NEAL T. LIPPY, CAPT, USMC

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Neal Lippy '79

Date of birth: November 23, 1957

Date of death: July 12, 1985

Age: 27

Obituary

From Find A Grave:

Capt. Neal T. Lippy, 27, Costa Mesa, Calif., formerly of Littlestown, died July 11, after a crash involving a helicopter he was piloting during a Marine Corps Training Run over Okinawa Islands.

He was the husband of Lori Ann Lippy, Costa Mesa, Calif.

He was born in Littlestown, son of Alfred T. and Betty L. Basehoar Lippy, Littlestown.

A 1975 graduate of Littlestown High School, he attended Temple University on a full scholarship. He had been appointed, accepted and entered the Annapolis Naval Academy, but later resigned and then entered Mansfield College in Mansfield, Pa., where he was graduated. At graduation, he was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines. He attended flight school in Pensacola, Fla., and was assigned to Tustin. California. Capt. Lippy was on his second rotational tour of Okinawa when the accident occurred. He was scheduled to return to the Mainland in December and planned to leave the Marine Corps in the middle of 1986.

He and his father had recently founded the business, San Sweat in Orange County, Calif., where they manufactured a sales promotion product. He and his wife had gained clientele in Los Angles and Beverly Hills for the business to which Capt. Lippy had planned to devote his career.

In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Jan(Judith) Bachman, Killeen,Texas, Mrs. Jack (Peggy) Seseney, Littlestown, and Mrs. Edward (Melanie) Neiderer, West Germany, and one brother, Michael Lippy, Littlestown.

Gettysburg Times, Wednesday, July 17, 1985.

He is buried in Pennsylvania. The crew were members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 361.

Memorial Service

Neal's memorial service was prominently featured on the front page of the July 30, 1985 issue of the Gettysburg Times:

"On behalf of a grateful nation" began the speech by Marine Capt. Frank Difalco as he gently handed the tri-corner-folded flag to Lori Lippy, trim, erect, and a widow at 27.

Neal T. Lippy, also 27 and a Littlestown native, died July 12 when the CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter he piloted burst into flames over a Marine training area on the Pacific island of Okinawa.

The funeral cortege Monday began at Littles' Funeral Home in Littlestown, where two Marine honor guards, resplendent in dress blues, stood still as stones on either side of Lippy's flag- shrouded casket, the field of stars, as tradition demands, over his heart The Marines are very strong on tradition, especially at times like these.

The day began hot and sullen, but the haze had burned off by the time the funeral reached Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens west of Gettysburg, as nearly a hundred friends and relatives and 25 Marines escorted Neal Lappy to his final resting place.

The clockwork precision and cadences of a full military funeral couch the sad duties of the occasion in razor- sharp formality. The ceremonies have evolved over the centuries; the slow salutes, the crackerjack perfection, the steps as formal as any ballet- in this way does the military bid goodbye to its own.

In this way, too, with the machine-smooth motions, is the grief handled, measured, cut into more manageable parts. Ironically, a civilian helicopter on a training flight circled the cemetery about a half-mile away, as the short service began, read by Navy Cdr Lawrence McConnell: "Heavenly Father, we beseech You this day to remember Your servant Neal T. Lippy" in the venerable rhythms of the Good Book.

The seven Marines in the Honor Guard fired a 21-gun salute, the bugler played "Taps," and the ceremony wound to a close Marines saluted with exaggerated slowness and stepped away from the casket with steps almost dream-like.

People embraced, wiped their eyes, and filed slowly back to their cars and into the busy routines of their lives.

At the veterans section ot Oak Lawn, the flags of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard snapped smartly in the fresh breeze, under a perfect sky.

Memorial Hall Error

Neal is not listed with his classmates. He was identified through the diligent efforts of a volunteer who combed through SHIPMATE issues to find operational losses not accounted for in Memorial Hall. (He appears in the September 1985 issue.)


Class of 1979

Neal is one of 15 members of the Class of 1979 in Memorial Hall.