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Joe Toye

Joe Toye

Veterans Funeral Care 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

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  • Jim Rudolph says:

    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.

  • Robert Christiansen says:

    I am grateful for Mr. Toye, and all Veterans, who made great personal scarifices for the liberty and freedoms I enjoy.

  • brian strauch says:

    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!

  • Gerald Shaffer says:

    A true American hero. Certainly one of the greatest stories ever told.

  • Jayren Giat says:

    he was a great soldier

  • louis pittelli says:

    i know you guys never die, you all just regroup. i salute you joe a real GI-JOE and a real HERO.

  • bry says:


  • Rangi Carroll says:

    A great American. Selfless, brave, extraordinary.

    The name Joe Toye is branded in my consciousness.

  • Nigel Sheehan says:

    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

  • Dan Newton says:

    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

  • Michael says:

    ..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

  • Shannon Duffy says:

    My respects to a true american hero! Loved the mini-series, I really hope it is as historically accurate as possible. Thanks, Shannon Duffy

  • Tracee says:

    God bless you Joe Toye! You are of a rare breed and I’m blessed to know your name.

  • William Terrazas says:

    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.

  • Lindsey Brewer says:

    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.

  • Dave Palmer says:

    Rest Easy Joe. Legend.

  • Rich Sharp says:

    May you rest in peace.

  • john a says:

    thank you for your bravery and your time in the military. Rest in peace Joe.

  • Douglas R Munford says:

    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.

  • George Vogel says:

    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

  • Roy Marshall says:

    Rest In Peace Joe

  • Alice Gehringer says:

    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.

  • The Leonard Family says:

    Our Deepest Sympathy to the Toye Family. You are in our hearts and prayers.
    God Bless!
    The Leonard Family

  • Stephen McKenney says:

    May Joe Toye rest in peace and never be forgotten.

  • Carmel Cutugno says:

    Thank you for your service. I know you are now in the well deserved care of our Lord.

  • Kimberly Geiger says:

    I thank God for all men who fought for our freedom. God bless them, each and every one.

    Kimberly Geiger

  • Jeffrey Lee says:

    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.

    Jeffrey Lee

  • Joe Garland Jr says:

    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

  • John Banister says:

    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.

  • Chris Wright says:

    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…

  • Diewer says:

    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!

  • Scott Little says:

    Thank you for your service. Gone but not forgotten. Rest in peace

  • Meegan Murphy says:

    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.

  • daniel juarez says:

    you are the best god blaze all, and thanks for the wordl left us! (
    perdon por mi poco igles)

  • Giovanni De Vito says:

    I admire you very much. I hope you are resting in peace.


  • kathleen avery says:

    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!

  • Mike says:

    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!

  • Chloé says:

    I’m greatful for Mr. Toye. He made a big sacriice for the liberty of France. Merci, rest in peace.

  • Joe Kaai says:

    No words can best describe the gratitude for SSgt Toye and others like him that served on the front lines. Although its been almost 23yrs since SSgt Toye’s passing, men like Ssgt Toye saved the world from a great evil. We now face the same possibility not only in the world but in our own leaders.

  • Jim says:

    S. Sargent Toye, rest in peace sir. You’ve more than earned it, and so have all of your fellow brothers. When I was growing up I always made a point to listen to WW2 vets whenever they might talk about that war, which they rarely ever did. However, some did tell me things and I always tell their story whenever I get a chance. One day I will write them down for posterity sake. Nonetheless, the one resounding commonality all of their stories had was, simply, pain and suffering and fear. Thank you, and thanks to all Veterans, who stand on the wall and endure such things, so that we might live free in this land. Amen.

  • Mathew says:

    Rest in Peace Hero. May God Bless you and all those who served with you.
    True heroes you were and ones that todays generation could learn from.
    Rest in Peace.


  • Alex Guo says:

    Thank you. You are a hero.

  • Harry Simpson says:

    Rest Joseph, until you hear at dawn,
    the low, clear reveille of God.

    Thank you for your service to this nation.

  • Charles Dowson says:

    I can only know Joe Toye from reading Band of Brothers and watching the series. His determination helped me a great deal to keep going as a bus driver in Toronto while suffering from serious leg and hip problems and not taking any time off right up to my retirement day.I used to quote him about not going off the line.Indeed the whole of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division deserves this famous quote but I deliver it at this time with deep respect to Mr. Joe Toye. From that classic Bhagavad Gita As It Is 1972 edition: Chapter Three Text 21.”Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.”
    Thank you Mr. Joe Toye.
    Charles Dowson

  • Philip Martlew says:

    It’s evident both from what I’ve read about him and seen on TV that Joe Toye exemplified the qualities of a true American hero. As a British citizen I express my gratitude for his exemplary service during WW2. God rest his soul.

    Philip Martlew

  • Paula Jolley says:

    I was looking tonight to see whom may be still living of the the men of the 101st, so far I had not found anyone. I would sincerely like to express my condolences to your family, we have lost another hero. I would like to also share with you that after seeing the Band of Brothers I searched my own family member who died over the skies of Germany. It took me over a year but I found out what happened to my great uncle, and had the honor of speaking with a fellow airman who was with him when they were shot down. Although I never met my great uncle after seeing the Band of Brothers I felt I owed it to him to find out what happened to him. Even though it was a painful journey it was worth every minute I spent to honor his memory. The men of easy company will always be remembered and respected and honored. Less we never forget. Respectfully Paula Parsons Jolley

  • Tim Pechanec says:

    I recently finished watching Band of Brothers for probably the 10th time. Unbelievably good miniseries portraying the even more unbelievable selfless acts of heroism of soldiers such as Mr Toye and all the other men of The 101st Airborne. They and thousands like them gave us the life and freedom we so much take for granted each and every day. Wish our public school systems would do more to recognize veterans even half as much as they do individual Presidents and social leaders. I would mandate every high school student watch Band of Brothers to at least garner some appreciation for the sacrifices these men made for us. There isn’t words to describe what we owe all of them…… Thank you Joe.

  • Happy Blackburn says:

    Thank you for the brave and accomplished service you gave this country and the world. You will never be forgotten!

  • Jim says:

    SSGT Joe Toye was a great man. Just look at the way he moves … tough as nails, class, top-flight soldier. A real Hero’s Hero. America and the world is far better thanks to Mr Toye’s dedication and professionalism. Warrior!

  • Joseph Mulinix says:

    I hope you are resting in peace up there
    With Babe Heffron and Bill. They we’re you’re best friends I’m sorry about what happened to you. Anyway 😔 I hope you I am here to leave my condolences Joe.

  • Steven Brownley says:

    I never had the pleasure of meeting Joe Toye but have read numerous books, reports and watched documentaries about Joe and Easy Company and it takes a special type of man to do what they did. The hardships they suffered to make sure that we today could live in freedom cannot be understood. I wish that I could have spoken to Joe to tell him how much the younger generation admire what he did in WW2. Joe like many others in his company were all heroes and I for one will never forget the suffering and hardships they went through to make sure that we today can lead free and safe lifes. Rest in peace Joe, you will be remembered forever. Steve Brownley x

  • Dr. Ralph Biansco says:

    God bless Joe, Bill and all the brave men and women of World War ll. We would not be here without their brave sacrifice.

  • Jami says:

    I have so much respect for Joe after watching and studying him from Band of Brothers. A tough, selfless, and incredible guy. Thank you for your service Joe.

  • ogivwgbrdc says:


  • Jan Kowalski says:

    Honor and glory to heroes!

  • Salvador says:

    I hope his family lineage remembers him and passes on his legacy. For now they have no reason to strive to be the best versions of themselves. What an honor to have known his story and ever more so to be in his family lineage tree. May God bless his soul with the peace he deserves.

  • Frank M. Carter says:

    I met Joe Toye late in his life while serving as his surgeon at our hospital. He was so kind and unassuming. I never knew the horrors he faced and what he accomplished until I am just now watching the “Band of Brothers” series. I am completely humbled and feel honored to have met such a hero.

  • Todd E. Napolitano says:

    I am sure this amazing man is leading God’s army. We need more, many more, men like Staff Sgt. Toye. Great men like him are never forgotten!

  • Joe Rumpf says:

    I grew up Joe’s son Pete in Philadelphia he never mentioned his Fathers history with WWII Sorry I never meet him. I hope Pete and all of Joe’s family are doing well

  • Layleann Wheeler says:

    I am the daughter of two USN veterans from WWII. From their stories I know the sacrifices that men like Mr. Toye made as well as their commitment to their brothers in arms. I know this is many years past his passing, but his actions helped to free Europe and preserve freedom. My he rest in the loving arms of our Lord.

  • Corey Colvin says:

    RIP SSgt.Toye. Thank you, sir.

  • Dwayne Smith says:

    Thank you for your service. You are a true hero!!!

  • Joseph bass says:

    Airborne all the way once a PARATROOPER always a PARATROOPER

  • S Davis says:

    They make few men like Joe these days!
    Hero, all of um,Heroes.

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