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Joe Toye

Joe Toye

Joseph D. Toye (Mar 14, 1919 - Sep 3, 1995) was a Staff Sergeant veteran of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) attached to the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during the Second World War participating in the jumps during the Normandy Invasion, Operation: Market Garden, and serving in the Battle of the Bulge. He was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Kirk Acevedo.

Joseph Toye was the son of a Pennsylvania coal miner. He enlisted in the army after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He completed basic training and was stationed in Washington, DC in early 1942. Eager for a bigger salary, Joe volunteered for the paratroopers and joined what would be come Easy Company at Camp Toccoa.  Joseph 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 as part of the Allied invasion of France. Joe Toye was known as the "toughest of the tough" and was one of the most respected soldiers in the company.

Joe Toye was wounded several times during the war, earning him a total of four Purple Hearts. Like many Easy Company soldiers, Joe would often head right back to the line after being injured, not wanting to leave his friends. He was wounded in Holland and also in Bastogne during the infamous "Battle of the Bulge" where he earned his remaining three Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. Bastogne is also where Joe lost his leg on January 3, 1945. One of his best buddies William "Wild Bill" Guarnere also lost a leg while trying to drag Joe to safety after he had been hit.  This incident is portrayed in the mini series Band of Brothers, episode The Breaking Point. In the Band of Brothers bonus documentary, Bill Guarnere quotes Joe as saying "What do I have to do to die around here!", as he had been already injured numerous times.

After the war, Joe Toye spent about nine months in hospitals, finally discharged from the army hospital in Atlantic City, NJ. He had been a coal miner, foundry, and 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, PA as a drill bit grinder at Grace Mines.

He was married twice, had three sons and one daughter (Pete, Steven, Jonathan, and Anita), and had eight grandchildren (Cory and Nick, sons of Pete Toye, Michael, Stephen, and Katie, children of Steven Toye, and Jennifer, Melissa, and Alica, daughters of Anita). Joseph Toye died of cancer in 1995. Major Richard Winters delivered his eulogy. 

Major Richard Winters delivered this eulogy.
Sgt. Joe Toye was one of the best soldiers we had in Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne. Every man in company E would tell you that when the chips were down in combat, he would like to have Sgt. Joe Toye protecting his flank.
Dr. Stephen Ambrose in his book, Band of Brothers, states that Company E was as good a rifle company in World War Two a there was in the world. A unit is rated as "elite" only when it consistently accomplishes its assigned missions. Sgt. Joe Toye was one of the few men whom you could always count on to carry out his assigned job. That made it possible for Company E to earn the honor of being known as an "elite" company.
Let me share my personal memories of three key battles, in three different campaigns, in which Joe Toye accomplished, with distinction, his assigned job.

Despite a severe hand injury which he suffered on his parachute drop the night before, Joe, me, Lt. Compton, Bill Guarnere, and Pvt. Lorraine knocked out four 105mm canon that were firing on the troops landing on Utah Beach, D-Day morning. Joe was a key member of that group, in front of the entire invasion of Normandy; we got the job done.

After the 506th had captured Eindhoven, the Germans retreated and broke off contact with the regiment. On September 19th Company E was given the mission to push east and establish contact with the enemy. Company E, consisting of 130 men, together with a squadron of tanks from the British 2nd Army, ran head on into the German 107 Panzer brigade. They immediately pinned us down in the ditches beside the road. However, we, in turn, had been able to sting them and stop them from over-running and surrounding us. My hope was that we could hold on until it got dark and then we could try to withdraw back to the regiment at Eindhoven. We had accomplished part of our mission- we had made contact with the enemy. Next, I wanted to know what unit we had contacted and how big this unit was. Joe happened to be the first man I saw when I got this idea and he got the job. "Joe, get me a LIVE prisoner!" Joe was a squad leader, but he left the squad behind and went out in no-mans land by himself and got a LIVE prisoner. He got the job done! Joe accomplished the key part of Company E's mission for that day. Singlehanded, he once again made Company E and "elite" company. Action like that in combat wins the respect for life of every man that was in the company.

Battle of the Bulge
On January 1st the Germans made their last big bombing raid of the war. They bombed our front lines. Joe caught a piece of shrapnel in his right arm. This was is third Purple Heart. He was evacuated to Bastogne for first aid treatment. By January 1st the 101st was no longer surrounded at Bastogne. Joe could have been evacuated to a rear hospital. Instead, he preferred to return to Company E. As he was walking across a field to the left of the Command Post, I saw him with his right arm in a sling going back to the front line. I cut across the field to stop him. I said, "Joe, you don't have to go back on the line with one arm. Why don't you take it easy for a couple of days?" I'll never forget his answer: "I want to be with my buddies." Two days later he was caught in a heavy artillery barrage and he lost his leg. That kept him from joining his buddies on the front line then, but that did not stop him in the next 50 years from joining his friends at their annual reunion. Today, I know Joe has joined his assistant squad leader Cpl. Jim Campbell, who he lost in Holland and all the rest of his buddies who have preceded him - in Heaven




Guestbook Entries

Date: Jun 10, 2014
Name: Mike
Entry: Thank you so very much, Sgt. Toye! My Grandpa landed in Normandy and I am continually awed at the sacrifices he and his fellow comrades such as yourself made. The physical as well as the mental scars are now healed as you rest in Heaven together with the rest of your buddies!

Date: Jun 6, 2014
Name: kathleen avery
Entry: Joe Toye was my great uncle and my godfather. My dad and Uncle Joe were very close, and Uncle Joe was his hero. I am proud to be a member of the family and such a great man - so brave - love you, Uncle Joe - will see you when I join you in heaven!

Date: Apr 21, 2014
Name: Giovanni De Vito
Entry: I admire you very much. I hope you are resting in peace. curahee!

Date: Apr 19, 2014
Name: daniel juarez
Entry: you are the best god blaze all, and thanks for the wordl left us! ( perdon por mi poco igles)

Date: Apr 14, 2014
Name: Meegan Murphy
Entry: My dad is 88 years old and served in the Marine Corp Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. That's all I know. He has never talked much about his service; has always evaded questions and I understand and respect his silence. Watching Band of Brothers has given me an insight that my dad has not been able to share with me. Thank you so much, Mr. Toye, for your service, and to your family for being agreeable to your portrayal in a film that was so touching and so informative.

Date: Jan 14, 2014
Name: Scott Little
Entry: Thank you for your service. Gone but not forgotten. Rest in peace

Date: Nov 26, 2013
Name: Diewer
Entry: Every year I watch the dvd box of HBO Band of Brothers. It became a sort of tradition and during watching it I, every time again, am aware of the freedom I live in. And that freedom is something that comes not naturaly. Besides that, I, over the years visited a lot of wo2 museums and did a lot of learning on the internet, wich gave me a good understanding of the battle wich is fought for my freedom. People like mr Toye are people who must have understand that before they went to battle; he chose to fought like he did and that it something wich I can not describe. Bravery is something that I really look up to, something that only some can show and what makes a difference in critical times I want to thank Mr Toye, and all other para's from 101th for they're role in history!

Date: Mar 19, 2013
Name: Chris Wright
Entry: Being a sargent in the Army in peacetime, I understand the craving in men to be apart of something otherworldly, a purpose-almost divine in contributing to the freedom of human beings, while in a brotherhood unmatched. It is a cause worthy of blood, and for me to not take this sacrifice for granted, I will love, live and nurture those for whom these men died, along with my Savior who died for them. My condolences to the families who bear the loss most, of the wonderful people who are no longer with them. May God guide us to their arms once again...

Date: Feb 14, 2013
Name: John Banister
Entry: Thank you Sgt. Joe Toye and the rest of Easy Company for your brave service. You went above and beyond the call of duty and stayed devoted to your unit no matter how many times you were wounded when you could have just stayed in the rear at the hospital which would have as a result saved you from losing your leg. You still led an honorable life as a father, husband, and family man never wanting pity or a hand out. You lived your life as an example to others. A true American hero. I salute you as a former member of the military (U.S. Coast Guard from 1998 - 2006). As I grown man, I look up to you and others like you that fought so bravely and lived so honorably.

Date: Dec 27, 2012
Name: Joe Garland Jr
Entry: I am currently serving as a SSG in the United States Army and I can only wish to become half of the Soldier that SSG Joe Toye was and still is...SSG Toye thank you for your serivce you will be missed

Date: Dec 7, 2012
Name: Jeffrey Lee
Entry: To the family of Mr. Toye, my condolences on the loss of your family member. I know that saying thank you really isn't enough for the heroism and dignity that Joe served with. All I can say is rest in peace Joe Toye.... it is much deserved. I can only hope that I'm remembered with such love and devotion as you are when I pass. Sincerely, Jeffrey Lee

Date: Oct 25, 2012
Name: Kimberly Geiger
Entry: I thank God for all men who fought for our freedom. God bless them, each and every one. Kimberly Geiger

Date: May 22, 2011
Name: Carmel Cutugno
Entry: Thank you for your service. I know you are now in the well deserved care of our Lord.

Date: Apr 13, 2011
Name: Stephen McKenney
Entry: May Joe Toye rest in peace and never be forgotten.

Date: Apr 5, 2011
Name: The Leonard Family
Entry: Our Deepest Sympathy to the Toye Family. You are in our hearts and prayers. God Bless! The Leonard Family

Date: Mar 8, 2011
Name: Alice Gehringer
Entry: There are no words to describe a man like Joe Toye. He gave everything he had to serve his Country along with his his best friends, his Brothers from Easy Company. I look forward to the day when I can meet you in person. R.I.P. Joe.

Date: Dec 27, 2010
Name: Roy Marshall
Entry: Rest In Peace Joe

Date: Apr 29, 2010
Name: George Vogel
Entry: Joe was a great man and will be greatly missed. I was only 5 years old when he married my mom Joe never treated me or my sisters any differt then his own children. We were a fmaily going on vactions. As any one of can tell you He never talked aobut the war all I knew was he lost his leg during the Battle of the Bulge he never complained. We went fishing camping he coached baseball. He was my hero growing up and now more people know aobut him because of Steven Ambrose and Tom Hanks. A big thank you to Dick Winters and Bill, Don and Babe who have left a lasting memeory of my father for me

Date: Mar 24, 2010
Name: Douglas R Munford
Entry: I know Joe Toy from the TV series Band of Brothers. The devotion and loyalty that he showed to his comrades and to his country deserve my highest respect. may he rest in peace.

Date: Mar 21, 2010
Name: john a
Entry: thank you for your bravery and your time in the military. Rest in peace Joe.

Date: Mar 15, 2010
Name: Lindsey Brewer
Entry: Airborne. The world will never have another generation of men who accomplished so much. The country owes you, Joe, and all the soldiers of WW2 their deepest gratitude.

Date: Mar 15, 2010
Name: Dave Palmer
Entry: Rest Easy Joe. Legend.

Date: Mar 15, 2010
Name: Rich Sharp
Entry: May you rest in peace.

Date: Mar 14, 2010
Name: Tracee
Entry: God bless you Joe Toye! You are of a rare breed and I'm blessed to know your name.

Date: Mar 14, 2010
Name: William Terrazas
Entry: We will never forget the name Joe Toye, his service and love for this country is greatly appreciated. We should all feel privilidged to have known his story along with the rest of Easy. Thank You Joe.

Date: Mar 11, 2010
Name: Shannon Duffy
Entry: My respects to a true american hero! Loved the mini-series, I really hope it is as historically accurate as possible. Thanks, Shannon Duffy

Date: Mar 5, 2010
Name: Michael
Entry: ..they shall not grow old..human kind can never fully thank men like these,the best we can do is show them we appreciate their deeds and valour..R.I.P Mr Toye

Date: Mar 4, 2010
Name: Rangi Carroll
Entry: A great American. Selfless, brave, extraordinary. The name Joe Toye is branded in my consciousness.

Date: Mar 4, 2010
Name: Nigel Sheehan
Entry: Band of brothers is a magnificent series to watch. The portrayal ofJoe Toye comes across as guy that fought for his buddies, his country and his freedom. A hero truely to behold

Date: Mar 4, 2010
Name: Dan Newton
Entry: We should all be thankful to all the soldiers who gave so much so that we could live the life of FREEDOM. To the families who lost loved ones, you have my deepest sympathy and respect, for it is because of men like Joe Toye that we are free. God Bless Dan Newton

Date: Mar 1, 2010
Name: bry
Entry: curahee!

Date: Feb 28, 2010
Name: Jayren Giat
Entry: he was a great soldier

Date: Feb 28, 2010
Name: louis pittelli
Entry: i know you guys never die, you all just regroup. i salute you joe a real GI-JOE and a real HERO.

Date: Feb 24, 2010
Name: Gerald Shaffer
Entry: A true American hero. Certainly one of the greatest stories ever told.

Date: Feb 19, 2010
Name: Jim Rudolph
Entry: I will never forget the first time I saw Band of Brothers. What incredible respect I have for the Paratroopers who jumped into France on D-Day. I am grateful for Mr. Toye's life. He epitomizes the toughness that every man respects.

Date: Feb 19, 2010
Name: Robert Christiansen
Entry: I am grateful for Mr. Toye, and all Veterans, who made great personal scarifices for the liberty and freedoms I enjoy.

Date: Feb 19, 2010
Name: brian strauch
Entry: Joe Toye's dedicated service to his country shows us that "freedom is not free". Seeing what those men went through, should remind us all that Veterans Day should be every day!

Guestbook Entries

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