Buck Compton has had quite a life and he’s still going strong. The former Seahawks game day flag raiser whose WWII heroism was depicted on the HBO series Band of Brothers, celebrated his 90th birthday Saturday in Burlington. Over 200 people crowded in to the corporate flight center at Skagit airport to honor the man whose life has truly been remarkable.
As a child actor growing up near Los Angeles, he played opposite Mickey Rooney and was once directed in a movie by the legendary Charlie Chaplin. Later in Army basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, he became friends with former UCLA quarterback Bob Waterfield and his movie star wife, Jane Russell. One afternoon Waterfield asked him if he’d mind accompanying Russell to a dance. Russell was a WWII pin-up girl and any young man would’ve jumped at the chance of spending an evening with her.
Buck took Russell to the dance and became life time friends of the couple. On June 6, 1944, Compton parachuted in to France a part of the largest military operation of the war. Buck is a real American hero and yet at his 90th birthday party on Saturday he told me, “My daughters planned this and if I’d have known about it, I would have stopped it. What’s all the fuss?”
He posed for photos for three hours never allowing the smile to slip from his face. Happy Birthday Buck, and thank you for all you’ve done.