John K. Tipton

NAME:
John Kelley Tipton
NICKNAME:
SERVICE NUMBER:
Unknown
HOME OF RECORD:
Irvine, KY
NEXT OF KIN:
Parents, Leslie & Effie Tipton
DATE OF BIRTH:
9/14/1924
SERVICE DATES:
9/10/1943 – 1/9/1946
DATE OF DEATH:
1/15/1971
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE RESULT
None Served HQ/1/24 Corpsman PhM3c
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Pharmacist’s Mate, Third Class

John Tipton was born and raised in Estill County, Kentucky. He was the fifth of six children born to Leslie John and Effie Kennedy Tipton; Leslie supported the family by working as a machinist on steam locomotives until his death in 1942.

Tipton enlisted in the Navy the following year, a few days before his nineteenth birthday. Details of his early service are few, but he was evidently chosen for Hospital Corps school and started up the complicated career path of a Navy corpsman. He attended Field Medical School in early 1945, and at the conclusion of the eight week course was sent to Fleet Marine Force, Pacific as a replacement corpsman. Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Tipton joined First Battalion, 24th Marines on 1 June 1945 and served with them through the end of the war. He left the service with an honorable discharge on 9 January 1946.

Following his discharge, Tipton transitioned back into civilian life, eventually settling in Houston where he opened his own machine shop. The proceeds helped support his wife, Catherine, and son John Junior.

On 15 January 1971, Catherine found John dead on the floor of their Houston home. He had suffered gunshot wounds in the chin and head which were determined to have been self-inflicted; the coroner ruled his death a suicide. Four days later, the former corpsman was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Houston.

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