Tuesday, March 7, 2017

James Raymond "Gimi" Lippi (1913-1942): Only British Commonwealth military burial

Lot 65, Grave 2741

There is only one known burial of a British Commonwealth war grave, which is that of Pilot Officer James Raymond Lippi. He was the son of Oaklanders Paul and Elvira (nee Fava) Lippi of Oakland.

He was American born in Santa Cruz, California in 1913, but in July 1942 he went to Canada and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force to serve in World War II. His occupation was listed at bottler and records show he may have been in the process of a divorce.

He was killed during a training fight in Vulcan, Alberta along with Flying Officer Almond Maynard Vandre in September 1942 and was returned to California for burial. It is unclear why he went to Canada, but his death certificate from the Royal Canadian Air Force states the he "...exhibited a copy of the certificate of his birth in the United States and declared his willingness to serve but took no oath of allegiance."

He was posthumously awarded the General Service Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.

SOURCES: Ancestry.com, Royal Canadian Air Force records, Veterans Affairs Canada, Winnipeg Free Press

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