Simpson, James R., WO1

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
16 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Warrant Officer 1
Last Service Branch
Warrant Officer (pre-2004)
Last Primary MOS
062B-Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Officer)
Primary Unit
1966-1967, 062B, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
Service Years
1964 - 1967

Warrant Officer (pre-2004)

Warrant Officer 1

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

9 kb

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt. S. Kimbrow to remember Simpson, James R., WO1.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Jun 01, 1967
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Gia Dinh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Grace Chapel Church Cemetery - Tramway, North Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
21E 030

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  1967, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Aviator Badge (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
U.S. Army Primary Helicopter Center (Cadre) Fort Wolters1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
  1966-1966, U.S. Army Primary Helicopter Center (Cadre) Fort Wolters
  1966-1967, 062B, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
WO1 Simpson served as a rifleman prior to helicopter pilot training (with Davy Crockett Platoon in 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry in 1964). He attended Flight class: 66-5W.

He and his observer, Major William Coats, were killed in a OH-23G "Raven" (tail number 62-03793) helicopter accident due to rotor failure south of Hoc Mon.

WO Simpson was interred in Grace Chapel Church Cemetery, Tramway, Lee County, North Carolina.

He was awarded The Bronze Star Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Army Good Conduct Medal, The Air Medal with 20 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Army Commendation Medal.


Addenda from findagrave

I was a frequent passenger in his Chopper. I remember Jim as a skilled and courageous pilot. He flew a OH-23, light observation helicopter. Bruce Logan.

James was member of Davy Crockett Platoon in 2d Bde, 1st Cav in 1964 I was the platoon leader. He came to me and requested I help him apply to helicoper flight school. He was accepted. Then 1967, I arrived in VN in February and James was the Bde OH-23 pilot. He died with Monk Coats when they flew to Saigon to find a Major slot for Coats. Both were good men. I think of them often. Norman Newberry, Plt Ldr in 2nd Bde, 1st Cav, Korea 1964.

I am his daughter. You were gone long before I was born, off to fight in a war so far away. I wasn't even a year old when you died. You never saw me, you never even knew my name, but you were still and are still my original father. I share your DNA, and now I know your brother and your mother, and the more I learn about you, the more I see myself in the memories your family has of you. Your grandson looks just like you, and your mother, my grandmother, says so every time we visit. I have your flag, your flight wings, your pipes, your sunglasses, and so many pictures, and I hold these precious items close to my heart. I wish I could have known you, even though you made the decision never to know me. Of course, you were young and full of promise and like all of us do, you did the best you knew how. On this, the 42nd anniversary of your death, I honor your memory. I am so sorry your life was lost, but now that I've found them, your family is comforted by the fact that you live on through me and my son, and I am proud to be your daughter. Sara Bailey, 1816 Woodland Ave Burlington NC 27215,

Friend and frequent passenger: Jim Simpson was one of the most courageous soldiers I knew in Vietnam. He feared nothing. I flew with him a number of times, once into a very hot area after a major battle near Phu Hua Dong. We were with the 25th Infantry Division stationed at Cu Chi. Jim died about two weeks before he was due to leave Vietnam. He was to be stationed in Germany, a country I was well-acquainted with. I gave him all the info I could on Germany and taught him a few phrases in the German language. Jim was a great guy and well liked by everyone who knew him. His helicopter maintenance crew took his death very hard as did all his friends. William Richards, 6419 Pelican Drive South St Petersburg Fl 33707,

I am the very young helicopter pilot on the left in the photo of Monk taken just days before his death. I have the original Polaroid photo. Monk was the Assistant S-2 (Intelligence Officer) of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. We arrived in Vietnam about the same time in February 1967 and , in spite of the difference in our ranks, quickly became good friends. Combat fosters fast friendships. He did not like being a staff officer and asked me a few weeks earlier if I could fly him to Saigon where he could try to get a job with Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) as an advisor to the Vietnamese Army. I told him we would go as soon as a helicopter and I could be available.

Jim Simpson, another pilot in our Aviation Section and a close friend, had only two weeks remaining on his tour on the morning of June 1, 1967. He had mentioned he wanted to go to Saigon to do some shopping before he went home. The Brigade HQ was deployed forward and we were operating from a field location about 20 miles NW of the Division Base Camp at Cu Chi. I was in the Brigade Tactical Operations Center (TOC) when Jim called on the radio saying he was airborne with the Brigade Command Sergeant Major (CSM)and Captain Coats. He said he would drop the CSM at Cu Chi and continue to Saigon with Monk. (Monk was a captain when he died but apparently was on the major promotion list.) My first reaction was irritation. A trip to Saigon was a special treat. Monk asked me to take him. He was my friend and I wanted to fly him to Saigon! But Jim was "short" and I thought it was good that was able to get in one more shopping trip to Saigon before he went home and the important thing was that Monk was able to get to MACV to look for the job he wanted. Hoc Mon is a village northwest of Saigon we used as a reporting point. We had to go low level under the air traffic into Tan Son Nhut AFB to get into Saigon Heliport on the south side of the runway so the radio call was "Hoc Mon, going low level, switching to Tan Son Nhut tower". After dropping the CSM at Cu Chi, Jim flew down what was then Highway 1 and reported Hoc Mon. After descending to low level, there was a major flight control separation in the main rotor head. Jim had no control. One of the main rotor blades flexed down and severed the tailboom in flight. Jim and Monk were killed on impact.

Copyright Inc 2003-2011