Major Richard Winters, Captain Lewis Nixon, and other officers of Easy Company celebrate V-E day in Hitler’s private residence, Berchtesgaden, in the Bavarian Alps. May 8, 1945. Colourized by Jared Enos.
Captain Lewis Nixon (1918-1995) was a captain of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR, of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army during World War II. He was born into a wealthy family, and attended Yale University for 2 years before deciding to enlist and later become a paratrooper.
Nix never fired a single shot during his time in combat (D-Day on June 6th, 1944, Operation Market Garden from September 17th-25th 1944, the Battle of the Bulge from December 16th, 1944 to January 25th, 1945, and Operation Varsity on March 24th, 1945), but he made one of Easy’s most important contributions to the war effort. During the assault on Brécourt Manor, France on D-Day, he passed information given to him by (then) Lieutenant Dick Winters about the locations of all German artillery and machine gun positions up the chain of command by running the three miles from Brécourt to Utah Beach. Command then sent the first two tanks to arrive at the beach to support the paratroopers. He was later awarded a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and earned three combat jump stars on his Parachutist Badge for his service.
Nixon was notorious for his drinking habits (shown quite often in HBO's Band of Brothers), which eventually caused him to be removed from field intelligence and reassigned as 2nd Battalion’s operations officer. When Easy arrived at Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” in May 1945, he had first choice of Hitler’s sizable (and largely stolen) wine collection. Drinking, partying, and failed marriages aside, I think Nix was a total babe (and not just cause Ron Livingston played him in BoB). I’m a sucker for the tall, dark, and snarky types…and obviously you have to be intelligent to get into freakin’ Yale.