Happy Birthday: William Tippins

We’d like to wish a very happy 91st birthday to William Tippins. His daughter helped arrange for us to send a gift of a unit shirt and challenge coin. We’re honored to be a part of his celebration. “He has worn the shirt since Sunday and says the coin will always be in his pocket.
Thank you again!” she writes.

Bill Tippins has an amazing story from his time with the 509th during WWII, including being injured at Anzio, escaping from German captivity several times, and returning to Germany after the war to find his wife, a nurse who helped him recover in a German hospital.

US Department of Veterans Affairs: Former POW, Chief William Tippins

2 Responses

  1. Denis Grillo says:

    509th Parachute Infantry Battalion,

    I just discovered your website, and appreciate for your efforts remembering the 509th during WWII.

    My wife’s late Uncle Jack (Junior Jack Leyden) was a 509th Company A, veteran who at Anzio (age 19), made the combat jump for Operation Dragoon where he was wounded, and was with them at the Bulge.

    After the war he returned home to his parents and 15 siblings in post-war rural Iowa and never spoke of the war or shared memories from his actions with the 509th. It was more than 50 years after his return that he opened up to a close friend and the family became aware that the 509th’s wartime service was exceptional.

    Shortly after he passed away one of his sisters shared some of this information regarding the unit’s battle record and sacrifice. It was difficult to reconcile this reality with his post-war life that was centered on family, but it has encouraged me to the discover as many details as possible regarding the unit’s WWII history.

    I have several published unit histories and battle accounts (Stand in the Door (Jack wounded pg. 281), The Boldest Plan is the Best, Agony at Anzio, and Bloody Clash at Sadzot) but would appreciate any additional reference sources or contacts that you might be able to provide.

    Uncle Jack :
    Junior Jack Leyden(s)
    Company A

    Respectfully,
    Denis Grillo

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