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Lynn "buck" Compton

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Call of Duty: My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers
Lt. Lynn "Buck" Compton  More Info

About the Los Angeles Police Department
In February 1955, the Los Angeles Police Department, through the pages of the internally produced BEAT magazine, conducted a contest for a motto for the police academy. The conditions of the contest stated that: “The motto should be one that in a few words would express some or all the ideals to which the Los Angeles police service is dedicated. It is possible that the winning motto might someday be adopted as the official motto of the Department.” The winning entry was the motto, “To Protect and to Serve” submitted by Officer Joseph S. Dorobek.


“To Protect and to Serve” became the official motto of the Police Academy, and it was kept constantly before the officers in training as the aim and purpose of their profession. With the passing of time, the motto received wider exposure and acceptance throughout the department. On November 4, 1963, the Los Angeles City Council passed the necessary ordinance and the credo has now been placed alongside the City Seal on the Departments patrol cars.

Lieutenant Lynn “Buck” Compton is familiar to many people because his service in World War Two was portrayed by actor Neal McDonough in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.  But, what many don’t know is that Lynn Compton, after World War Two, was also a Los Angeles Police Department Detective, an Assistant District Attorney; appellate judge and author. 


In 1939, Lynn “Buck” Compton attended UCLA where he majored in physical education.  At UCLA, he lettered two years in football and three years in baseball and was captain of the baseball team. Notably, Compton played guard on the Rose Bowl team in 1943.  During his college days he was also a member of the ROTC program.


Lynn “Buck” Compton graduated from the school’s ROTC program and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He commanded the “second platoon of Easy Company in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division. He parachuted into Normandy during the early hours of D-Day, was part of the assault group that destroyed the German artillery during the battle at Brecourt Manor, fought on the line at Carentan, helped liberate Holland during Operation Market Garden, and fought in the freezing cold of the Battle of Bastogne.


As a combat veteran, Lt. Compton received the Silver Star, for valor in the face of the enemy, the Purple Heart, for being wounded while in the U.S. military, the World War II Victory Medal, for active duty during World War II, the Orange Lanyard of the Royal Netherlands Army, for bravery, leadership and loyalty in the defense of the Netherlands, the Combat Infantry Badge, the American Campaign Citation, the American Defense Medal, and the European, African Mid-Eastern Campaign Medal. Compton, along with his unit, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy when holding the main line of resistance during the Battle of the Bulge.”


After war, Lynn “Buck” Compton, joined the Los Angeles Police Department and began to attend Loyola Law School.  During his days with the Los Angeles Police Department, he attainted the rank of detective and was assigned to the Central Burglary Division.  In 1951, Lynn Compton left the Los Angeles Police Department and joined the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor. 


During his career with the District Attorney’s Office, Lynn Compton would rise to the position of Chief Deputy and serve as the second in command of the District Attorney’s Office.  He prosecuted all manner of felony cases as well as high profile cases such the prosecution of Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy.  In 1970, Lynn “Buck” Compton was “appointed by Governor Ronald Reagan to the California Courts of Appeal as an Associate Justice. During his term on the bench, Judge Compton authored more than 2,000 written opinions in all areas of law.”  Lynn “Buck” Compton is the author of Call of Duty: My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers.

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