WWII Letters of Hugh C. Lipsius of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Regiment of the Sixth Marine Division

 Hugh C. Lipsius 
E Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Regiment of the Sixth Marine Division
(Letters transcribed and shared by Hugh's daughter Cynthia)
Below the letters, is biographical information on Hugh and the Sixth Marine Division,
also supplied by Cynthia.


The first two letters are dated March 11, 1945, Sunday, 22:30 o’clock, Guadalcanal
(The Division left Guadalcanal and headed toward their staging area on Ulithi shortly after these two letters were written. The Division was going from Ulithi to participate in the battle of Okinawa.)

Dear Mom, Dad & all the kids,

I got your comic books finally. I also got a letter from Dad and Marion.
I guess it will be quite a while before you get another letter but don’t worry about me. I
can take care of myself.
Everything is going along okay.
I went to see Fred today. He’s looking pretty good. His waist size is down to about a 34
now. Mine is about 32 but I have to get 34 or 36 pants to get the right length. I just got a new
suit of dungarees, socks, skivvies, shoes, poncho, canteen, canteen cover and canteen cup. All
decked out like a new boot.
Tell Marion that I got Ellen’s letter. I don’t have any time to write to her.
I’m glad to hear that Davey likes babies. I guess he takes after the family.
(No I haven’t heard the songs “One Meat Ball” or “Rum & Coca Cola”)
It rained all day yesterday & today. It washed out a couple of bridges and fouled up the roads.
It’s about midnight. Wish me luck.
Your son and brother,

Hugh

Hiya Toots,

How’s the kid sister this nice warm evening? I’m sitting in the guard house (Cpl of the
guard) and the sound of the blue Pacific surf is like music and the moon – ah the moon is the brightest, bluest moon I have ever had the pleasure of setting me optics on. It’s nice and cool at night but the days are sure scorchers . How’s the weather at home, kid?
How many boyfriends did you say that you had? I don’t remember from your previous
letter what the number was. Now, really, do you have any on the string?
Your 15 now, aren’t you? It seems like only a short time ago that you were only a
homely, skinny brat – the only difference now, is that your older and bigger. (Don’t take this serious)
Jeff & I are still getting along good and going places together. He’s still in mortars but I
was transferred to a rifle platoon.
You may be 5 feet 7 and ¾ inches tall but your still a runt, to me. Well I guess that’s about all for tonight. 

Love, Your brudder Bus 

The following letters were written while Hugh was on Okinawa:

June 3, 1945

Dear Mom,

It’s all over but the leaving, now. We’ll be leaving for our rear area soon but I don’t
know when.
Maybe Fred will be at the same place that I am going. That would be quite nice because
Jake Hoechst who is a good friend of Fred & mine is there. He lives on Lisbon. I know that I will be at the same place with Jake.
Boy would I like some potato salad. If there is any way that it could be packed to get
here O.K. would you give it a try, please. Also if possible some pickles and wine or some other beverage. (Nothing too strong). I’m quite fed up with field rations. After 94 days I guess I am entitled to be fed up. So are all the others. They sure get monotonous as hell.
I’m glad that this job is finally done. It took 82 days to do it. Our Battalion was the first
one on the south beach. There isn’t anything doing now but patrols which bring in a few prisoners, now & then. The nips are starving and thirsting now. That’s why they’re giving up. They are down in a small pocket which is patrolled every day.
I guess that’s enough for now. Tell Bronson’s mother he’s O.K. Enclosed find some nip
money. So long. 

Your son,
Hugh

(After reading about the battle and speaking with some Sixth Division men, I believe the previous letter has the wrong date – it maybe should read July instead of June).

June 11, 1945

Dear Mom,

Well, I’m still O.K.
This place should be secured soon and we should be on our way back to Guam.
In 4 days, another year of my life will be gone. Getting old, aren’t I. I hope before
another one roles around that I will be home or at least some place in the states where I can get home.
There isn’t much to write about except in more than one instance I was lucky to get out
with a whole skin. But I dood it.
I finally got your letter saying that Bud finally got my letter. I wrote to Fred Van Leaven
on about April 20. He should have the letter by now.
Say hello to Grandma & Grandpa for me. I guess I’ll write them a letter later. So long.

Your son

Hugh

To his sister: July 3, 1945 Okinawa


Dear Mert,

Well, kiddo, it’s all over here. I hope that we will leave here soon.
I have been getting your letters O.K. I just haven’t had time to answer any of them.
I’m glad to see that Bick is getting some vocational training.
I hope that you got by your exams alright. Did you?
I just happened to think. You will all be in the country. I forgot the R.F.D. #. I guess it’s 3. I
don’t even know if Jeanette is going there.

So long for now.

(this was unsigned)

The next letter had no one’s name in the greeting: July 4

Today I went to the dedication of the 6th Div. cemetery. It was a very impressive sight.
Seeing all those crosses of the men who have died. I looked over the graves of a lot of my buddies & marked their location for the rest of the platoon. I really had tears in my eyes for a while & wasn’t the only one either.
We’re leaving this area tomorrow morning. We’re going back around Naha until we
leave. I was really surprised at the way the Island has been built up.
I will give a brief resume of my stay here.
We landed about 12:30 on April 1. April 3 we moved west of Yontan Airfield. On
about the 6 we started to move north. We walked 30 miles in 2 days (whew). We had our first fight on the 12th. On the 15th we had the worst one of the northern campaign. The morning of
the 16th our squad was sent on a patrol. We were hit with mortar fire and returned to the C.P. We were sent out on another patrol & almost trapped but managed to get out O.K. Our next was Sugar Loaf Hill. I can’t put words to describe it but most of the men in the cemetery were from that battle & also the hospitals. In the next one I was hit & got back in time to come in on the Oroku Peninsula. 5 days later I was back in the hospital & got back here in time for the last 2 days. (I’ve sent some Jap bills in the letter)

(This letter was not signed)

July 12, 1945 Pacific

Dear Mom,

We have finally left Okinawa. I can’t say that I’m sorry about it, either.
I’m getting fat on the chow on this LST. It sure is good.
You said that you hoped we’d be in for a good long rest. I guess you don’t know
the Marine Corps. We may get a couple of days off but it probably won’t amount to much more than that.
I hope that you are enjoying your vacation.
We are pulling in some time tomorrow.
The sea has been quite rough the last couple of days.
Are you planning to stay there all summer? That would be a nice place for all the kids
for that length of time. What are they sleeping on cots or straw ticks or what?
I wrote Ken a letter. I received his address on a birthday card that Ruth sent. I also
wrote a letter to Miss Creahan. She used to be my home room teacher at Kensington. I was in her home room for 3 ½ yrs. I don’t see how she ever put up with me, that long. She sends me
the News and writes a note on it every week.
I guess I’ll knock off & get this letter censored so that it will go out with the first mail
when we get there.

So long Mom.
Your son Hugh
Say hello to all the kids.
 Photo of Corporal Lipsius' Platoon, 3rd Platoon, Guadalcanal, February 18, 1945  (click on photo to see full sized)
 List of names of those in the platoon photo above (click on photo to enlarge)

Hugh C. Lipsius, of Buffalo, NY, served in the Marine Corps in the Pacific during WWII. He enlisted and went off to boot camp at Parris Island in June of 1943, just shy of his 21st birthday. He was married, had a 6 month old son, and had completed 1 semester of college at the time of enlistment. He trained at Parris Island and Camp Lejeune, attained the rank of Corporal. His primary military duty was a 60mm mortar man and as a Corporal he would have been in charge of a mortar squad. He eventually shipped out to Guadalcanal and while there was assigned to the Sixth Marine Division, more specifically he was in E Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Regiment of the Sixth Marine Division. The “Striking Sixth” was unique – they are the only Marine Division to have never seen service in the USA. The Division was formed on Guadalcanal and was disbanded in Tsingtao, China. Hugh was in training on Guadalcanal from August 1944 until sometime in March, 1945. The Division was going from Ulithi to participate in the battle of Okinawa. One letter was for his mother, father and siblings, and the other letter was for his sister.

The Sixth Marine Division was sent to Guam after the battle of Okinawa. They were on Guam to begin preparing for the invasion of Japan. After the Atomic bombs were dropped and Japan surrendered, the Sixth Marine Division was sent to Tsingtao, China to assist with repatriating Japanese and Koreans. Hugh was in China until sometime in December of 1945, was sent back to the states at this time and was honorably discharged in January of 1946.

Hugh C. Lipsius had a son, who was Killed in Action, in Vietnam. Click Here to read his son's last letter to his father.

 Special thanks to Cynthia for sharing her father's letters and photos.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

i was so happy and proud of the letters from my dad and brother. thank you cynthia for all your hard work...sally

Jane Driver said...

It's always good to read Dad's letters and get a feel for what he was feeling like. In the last letter he mentions Miss Creahan, his homeroom teacher. She was my math teacher when I was a sophomore and always treated me very well.

Why is this set up so that we have to leave comments in a strange way?

The Reptile Guy said...

Jane,

Thanks for sharing your story about your Dad's homeroom teacher, being your teacher too.

As far as comments being set up in a strange way, I have it set up so I approve them before they post. You would be surprised how many strange and inappropriate posts I have to delete.

Again, thanks for the comment, and we owe your dad, and those who served with him, a great debt, we can only repay by protecting what he fought for.

Jim

Matt Wilder said...

thanks for sharing the letters and photos. my grandfather is in the group photo. Pfc. Wilder.