Josiah Hunter Hibberd was born and raised in West Chester, PA. He joined the Navy in 1943 during his senior year at West Chester High School. Mr. Hibberd served in World War II for 4 ½ years mostly in submarine and convoy duty in the Atlantic Theater including Normandy. However he did participate in 13 battle campaigns in the Pacific Theater . Mr. Hibberd also served in Korea and Viet Nam. He remained in the military reserves for 30 years during which time he mastered underwater demolition. Among his many commendations and medals, Mr. Hibberd received the Purple Heart.
After World War II Mr. Hibberd completed his education at West Chester University and became a teacher. Between 1952 and 1956 he was a combined 4th & 5th grade teacher at the Malvern Elementary School. From 1956 until 1981 he was the teaching principal of the Malvern School. He continued his teaching career at Sugartown Elementary and Gen. Wayne Middle School until his retirement in 1993.
In retirement, Mr. Hibberd continued his famous after school field trips with the students. The trips included destinations such as Gettysburg, Harper’s Ferry and Antetum and led to his hobby of collecting military artifacts. A man of many interests, his other collections include paintings of local artists, carvings of birds and the “Big-Little” fat books of the 1920’s.
Mr. Hibberd received the Freedom Foundation Teacher award in 1970 and in 1975 was named Freedom Foundation Educator of the Year. He was Malvern Citizen of the Year in 1975. In 1976 and 1978 he was presented with the prestigious Chapel of the Four Chaplains Award in Philadelphia. Mr. Hibberd now resides in West Chester.