University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Lipski family

Lipski Family Collection
1927-1990
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 357
Image of Stanley Lipski on the Finnish front, 1940
Stanley Lipski on the Finnish front, 1940

Antoni Lipski emigrated from Grodno, now Belarus, in 1907, and settled in the Oxbow neighborhood of Northampton, Mass. An employee of the Mount Tom Sulphite Pulp Company, he and his wife Marta had a family of twelve, ten of who survived to adulthood. Their oldest child Stanley Walter Lipski graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1935 and was killed in action aboard the USS Indianapolis in July 1945.

The slender record of two generations of a Polish immigrant family from Northampton, Mass., the Lipski collection includes two documents relating to Antoni Lipski and four photographs, two letters, and news clippings relating to his eldest son, Stanley Walter Lipski, a naval officer who was killed in action aboard the USS Indianapolis during the Second World War.

Background on Lipski family

Stanley Walter Lipski (center) at the Finnish front, 1940

Stanley Walter Lipski (center) at the Finnish front, 1940

After emigrating to the mill town of Northampton, Mass., in 1907, Antoni Lipski adjusted to his new American life quickly. Born in Grodno (now Belarus) on March 6, 1882, Lipski settled in the Ox Bow neighborhood of Northampton looking southward toward Mt. Tom and began a long career working at Mount Tom Sulphite Pulp Company. In July 1909, he married 18 year-old Marta Maciejewska, a fellow immigrant and mill operative herself, and began a large family. When Martha died in 1928, just 37 years old, she left Antoni to care for ten children. Antoni died of leukemia in the Westfield State Sanitorium on Sept. 14, 1953.

A graduate of Northampton High School, the Lipskis’ eldest son Stanley Walter Lipski was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1935. Multilingual and an expert in the Russian language, Lipski served briefly at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., before assignment to a succession of highly sensitive posts. He served in the American legation in Berlin until the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, and then went on to posts in Moscow, Riga, and Helsinki, where he served as assistant naval attache to Finland and Sweden.

In March 1943, Lipski was ordered to sea duty aboard the Portland-class cruiser USS Indianapolis, the flagship of the Fifth Fleet serving in the central Pacific. In 1945, the Indianapolis was designated to deliver Little Boy, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, from Honolulu to the staging site on Tinian island. Four days after delivering the bomb, the ship was struck by two torpedoes from a Japanese submarine and sank in only 12 minutes, and in the greatest loss of life at sea in a single incident in American history, 880 members of the crew of 1,196 were killed in action. Lipski was severely injured in the initial blast, but died after a day in the water. He had earned nine battle stars, a Purple Heart, and Silver Star during his service.

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Contents of Collection

The slender record of two generations of a Polish immigrant family from Northampton, Mass., the Lipski collection includes two documents relating to Antoni Lipski and four photographs, two letters, and news clippings relating to his eldest son, Stanley Walter Lipski, a naval officer who was killed in action aboard the USS Indianapolis during the Second World War. Among other interesting items in the collection are two pieces salvaged from the Polish embassy in Riga, Latvia, when the Russians entered the country in 1940: a print of Polish President Jozef Pilsudsky and a Polish military photograph album.

Collection inventory
Antoni Lipski: Official documents
1927-1953
Folder 1

Certificate of naturalization; death certificate

Stanley W. Lipski: News clippings
1980-1989
Folder 2

Also includes newsclippings relating to Stanley Lipski, also a naval officer.

Photographs
ca.1944
4 photos
Folder 3
Condolence letters on death of Cdr. Stanley Walter Lipski
1945 July
Folder 4
USS Indianapolis Survivors Memorial Organization: Constitution and reunion information
1990
Folder 5
USS Indianapolis: Correspondence on documentary film
1990
Folder 6
USS Indianapolis: Correspondence with Silvio Conte on exonerating Capt. Charles McVay
1984
Folder 7
Jozef Pilsudski [portrait]
ca.1940
Folder 8

Note affixed to the back of the Pilsudski portrait reads: “This could be a very valuable item. As Stan told me the story, when the Russians came into Riga, he was in the office of the Polish Minister (I don’t think that is the correct title) and this picture was on his desk. Stan said he just couldn’t see the Russians come in and destroy it, so he took it. It could eb an original but it looks to me as a duplicate of a hand-charcoal drawing. It should be taken apart and cleaned. I didn’t do it because it is so well put together, and I didn’t want to ruin it.” Unsigned.

Polish military photograph album
ca.1939
Folder 9

Residue

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Gift of Anthony Lipski, Oct. 1991.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Aug. 2017.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Lipski Family Collection (MS 357). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Gift of Anthony Lipski, Oct. 1991
Subjects
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • United States. Navy
  • World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
  • Lipski, Antoni, 1882-1953
  • Lipski, Stanley Walter, 1911-1945
Types of material
  • Photograph albums
  • Photographs

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