Joe Toye was born in Hughestown, Pennsylvania in 1919, the son of a coal miner. He enlisted in the US Army on 11 December 1941 following the Attack on Pearl Harbor, volunteering in the paratroopers and being assigned to Easy Company. After training at Camp Toccoa in Georgia, Toye took part in the Operation Overlord airborne landings, and he became reputed as the "toughest of the tough" in the company. He won four Purple Hearts while fighting alongside Easy Company, earning his first after suffering an artillery wound during Operation Market Garden and the last three during the Battle of the Bulge. On 3 January 1945, he lost his right leg, and William Guarnere also lost his right leg while trying to drag Toye to safety. He became a drill bit grinder at Grace Mines in Reading, Pennsylvania after the war, and he died in 1995 at the age of 76.