PVT Joseph T. Lippi
Company E., 334th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division
Killed in Action 8 January 1945 at Cielle, Belgium
-- Joe Lippi --
The Lippi family originated from Florence, Italy where Francisco Lippi immigrated to New York in 1860 and married Annie McAlister. They had two sons John and
Joe. John was my dad's Grandfather and he was a New York Policeman. John and his wife Elizabeth Meyers had 5 children one who was dad's father Joseph A. Lippi
who married Henrietta Jackson. My father Joseph T. Lippi was born on February 15, 1922 in Brooklyn, New York. My dad grew up in Brooklyn and after graduating
from high school worked in a drug store until he was inducted into the Army. On June 23, 1943, my father married my mother, May Lauber, his high school sweetheart.
My father was inducted into the Army on May 16, 1944. He attended his Army training at Fort McClellan, Alabama and returned to Brooklyn when I was 10 days old.
I was born on July 3, 1944 and this was the only time he saw me. On November 1, 1944, he traveled on a troop transport to Scotland and France and eventually was
assigned as a replacement soldier in Belgium. On December 26, 1944, he was subjected to his first combat against the German Army. My father was in constant combat
during the Battle of the Bulge. On January 8, 1945, my father was wounded by a mortar and was not able to get aid because the medics had been killed and they were
pinned down by snipers. He was out in the snow for a long period of time and when he was eventually retrieved, he died on the way to the aid station.
I consider myself to be a very fortunate individual because of a number of special things that have happened in my life. My mother who is 83 years old as I write
this story married another serviceman when I was 2 years old. His name was Leroy S. Reed and my father Leroy served in both WWII and Korea in combat. They decided
I should retain the Lippi name. I could not have possibly asked for a better father. Unfortunately, we lost Leroy on January 3, 2001.
On January 19, 2001, I received a phone call from a close friend in Portland, Oregon who said his mother in Saint George, Utah called him because she saw a personal
notice while reading the magazine called "The Good Old Times." Gene Wayne, who was with my father in Belgium, had placed the notice trying to find the son of Joseph
T. Lippi. Gene, my mother and I later after 57 years eventually met in person and had a number of wonderful conversations about my father. One strange incident
occurred when in 1994 Gene went on a trip to Europe which was sponsored by the Rail-splitters Society to tour the battlefields of the 84th Infantry Division. The
tour included a visit on September 15, 1994 to the Henri-Chapelle Cemetery. Gene visited my father's grave and noticed flowers were present at the gravesite. I told
Gene my wife and I had visited my father's gravesite. I reviewed our trip to Belgium and discovered my wife and I were at the gravesite on September 12, 1994. Those
were the flowers we placed on my father's grave and we missed meeting Gene Wayne after 50 years by only 3 days.
Through Gene Wayne I eventually met Jack O'Leary, the man who crawled out to get my father at great risk to his own life.
The story of Gene Wayne is incredible, but who would believe it would happen again after 60 years. On November 15, 2004, Arthur P. Mahler had to have exploratory
surgery. He was attended by Ernestine Allen (my neighbor from 1977 to 1990) who . . . while preparing him for surgery asked if he was in WWII. Mahler stated he
served during the Battle of the Bulge. Ernestine commented that a former neighbor's father was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Mahler asked her what his name was
and she responded Lippi. He then told her that his best friend, Joe Lippi from New York, was killed during the Battle of the Bulge.
Arthur Mahler and I met later and spent time getting to know each other. Arthur reminisced on how he first met my father when they went for their induction
examination in New York and then later about their friendship during training at Fort McClellan. Arthur said he was with my father when he found out I was born and
he also told me about the last time he saw my father just before he was killed.
I feel exceptionally blessed this late in life to have had the chance to develop a loving relationship with Gene Wayne, Arthur Mahler and Jack O'Leary, my father's
closest friends. I am very fortunate to be a member of AWON and the Rail-splitters (84th Infantry Division).
I have met so many wonderful people who share the same grief of losing a parent, their loved one, and the joy and appreciation of what this person did for us, our
country and the world. I have been fortunate to be able to know and share with them the bond they had with my father. This bond is a special brotherhood individuals
develop during combat and never relinquish. I thank God I am so blessed to be able to share this with these men and my fellow AWON sibs.
In Loving Memory