"Scared Stiff" photo autographed by Buck Compton & Bob Noody
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This famous photo, snapped prior to takeoff for D-Day, features paratroopers of the 101st Airborne who signer Bob Noody (shown second from right) remembers as being "scared stiff."
This photo is autographed in black marker by 101st Airborne paratroopers Buck Compton and Bob Noody. The photo features a caption reproduced from Bob Noody's own penmanship and an exclusively designed vintage motif.
Shipping added in checkout // photo size: 8" x 10" // ships flat in a heavy-duty envelope
Buck Compton was born in Los Angeles in 1921. While studying at UCLA from 1939 to 1943, he lettered on the football and baseball teams. Compton was on the UCLA team that played in the 1943 Rose Bowl. He participated in ROTC for four years then left his studies to attend Officers Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in May 1943.
Compton joined Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in England in December 1943. He participated in all of 101st Airborne Division's major campaigns in the European Theatre of Operations. He received the Silver Star and Bronze Star awards for valor and the Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of duty.
Compton remained in the active reserves from 1946 to 1966 and retired as a Lt. Colonel. He completed a degree in law, and subsequently served as an LAPD detective, as a Deputy DA, and as Chief Deputy DA for LA County. In 1968, Compton handled the prosecution of Sirhan Sirhan for the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Governor Ronald Reagan appointed Compton as an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, a post from which he retired in 1990.
Bob Noody joined the Army in February 1943, shortly after his 18th birthday. He volunteered for the paratroopers, not knowing what that was about, except that it meant an additional $50 per month. His arrival at Ft. Benning was an eye-opener, yet he survived the “brutal training.” He joined Fox Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne at Aldbourne, England, just in time for the Normandy invasion.
On the evening of June 5, 1944, at Upottery Airfield, Noody was immortalized in a photo taken of him aboard his C-47 immediately before takeoff. The photo was first published on the cover of an Army Air Forces magazine and it took on a life of its own afterward. In the picture Bob remembers he must have weighed at least 250 lbs., encumbered with his M-1 rifle, a bazooka, three rockets, land mines, and other assorted “necessities.”
Fifty feet of rope hung from his chest, which he later used to lower his leg bag to the ground, easing his fall and ensuring he was ready to fight. He landed behind the mayor’s house at Ste. Mere-Eglise. In the ensuing days, Noody utilized his bazooka to destroy a German tank that threatened his unit outside of Carentan. It was his first and last bazooka usage, as he expended the three rockets he carried into battle. A leg wound at Carentan ended his Normandy adventure.
Noody recovered from his wounds in time to make the Market Garden jump. He fought with Fox Company from Eindhoven to the Rhine. While recovering from the exhaustive Holland campaign, Noody and his unit were rushed by truck to stem the German breakthrough at Bastogne. He froze in regular fatigues, holding the line in the Bois Jacques woods next to Easy Company, above the town of Foy. He survived the patrols and constant shelling only to be wounded during a nighttime recon patrol of Foy prior to Easy Company’s assault on the town. Noody was wounded by friendly fire when a comrade dropped a live grenade while they sought refuge in a small house outside of Foy.
Noody recovered from his wounds in time to join his unit at Hagenau. He vividly recalls lying in a graveyard on the German side of the river at night during an attempt to take prisoners. As fighting ensued a friend whispered, “Boy, what a convenient place to die.” He survived the patrol only to discover that the “Grease Gun” he carried was defective.
As the war ended, Noody celebrated with his unit in Berchtesgarden. One day, searching a train hidden in a tunnel, he retrieved a hand-crafted ceremonial sword belonging to Herman Goering. With the help of his friends he managed to get his prize home to America, where it now resides in a private museum collection.
Noody completed his wartime duty in Zell Am Zee, Austria, and returned to the US where he received his discharge in November 1945 at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.
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