Charles Joseph Ippolito
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
Colonel Ippolito was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and grew up in the Bronx, New York. During World War II, he led an Army tank force that captured Dillingen on the Danube, a key river crossing, thus allowing Allied forces to continue advancing into Germany in 1945.
An April 22, 1945, issue of the Beachhead News described what happened: "Led by Lieutenant Charles J. Ippolito's light tank platoon, the force swept into the town with guns blazing, routing more than 1,000 disorganized defenders and shooting up a retreating mechanized column.
Surging on to the bridge, the unit captured a handful of demolition men and drove other Nazis away with tank fire before the span could be blown."
Colonel Ippolito received the Silver Star for his actions at Dillingen. He also received the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart. At a recent reunion of the 12th Armored Cavalry, known as the "Hellcats," a Holocaust survivor offered his gratitude to Mr. Ippolito for his rescue from a concentration camp by Mr. Ippolito's platoon.
Colonel Ippolito stayed in the Army after the war and was stationed at bases in Japan and Germany, as well as in the United States. He also served in Vietnam and at the Pentagon, where he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1963.
After his retirement from the Army, he graduated from the University of Maryland in 1967 and began a second career with IBM. He was a systems analyst and then a configuration manager before retiring again in 1989.
He was head trustee of Washington Grove United Methodist Church and a member of the IBM "Lunch Bunch." He belonged to the 12th Armored Division Association (43rd Tank Battalion) and was a past commander of VFW Post 9863 in Germantown.
Mr. Ippolito's first wife, Edna Dorothy Knack Ippolito, died in 1998.
Survivors include his wife of eight years,
Claudette Tucker Ippolito of Germantown, whom he met while both were doing
their daily mall walking for exercise; four children from his first marriage,
Charles Joseph Ippolito Jr. of Ellicott City, John Bruce Ippolito of Easton,
Maryland, Carol Ann Collins of Charles Town, West Virginia, and Robert
llen Ippolito of Damascus; a stepson from his second marriage, Jeffrey
Tucker of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania; a sister; 12 grandchildren; and eight
The funeral service will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at the Old Fort Myer Chapel adjoining Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Washington Grove United Methodist Church, 303 Chestnut Rd., Washington Grove, MD 20880 or to your local Humane Society.
Posted: 4 March 2008