S/Sgt Ingmar A. Hippe Birth Nov 12, 1916 - Died March 22, 1983.

S Sgt Ingmar HippeIngmar Alexander Hippe, son of John and Martha J. Hippe, was born in Ward County, North Dakota in 1916. They lived at Des Lacs in Ward County, North Dakota. Ingmar attended grammar school and worked in the gas and oil branch prior to his enlistment. Ingmar enlisted in the army aircorps at Missoula, Montana on December 16, 1941. Later he joined the 449th Bomb Group and was assigned to the Thieme Crew 9-12-D as a B-24 gunner. What he did before and what training followed is still a mystery. We do know that he did his crew training with the Thieme crew and was on board during the two crashes.
The first crash occurred on Dec. 15, 1943 en route to Europe over Meknes, Morocco, West Africa due to excessive icing on the plane. The entire crew bailed out but the guest pilot Captain Hiero Hays died when his parachute didn't open and he fell to his death. After the crash of the "Betty Ann", the Thieme crew flew several planes and on January 30 there was a second crash with the "Maui Maid" tail # 16, # 41-serial 28623. This was the plane of the Commander of the 449th Bomb Group Col. Alkire. Because of landing down wind, Thieme had to get the brakes fully on and the nose drilled into the ground. Sgt Ingmar Hippe was the tailgunner on fatal mission #40 Ingmar bailed out and was captured by the enemy.
On April 25, 1944 his worried dad received the confirmation of his "Missing in Action" status. On May 27, 1944 his parents received the confirmation that their son S/Sgt Ingmar Hippe was a Prisoner of war in Roumania.
After recovering in a hospital in Bucharest,Ingmar was POW in "Sub-Lagarule Timis, TimisuldeJos, Roumania 45-21" this was located in a school building in Bucharest, Romania. They were liberated in September, 1944 and came back to the 449th Bomb Goup base in Grottaglie, Italy. Later Sgt Hippe was repatriated to the USA and visited the families ofB-24 Lonesome at Grottaglie 1944 some of the crewmen who where killed in action on 04/04/1944.
S/Sgt Hippe left the service in 1945 and in 1947 met Gwendoline, the woman who would become his wife. Ingmar married Gwen in Sept.,1948. They had three sons: Bill in May of 1951, David in Oct. of 1955, and Alvin in March of 1957. They made their home in Great Falls, Montana. Ingmar's sister Milfred and her family moved to San Diego, Grave of Ingmar and Gwendoline HippeCalifornia in 1957, and Ingmar and his family followed in 1962 because he hated the cold winters of Montana. They raised their three children in California, sometimes working three jobs to support all. He was a terrific father and a man of few words. He always led by example and taught more than he ever knew. He was diagnosed with cancer in October 1982, and he passed away March 22, 1983 in San Diego, CA. His wife Gwen, was also diagnosed with cancer in January 1983 and she passed May 8, 1983, Mother's Day.

Here Red Cross-letters SSgt Ingmar Hippe wrote to his family and letters of his parents.

POW card POW mail letter

July 13, 1944

Your mother was just in with your letter. She looked well. Glad to hear from you. All letters I wrote you were returned.


Red Cross letter Red Cross card

July, 1944

Dear Mother, Dad and All,

Just got this card so will get it off. I'm fine and there is nothing to
worry about. I wish it was over. But am in hopes it won't be too long.
All we do to pass the time is play cards, read and play chess. I hope you
have received some of my cards and letters. We are allowed to write four
cards and one letter a month. We should receive some Red Cross packages
soon, also some of our clothes. The food is very good and we get treated
very good. I hope everything is ok at home. So until next time, good bye
and God bless you.

With love,

POW post POW post POW post POW post

Aug 16, 1944

Dear Ingmar,

My, it seems good to have the opportunity so I can write you. We are all
well and working every day. In middle of harvest and all the crops are
good. I've had lots of rain these summer. It is dry now tho. Everybody
around here are well and things are going along as when you were home.
Our Minister Dolven is leaving 1st part of September for Horas, ND. George
Opland is in the hospital with pneumonia. Crist Losby were home one Sunday
lately. He is supposed to have another operation on his other hip.
Something for all of us, isn't it? Pa got 2 Mexicans to shuck. They are
pretty good too. They came from the beet fields in Montana. They speak
only Spanish so we are in the same fix as you are. They are nice fellows.
We can't understand each other as yet. We haven't sent you a box . Waiting
for label and address. We live in hope. You have gotten lots of publicity

Hope you are fine and time go fast for you. Had a letter from Mrs. Louis
Lannon. She would like to find out about her husband. Had a picture of her
and her little girl. So lots of love from us all. Jeammie is a big fine
boy. So good bye.

Love , Mother

Red Cross letter. Red cross card.

Undated letter probably April, 1944

Just a line to let you know I'm ok. There is nothing more I can say. But
believe me, I'm alright so don't worry. I have wrote a couple other cards
also a letter. I hope you have read them. If not, I hope you get this
card. I may not write any more letters because I have all I can do to fill
this card and I don't want to write anything to keep it from going through.
I hope and pray everything is ok back there. I live in hopes of being back
in not too long a time. So 'til next time, be good and don't worry.

You son, Ingmar

MACR page, handwritten testimony of S/Sgt Ingmar Hippe and description of a tailturret.

MACR 3978Statement of S/Sgt Ingmar HippeTailturret on  B-24H LiberatorSong composed by the Allied Airmen in the POW camp.

Ingmar is still remembered by his family as a brave and hard working father and brother. Ingmar never talked about the war to his children but worked hard to raise them. I hope to find more information on this man who fought for freedom in Europe and in this way to keep alive the memory of S/Sgt Ingmar Hippe. I ask anyone who has additional information to share please contact me at ph.vanderdonckt@outlook.be

Special thanks to David and Katherine Hippe for the letters and photos of their father Ingmar Hippe.