelled the world as a youth and finally settling to attend Yale University. 

In 1941, he enlisted in the Army at Fort Dix and completed his basic training at Camp Croft. He then moved on to Officer Candidate School where he would meet someone special. That someone, would be a friend for life. Richard Winters. 

He joined the paratroopers alongside Winters and was assigned to Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. He found himself under the command of Herbert Sobel. 

Nixon (after a move to Battalion staff) earned his jump wings and completed the rest of his training. He and his unit were sent to Aldbourne, England.  

Dropping into Germany on D-Day, Nixon managed to link up with Batallion Headquarters. He was handed a map by Winters. Realising its importance he ran three miles up the beach to hand it up the chain of command. 

During Market Garden, Nixon suffered a ‘close call’ when a stray bullet caught the side of his helmet. No serious injury sustained thankfully! 

During the Battle of the Bulge, he received a telegram informing him of the need to send him back to the States for a ‘War Bond Drive’. He didn’t want to go. His body language showed that without a word being spoken. He suggested Lt Peacock, due to his unpopularity among the men who saw him as “too G.I”. Lt Peacock went on to the trip. 

Nixon knew his place was with his unit. He knew his place was front line with Winters. He knew that together they had each others back. They were support for each other. Richard Winters has stated in his memoirs how much he respected him.

During the occupation of Germany, Nixon found himself demoted. Why? His fondness for booze, more specifically, Vat69 whiskey.  At the same time, he had also received a letter from his wife, telling of the impending divorce. One issue compounded the other, leading to a vicious cycle. 

Further horrors of war awaited Nixon. Not in the form of news from home but in the form of the visual of the concentration camp that Easy Company came across. How do you prepare for a sight like that? Answer: You can’t.  It did bring one thing home to Nixon and by extension, the other soldiers of Easy Company. They realised why they were fighting. 

The Eagles Nest awaited Easy Company. Nixon was given something incredibly special by someone special to him. He was given first pickings of Herman Goerings wine cellar by Richard Winters. 

After the war, Nixon married Grace Umezawa, with Richard Winters standing beside him as best man.

Nixon and Grace shared their lives together until his death on January 11th 1995 from complications due to Diabetes. 

Sherman Oaks had been their home. They made countless memories and shared their love with their friends. 

Described as a free spirit who enjoyed the wild life. He was someone who partied with the best of them. He was an exemplary Field Officer.  Above all, he was a good friend. 

Richard Winters once said

“Captain Lewis Nixon and I were together every step of the way from D-Day to Berchtesgaden, May 8, 1945 – VE-Day. I still regard Lewis Nixon as the best combat officer who I had the opportunity to work with under fire. He never showed fear, and during the toughest times he could always think clearly and quickly. Very few men can remain poised under an artillery concentration. Nixon was one of those officers. He always trusted me, from the time we met at Officer Candidate School. While we were in training before we shipped overseas, Nixon hid his entire inventory of Vat 69 in my footlocker, under the tray holding my socks, underwear, and sweaters. What greater trust, what greater honor could I ask for than to be trusted with his precious inventory of Vat 69?”

Ron Livingston - Actor
Lewis Nixon III

Band of Brothers gave us just a small insight into who Lewis Nixon was.  During the premiere, Band of Brothers actor, Ron Livingston, sat with Grace, Nixons widow. It has been said that some of the other veterans were caught off guard due to the likeness between the actor and the man he was portraying. 

L-R: Richard Winters, Lewis Nixon & Harry Welsh

Every photo I have seen. Every book I have read. Every scene of Band of Brothers that I have watched. They all  come together to not only show the man that Lewis Nixon was but also to demonstrate how much research Ron Livingston had done to get his character portrayal honourable and respectful. 

In Lewis Nixon I see a troubled man at times. I see a passionate man for what he believes in. I also see a great soldier and a phenomenal friend and support. 

Thank you for your service.