Warrant Officer Class II Rayene Stewart Simpson VC

Rayene Stewart Simpson. LES/69/0544/VN Rayene Stewart Simpson

Date of birth: 16 February 1926
Place of birth: Chippendale, Sydney, NSW
Date of death: 18 October 1978
Place of death: University of Tokyo medical clinic, Japan

Ray Simpson was born at Chippendale, Sydney. He enlisted in March 1944 and served on Morotai, Tarakan, and Rabaul. Re-enlisting, he served in Korea and Malaya. In 1962 he was sent to Vietnam. During a second tour there in 1964, he was wounded and awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Discharged, he re-enlisted for a final tour.

An outstanding soldier, on 6 and 11 May 1969, in the Kontum province, Simpson was commanding local Montagnards when the leading platoon came under heavy fire. He ran under fire to a wounded Australian adviser and carried him to safety. He then covered the company’s withdrawal, still carrying his mate. On a second occasion, he organised the rescue of wounded men trapped by enemy fire, placing himself between them and the enemy until they could withdraw.

Simpson left the army in 1970; he was the longest-serving member of the AATTV. He died in Tokyo, where he had settled with his Japanese wife.

Simpson was awarded the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, service medals for the Second World War, Korea, Malaya and Vietnam, the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, and the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

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