William F. Sippel, Jr. could have been 100 years old today.
He was born on January 21, 1917 in Indiana. His parents were both born in Wisconsin. He had one older brother. His father owned a restaurant in 1920. By 1930 he worked as a piano finisher and by 1940 he was a shipper's assistant.
William had a high school education. Before joining the Army Air Corp he worked as a billing clerk.
William enlisted in the army air corp on January 15, 1942. He was 6'1" and weighed 191 pounds. He became a B-24 navigator in the 400th Squadron, 90th Bomb Group.
Lt. Sippel died on November 17, 1942 in a tragic takeoff accident at the Iron Range air strip in Queensland, Australia. His plane was the eleventh in line to take off for the squadron's first bombing mission to Rabaul. The airstrip was in poor shape and dust raised by the earlier planes obscured the pilot's vision. While still moving on the ground the plane veered off the runway and crashed into three parked bombers. The B-24 caught fire and its bombs exploded, killing all eleven men on board including Lt. Sippel.
|This B-24 was damaged in the collision that claimed the life of Lt. Sippel.|
His remains were returned to be buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery Park.
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