No Middle Initial
By Joe Lipsius
Hq 272nd Inf Rgt

One of my first encounters with Col. Charles T. "Buck" Lanham, Cadre Regimental Commander of the 272nd Inf Rgt follows.  Military rosters were usually, but not always, written, last name first, then first name followed by middle name or middle initial.  In the absence of a middle name, the roster could be written NMN (no middle name) or NMI (no middle initial.)  Very early in the 30 day Cadre 69th Inf Div Officer Training Class at Ft. Benning, Col. Lanham asked to borrow a pencil from one of 2 or 3 around him.  I whipped out my mechanical pencil which had been a going away present from the 96th Inf  Div, the Unit which furnished most of the Infantry Officers for the 69th.    When these pencils had been ordered, a military  roster had been furnished and my name appeared on it as 1st Lt. Joseph (NMI) Lipsius. The pencil was inscribed the same. After using the pencil and before returning it, Col. Lanham noticed the way the name was written.  With a chuckle, as he returned it he said, "Thanks Nimi."  For the remainder of the time he was in 272, he addressed me this way most of the time, particular one on one.  Charles T." Buck" Lanham was sent from the 272nd as a replacement to France shortly after D-Day, June 6, 1944.