WWII vet G.M. "Tip" Tippit: Danny Fulgencio

WWII vet G.M. “Tip” Tippit in 2013: Danny Fulgencio

G.M. ‘Tip’ Tippit joined the Navy, fought in the Pacific and worked on ships as an engineer. Tip’s Navy crew began gathering for reunions 20 or so years after the war, but Tip never attended one until 2000. Why? He wasn’t invited because his comrades believed he was dead. You see, after the war Tip became a Dallas police officer. In 1963 — when news of Kennedy and Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit’s deaths at the hand of Lee Harvey Oswald were broadcast across the nation — many of G.M. ‘Tip’ Tippit’s acquaintances assumed Tip was the victim. Even Oswald’s killer Jack Ruby mentioned, according to the Warren Report, that he knew G.M. not J.D. Read Tip’s full story here.

Our November issue, dedicated to the over-80 set, features multiple WWII vets in addition to Tip:

There is John Gould, founder of the Lake Highlands North Volunteers in Patrol, library friend, trumpeter — he finished high school in 1943, joined the Marines and shipped off to Truk islands in the South Pacific. Mentioned in the same story is Carl Heinrich. Today he is 102, active and a bit of a jokester. In ’42, just days after his wife Wilma (97 and also featured in the story) gave birth to a premature baby, he shipped off to WWII.  Read it all here.

One of my favorite stories ever to report (with the help of former Advocate photographers Ben Hager and Can Turkyilmaz) is this multimedia piece about WWII vets in Lake Highlands. The pilot’s stories and the POW account are especially gripping.

WWII pilot Stacy Naftel: Can Turkyilmaz

WWII pilot Stacy Naftel in 2010: Can Turkyilmaz

On a personal note, I’ve heard tales from my grandfather about leaving high school at age 17 to join the Marines and fighting with Carlson’s Raiders; he recalled battling alongside soldiers as young as 16. Wrap your head around that. 16. My father also enlisted in the Marines just out of high school and fought in Vietnam. I think about my grandmother and women of her generation and wonder how her heart withstood seeing a husband and then a son through such conditions. I wonder about the women whose sons never returned or the men who returned permanently  injured and their families … well, I could spend all day listing war-related unimaginables.

Suffice it to say, to those veterans who have appeared in our pages and those who opt not to talk much about their experiences, to our family members and loved ones who have experienced war, and to those who lost their health or lives, we take a moment today to remember and thank you.