Obituary: Henry Clay ‘Tip’ Tipton, 100

The WWII veteran was the sixth-oldest living graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy upon his passing.

Capt. Henry Clay “Tip” Tipton, U.S. Navy (Ret), 100, a veteran of WWII and U.S. Naval Service from 1930 to 1965, died at home Jan. 12, 2013.

He was born April 16, 1912, in Little Rock, AR, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1935. At his death, Tip was the sixth-oldest living graduate. While at the Academy, Tip was undefeated in wrestling and was invited to the 1936 Olympic Trials. Following graduation, he served aboard the battleship Tennessee and the destroyers Jarvis and Satterlee. He was married aboard the Jarvis on Dec. 25, 1937, to the former Mary Isabelle Wood (d. 2007). He was serving aboard the destroyer Little when the U.S. entered the war.

He did post graduate work in Marine Design Engineering at the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School in Annapolis. In December 1943, he joined the cruiser Philadelphia. Aboard that cruiser in the European Theater, he participated in the Anzio-Nettuno advanced landings, invasion of Southern France, and the bombardment of the Formia-Anzio area. Aboard the Philadelphia, he served as chief navigator for the task force that carried President Truman to the Pottsdam Conference in 1945. Subsequent to WWII, Tip served successively as superintendent of the Charleston Naval Shipyard, Engineering Advisor on the Naval Technical Mission to Peru, Mechanical Lab Officer at the Engineering Experiment Station at Annapolis, Head of the Turbine and Gear Branch in the Bureau of Ships and Planning Officer of the New York Naval Shipyard. Tip was transferred from there in 1959 to the Post of Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics on the Combined Staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Command, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and the Western Atlantic NATO Command.

In 1965, Tip retired from the Navy and moved to Loudoun County where he was business manager at the Foxcroft School until he retired in 1977 and moved to Leesburg. In 1996, he moved to Falcons Landing in Potomac Falls and resided there at his death.

His survivors include his four children: John E.”Jet” Tipton (USNA 1962) (Pam Catts), Patricia T. Longley (Chuck d. 1998), Abigail A. Tipton and Priscilla T. O’Donnell (Rob); and three grandchildren: Alexa L. Lewis, Henry Clay “Tip” O’Donnell and Robert J. “Robbie” O’Donnell III.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Falcons Landing Benevolent Fund, Naval Academy Alumni Association, Foxcroft School, or The National Parks and Conservation Association.

Interment will be at the Naval Academy cemetery in April.

Online condolences may be sent at www.LoudounFuneralChapel.com.


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