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Simpson Edward Kingbury "Eddie", Jr.

Edward Kingbury "Eddie", Jr. Simpson
Serial Number:
363rd Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group
Date of Death:
New Jersey
Epinal American Cemetery, Dinozé, France
Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf

Edward Kingsbury Simpson, Jr. was born in 1922 in East Orange, New Jersey. He had 3 years of high school in East Orange High School, was single with no dependents, and his civilian employment was in the actors/actresses area. He was residing in Hunterdon County when he enlisted in Newark, New Jersey as a Private for the Army Air Corps.

Edward joined the Army on March 31,1942, and his attainable service record shows he joined the 363rd Fighter Squadron at Tonopah, Nevada "fresh from flight school" in the spring of 1943, according to companions. He received training in the P-39 aircraft, and deployed with the fighter unit in November 1943, arriving in England where more P-39 training occurred. In early 1944, the unit was placed under the 357th Fighter Group, moved to Bodney, and transitioned to P-51s. The unit was tasked for bomber escort and fighter sweep missions. It was on these first missions that Lt. Simpson was credited with shooting down 4 enemy aircraft and received credit for help with another, giving him 4.5 aerial victories.

On August 10, 1944, Lt. Simpson was on a fighter sweep mission. His element was attacked by a number of German fighters, and in the running dogfight that ensued, Simpson's aircraft collided with another P-51. Both aircraft crashed, although Simpson managed to evade capture by the Germans.

He was found by a group of Maquis (French Resistance fighters) and given shelter. On August 14, 1944 as the Maquis were moving their operations, they were attacked by German forces. Knowing the entire group would be killed unless extraordinary measures were taken, Simpson and five of the French fighters mounted a rear-guard action that allowed over 200 other Maquis freedom fighters to escape.

CPT Simpson is buried now in the Epinal American Cemetery, Dinozé, France.

Source of information:,