Andrew Jackson Chipman was born on April 7, 1924 to father, Washburn Wayne Chipman, and mother, Clysta Viola Egbert Chipman, in Layton, Utah. His father was born on August 13, 1895 and his mother on April 18, 1895. They were married on January 26, 1916. Andrew was the fourth of six children. He had four brothers; Wayne Egbert Chipman (November 4, 1917—March 1, 1975), James Junior Chipman (April 1, 1920—March 28, 1955), Joseph Egbert Chipman (December 17, 1925—August 28, 2002) and Paul Egbert Chipman (February 10, 1928—February 14, 1973); and one sister, Elaine Chipman Love (June 30, 1922—August 7, 2002).
Andrew’s father worked as a farmer for most of Andrew’s life, transitioning into ironwork later in Andrew’s teenage years, when the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. Andrew graduated from Granite High School in Salt Lake City. Andrew spent a short time working as a clerk before enlisting with the US Navy on January 18, 1943. His brother Joseph followed Andrew’s lead and enlisted on May 10, 1943.
After training, Andrew was assigned to work on the USS Liscome Bay, a Casablana-class escort carrier. The USS Liscome Bay was commissioned on August 7, 1943 and headed toward Hawaii in October. The ship was assigned to provide close air support for the troops storming the shores of the Gilbert Islands about halfway between Hawaii and Papua, New Guinea.
At 5:10am on November 24, 1943, the USS Liscome Bay was approached by a Japanese I-175 submarine. The submarine was only just noticed by lookouts when it shot a torpedo at the starboard side of the ship, causing a massive explosion of the ship's bomb magazine stored nearby. The ship immediately began to take water on its starboard side and within 23 minutes of being hit, was sunk completely.
A total of 644 men lost their lives in the explosion and sinking of the USS Liscome Bay, including Seaman First Class, Andrew Jackson Chipman. 272 men found their way out and to safety. Andrew’s body was never recovered from the wreckage and he was reported as Killed in Action on December 17, 1943. Andrew was awarded the Purple Heart for his service.
Andrew was survived by both parents and each of his siblings. His brother Joseph was honorably discharged on March 11, 1946. Andrew is memorialized at the Courts of the Missing Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii and at the Memory Grove Memorial in Salt Lake City, Utah. Andrew’s father also commissioned a headstone, which was placed at the Kaysville City Cemetery in Utah in 1960.
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smartphone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.