Sergeant Joe toyeJoseph J. Toye (1919 – 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. 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.

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Band of Brothers

by his son, Pete Toye

When Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers first hit the shelves in the late 80’s, I knew very little of what my father had experienced as a 101st Airborne paratrooper in WWII. Like many WWII combat vets that I had the honor of knowing as a kid, he spoke very little of the war, especially, of his exploits. All I knew was that he jumped on D-Day, fought in Holland, and was one of the legendary “Battered Bastards of Bastogne” who refused to surrender to the German army that had surrounded them in those early, awful days of the Battle of the Bulge. The other thing I knew for sure about my dad was that he had a slew of medals that he kept hidden away in his drawer; among them, four Purple Hearts.

Steven Spielberg used the book as a basis for Saving Private Ryan. The ‘real’ Private Ryan (Fritz Niland who my father knew personally) was also in the 101st, although a different regiment. Spielberg and Tom Hanks became so intrigued with the book and the surviving vets of my father’s outfit (Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st airborne Division) that they decided to produce the 10-part miniseries shown on HBO. The $120 million project is the most expensive undertaking in HBO history to date.

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Dedicated to Joe Toye – One of our favorite “Band of Brothers” in honor of our fathers who served our country in the Unites States Army.

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Wayne Atchison

Wayne Atchison

James W. "Rudy" Rudolph

James W. “Rudy” Rudolph