Joe Toye

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Joseph J. Toye
Sgt joseph toye 506e.jpg
Born(1919-03-14)March 14, 1919
Hughestown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedSeptember 3, 1995(1995-09-03) (aged 76)[1]
Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service1941–1946
RankUS Army WWII SSGT.svg Staff Sergeant
UnitEasy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Battles/warsWorld War II (WIA)
  • Battle of Normandy
  • Operation Market Garden
  • Battle of the Bulge
AwardsSilver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart (4)
Army Good Conduct ribbon.svg Good Conduct Medal[2]
RelationsBetty (wife)
Pete (son)
Steven (son)
Jonathan (son)
Anita (daughter)
Other workCoal miner, Foundry, Mill worker

Joseph J. "Joe" Toye (14 March 1919 – 3 September 1995) was a United States Army soldier who fought in World War II. During the war, he served with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Toye was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Kirk Acevedo. Toye's life story was featured in the 2010 book A Company of Heroes: Personal Memories about the Real Band of Brothers and the Legacy They Left Us.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Toye was born in Hughestown, Pennsylvania, to Peter and Beatrice McTighue Toye, the son of a Pennsylvania coal miner.[4] Toye dropped out of high school during his junior year.[5] Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the army on 11 December 1941 at Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.[5] He completed Basic Combat Training and was stationed in Washington, D.C. in early 1942. Eager for a bigger salary, he volunteered for the paratroopers and joined what would become Easy Company at Camp Toccoa.


Toye joined Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, to fight in World War II. He made his first combat jump on D-Day of Operation Overlord, as part of the Allied invasion of France. He was known as the "toughest of the tough" and was one of the most respected soldiers in the company.[citation needed]

Toye was wounded several times during the war, earning him the Purple Heart four times, which the book by Stephen E. Ambrose credits as being Easy's highest.[6] Like many Easy Company soldiers, Toye would often return to the line after being wounded, not wanting to leave his friends. He was wounded by artillery, which killed fellow soldier James Campbell next to him, in the Netherlands during the failed Operation Market Garden, and in Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, from December 1944 to January 1945.[7] He earned his three last Purple Hearts there.

Toye lost his right leg at Bastogne on 3 January 1945.[7] One of his closest friends, William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, also lost his right leg while trying to drag Toye to safety after he had been hit.[7] This incident is portrayed in the miniseries Band of Brothers, episode "The Breaking Point". In the Band of Brothers bonus documentary, Guarnere quotes Toye as saying "Jesus Christ, what do I have to do to die?", as he had already been wounded numerous times. He was also nearly wounded a few times while taking the artillery battery on D-Day: a grenade landed between Toye's legs and exploded, but he only bounced up and down from the concussion.

Personal life[edit]

Toye spent about nine months in hospitals and was finally discharged from the army hospital in Atlantic City, New Jersey[8] in 1946.[9] He had been a coal miner, foundry, mill worker in his life prior to the war, but with one leg such work was no longer possible. He retired from Bethlehem Steel in Reading, Pennsylvania as a drill bit grinder at Grace Mines. Toye was married twice: the first time on 15 December 1945 while recovering in Atlantic City.[8] He had three sons, Pete, Steven, Jonathan, and one daughter, Anita, and seven grandchildren. Predeceased by a son, Toye died of cancer in 1995 in Reading, Pennsylvania.[10] Major Richard Winters delivered his eulogy.[10] Toye is buried in Gethsemane Cemetery in Laureldale, near Reading, Pennsylvania, alongside his wife and son Jonathan.[11]

See also[edit]

Others articles of the Topics Biography AND United States Army : Frank Perconte, George Johnson (supercentenarian), Norman Dike, Joseph Lesniewski, Joseph Liebgott, Death of Ciara Durkin, Clancy Lyall

Others articles of the Topics United States Army AND World War II : Albert Mampre, Edwin Pepping, Harry Welsh, Clancy Lyall, Norman Dike, Eugene Roe, Joseph Lesniewski

Others articles of the Topics Biography AND World War II : Angus R. Goss, George Luz, Willis Ricketts, Merrit Cecil Walton, Raymond Frybarger Jr., Trose Emmett Donaldson, Max Silverstein

Others articles of the Topic Biography : Death and state funeral of George H. W. Bush, Beverly W. Reid, Casey Calvert, Carlo Kemp, Bill Workman, XXXTentacion, George Washington Shannon

Others articles of the Topic United States Army : Daniel K. Elder, Edwin Pepping, Death of Ciara Durkin, Jack E. Foley, Lewis Nixon (United States Army officer), Donald Hoobler, Robert Burr Smith

Others articles of the Topic World War II : Everett F. Larson, London Lewis Traw, Edwin Alfred Howard, Roy Orestus Hale Jr., Edward Henry Allen, George Luz, John R. Borum


  1. Social Security Death Index record
  2. DeAngelis, Frank. "Toye's shadowbox". Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  3. [1]
  4. Reading Eagle obituary, December 1995
  5. 5.0 5.1 WWII Army Enlistment Records: on-line NARA Archival Database
  6. Ambrose, p.295.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ambrose, p.200.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ambrose, p.295.
  9. Winters, p. 278
  10. 10.0 10.1 Alexander, p.253.
  11. Reading Eagle Obituary, December 1995


External links[edit]

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