PVT Joseph T Lippi Name : Joseph T Lippi
Rank : Private
Regiment : 334th Infantry Regiment
Division : 84th Infantry Division
Entered Service from : New York
Date of Birth : 15 February 1922
Date of Death : 8 January 1945
Place of Death : Cielle (Belgium)
In Henri-Chapelle : Plot G, Row 7, Grave 66
Awards : Purple Heart

Joseph Lippi's Story ...

Joe Lippi's son who's named after his father tell's his story ... This story is completed by quotes of Art Mahler and Gene Wayne who knew Joe Lippi personally and by sergeant Jack O'Leary who served in the same outfit during the same time-period and who actually risked his own life to save Joe Lippi when he was wounded ...

Joe Lippi Jr & his mother May

"My great-grandfather John Lippi was a Police Officer with the New York Police Department from 1889 until he died at age 36 on March 6, 1900. He was married to Elizabeth Meyers and they had 5 children, one of who was my grandfather Joseph A. Lippi. Joseph A. Lippi was a Professional Chauffeur and later a dispatcher for the Standard Oil Company. Joseph A. Lippi married Henrietta Lippi. My father was born on February 15, 1922 in Brooklyn, New York. My father has a sister Henrietta Reed who is still alive and lives in Bend, Oregon."

Joseph T Lippi married and Joe and his wife May enjoyed the birth of their son Joe on July 3, 1944 ...


Joe & May Lippi (left) and Joe, May & Joe jr.
the picture above shows the only time Joe saw his son (for 10 days ...)

"Dad worked in a drug store until he was inducted into the Army on 16 May '44."

Joseph T Lippi's order to report for induction

"He attended his Army training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. At Brooklyn Center my father met Art Mahler. They were assigned to the same company during boot camp. Art Mahler recalls ... "On 1 November 1944" Joe and I were two "of 12.000 Replacement Soldiers on the luxury liner 'Isle de France', which had been converted to a Troop Transport, headed for the British Isles. We arrived in Scotland a week later after having outrun a German U-Boat. Directly from the ship we boarded a train and seventeen hours later transferred onto a ship at Portsmouth."

"... after having outrun a German U-Boat"

"We crossed the Channel and arrived at Le Havre France decending the side of the ship climbing down on nets into landing crafts carrying a sixty pound back pack. After a night in a barn we boarded a train for a zigzagging ride, to aviod being detected by German aircrafts, in Forty-by-Eight freight cars to Givet in Belgium. Here we received our rifle packed in cosmolene. The cleaning of the rifle kept us occupied, while "Hurry Up and Wait" was the order of the day. We arrived 25 November 1944 as Casualty Replacements at the 334th Infantry regiment, 84th Infantry (Railsplitters) Division who had seen their frist action one week earlier and who had suffered heavy casualties."

"in Forty-by-Eight freight cars to Givet in Belgium"

"On December 18 1944 a newly captured Pill Box became the Battalion's Forward Observation Post. There I (Art Mahler) found a German Military Newspaper boasting of a German offensive. We laughed thinking it to be propaganda but it turned out to be true, and on 20 December 1944 the entire 84th Division left the 9th Army Sector moving as a convoy through Aachen (Germany), Liège (Belgium), arriving in the city of Marche late at night with all vehicles headlights fully lit. We assumed to be a "Division in Reserve". Where are the Germans we asked ? Eighteen kilometers away and moving towards us, we were told. Who is opposing them ? We are, was the answer.

a German soldier packed for Operation "Wacht am Rhein"
- The Battle of the Bulge -

"We dug in around the city awaiting the German Army and preventing it from reaching the Meuse River. The night of 26 December 1944 we were attacked by a German Corps which ran into our hastily laid ring of mines around Menil. A Tiger Tank moved towards us but changed direction at a road fork near us and continued on a road parallel in front of our position. When our 57mm Anti Tank Canon fired pointblank at the exhaust flame of the tank's rear engine, it became a direct hit. The tank sputtered to a stop 300 yards from our position. Did they still have fire power ? We did not know. I went out on a patrol to fire an armor piercing shell from my bazooka at the tank and luckily for us the crew had abandoned the tank hiding in the woods."


a 57mm Anti Tank Gun & a German Tiger Tank

During his time in Belgium my father met Gene Wayne and they were in the same company and shared a foxhole through out the war ... Both men were assigned to the 84th Infantry Division - Railsplitters, to the 334th Infantry Regiment ... E Company ... Gene Wayne and my father were best of friends and developed a close relationship for the two months they were in combat together in the Ardennes. I later discovered Gene Wayne was wounded just days after my father was killed. They developed a friendship lasting a lifetime. Art Mahler was present when my father found out about my birth and he remembered how he had a big smile on his face sharing the exciting news.


Gene Wayne (left) & Arthur Mahler (right)

Sergeant Jack O'Leary recalls the day Joe Lippi was killed ... "I was in 2nd Platoon of E Company of the 334th (Infantry Regiment). About noon of January 8 1945 we started an attack across a long sloping field with a small wooded area at our back that was back protected by 500 yards to another row of trees and perhaps a house or two that could have been on a road. As we started across the field after getting perhaps a 100 yards from the protected area the Germans opened up with machine gun fire and also started to drop mortar shells in on us.

the Battle of the Bulge ... fighting in snowcovered woods

Fortunately I was right beside a fairly large shell hole and was able to get some protection in the hole. Lippi was perhaps 25 or 30 yards to my right and at about that time apparently was hit by a fragment from a mortar shell. He was laying in the snow and called for a medic, but the medic who usually was near us was killed that morning back in a draw were sergreant Smith of the first platoon was hit in the legs. At any rate after hearing him for a while, I hoped that the Jerries would respect what I was doing and I left my rifle in the hole and went to Lippi. I was able to get him on his feet and he half walked and I half carried him back to the protected area. We checked and there was a wound, I believe toward his back on the right side and it was apparent that the shrapnel was probably still inside ..."

Medics treating wounded after a mortar barrage ...

"We tried to keep Joe warm and kept encouraging him that we would be able to get him out. Someone went to whereever the company CP was and I understand they radioed for a medic and a Jeep to take Joe out. In the meantime we had a really heavy blizzard which didn't help matters at all. To make a long story shorter, as I recall it was after midnight before they were able to get him out and the next day we heard that he had died in the aid station, although I am not sure he was still alive when they evacuated him. I think that medic did come and administer some drugs to Joe during the long wait ..."

"they radioed for a medic and a Jeep to take Joe out"

Twelve days after Joseph T Lippi was killed thousands of miles away from his family, his wife May received the feared Western Union telegram, followed by the confirming letter ...

the Western Union Telegram - 1945 JAN 20 PM 4:24.

Confirming letter - 23 January 1945

Gene Wayne, Arthur Mahler and Jack O'Leary survived the war and returned home ... Many years later these men reached out to Joe Lippi's son, to fill the blanks in a very important periode in his father's life which ended far too early. Joe Lippi Jr. describes these miraculous meetings as follows ...


Art, Joe Jr. & Gene (left picture) - Art, Joe Jr. & Jack O'Leary (right picture)
These pictures were taken at the 60th reunion of the (84th) Railsplitter Division

"On January 19, 2001, I received a telephone 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 placed the notice stating he was trying to find the wife and son of Joseph T. Lippi who was killed during the Battle of the Bulge. Gene Wayne and I eventually met in person and had number of wonderful conversations about my father.

84th Infantry Div., 334th Infantry Reg., 2nd platoon Comp. E, 1944

Gene told me of a trip to Europe in 1994 which was sponsored by the Railsplitters to tour the battlefields of the 84th Division. The tour included a visit on September 15th to the Henri-Chapelle Cemetery. He visited my father's grave and noticed flowers were present at the gravesite. In my correspondence with Gene I told him my wife and I visited my father's gravesite. I reviewed our trip to Belgium and discovered my wife and I were at the gravesite on September 12th, 1994. Those were the flowers we placed on my father's grave and we missed Gene Wayne by only 3 days."

Henri-Chapelle cemetery in Belgium on Memorial Day

A few years later Joe Lippi's son was fortunate to meet Art Mahler as well ... "On November 15, 2004, Arthur P. Mahler had to have exploratory surgery at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington. He was attended by Ernestine Allen who while preparing him for surgery and reviewing his chart asked if he was in WWII. Mahler stated he was and served during the Battle of the Bulge. Ernestine commented a former neighbor's father was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Mahler asked what was his name and she responded Lippi. He asked if his name was Joe and she said his son's name is Joe. He said my best friend was Joe Lippi from New York and he was killed on January 8, 1945. He told Ernestine prior to going into the operating room to give the Lippi family his phone number. Ernestine was my neighbor from 1977 to 1990."

Joe Lippi Jr. & his mother May
Picture taken at the 60th reunion of the (84th) Railsplitter Division

"Ernestine Allen wrote a letter to me describing the incident that took place at the hospital. I called Arthur and we talked for a long time regarding his memories of my father and the Battle of the Bulge. We met several days later and spent hours talking, looking at maps, photographs, documents regarding the Battle of the Bulge and just getting to know a little about each other. Arthur reminisced how he first met my father when they went for their induction examination in New York and later about their friendship during training at Fort McClellan." Joe Lippi Jr. understands the friendship that developed between his father, Art Mahler and Gene Wayne because he served in the Air Force himself. Joe Jr. completed two tours in Vietnam ...

Joe Lippi Jr. completed two tours in Vietnam ...

Joe Lippi Jr. developed a close friendship with Gene Wayne and Art Mahler, a friendship which lasts forever !

Joe Lippi Jr. in his favorite picture ...

These days Joseph T. Lippi rests in the beautiful American Military Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle. He is remembered and honored by his son Joe Lippi Jr., his wife May and his sister Henrietta. Joe is also remembered by his entire family and honored by every visitor of the American Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle and by every visitor of this website.

Joe Jr. & his wife Mary visiting Joseph T Lippi's final resting place (1994)

Special thanks to Joseph's son Joe Lippi Jr. and his wife Mary, to Joseph T Lippi's wife May, to Joseph's sister Henrietta, to Gene Wayne, to Art Mahler and to Jack O'Leary.

© www.In-Honored-Glory.info
published June 24, 2006