JOSEPH PIPPENBACH - SGT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- July 18, 1943
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- May 07, 1970
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Joseph Pippenbach was born on July 18, 1943. His home of record is Pleasantville, NJ.
He served in the US Army and attained the rank of Sergeant (SGT).
Pippenbach was killed in action on May 7, 1970.
Pippenbach was a Sergeant (E-5) with the 4th Platoon, A Company, 2/12 Cav (1st Air Cavalry Division).
In the spring of 1970, the Company was on a search-and-destroy mission in a jungle near the Cambodian border in Phouc Bihn Province north of FSB Buttons (Song Be) in III Corps. The Company had a couple of small and brief enemy contacts during the day, and the 4th Platoon's two Cambodian scouts were clearly nervous. The company's mostly single file movement was stopped in late afternoon to "dig in" for the night. One of the two squads of the 4th Platoon, each of about eight soldiers, was sent out with the Platoon Sergeant to reconnoiter the area in front of the platoon's position, looking for potential night ambush positions and any signs of the NVA. This squad was ambushed about 100 yards from the Platoon. The point man was killed instantly. The Platoon Sergeant and two others were wounded.
While firing continued, the rest of the platoon alternately crawled and ran to the ambush site and engaged the enemy (more than ten, but number unknown) then left the site after several minutes. Joseph had a sucking chest wound. The Company cut a hole in the jungle canopy using machetes and exploding detonator cord tied around tree trunks. Joseph was put on a medevac helicopter along with the other wounded. There was some enemy probing that night.
The next morning, the 2nd Platoon was sent out to reconnoiter and was ambushed with casualties at the exact same spot where the 4th Platoon's squad had been hit. The 4th Platoon responded, the enemy moved off, and the wounded were evacuated through the same hole in the jungle canopy that was used the evening before.
Joseph was a German hoping to gain accelerated U.S. citizenship through military service. He was a gentle and kind person.
Written by Richard D. Lilleston, Platoon Leader
Sources: Richard D. Lilleston (veteran) and NJVVMF, Photo from VVMF.
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