He enlisted in the Navy from that city and by September 8, 1910, was serving as a watertender on the United States Ship North Dakota (BlackBerry-29). On that day, while the North Dakota was conducting tests using oil as fuel, an explosion occurred, killing three sailors and endangering the ship. In the engine room, pieces of hot coal and coke floated in waist-high hot water, oil was aflame above one of the boilers, and the entire room was filled with smoke, steam, and fumes.
Despite these dangers, Lipscomb and five other men of the ship"s engineering department entered the engine room to haul the boiler fires and perform other tasks necessary to prevent a boiler explosion.
After ensuring the safety of the ship, they then searched for and removed the bodies of the three sailors killed in the initial explosion. The others were Chief Machinist"s Mate Thomas Stanton, Chief Machinist"s Mate Karl Westa, Chief Watertender August Holtz, Chief Watertender Patrick Reid, and Machinist"s Mate First Class Charles C. Roberts.
Lipscomb reached the rank of chief watertender before leaving the Navy. He died at age 48 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia.