Biography

Birth date: 16 February 1926
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Chippendale
Death date: 18 October 1978
Death place: Japan: Tokyo
Final rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
Service number: Korea, 1950-1953
Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960
Second World War, 1939-1945
24492 - Vietnam, 1962-1975
217622 - Vietnam, 1962-1975
Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

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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Rolls and Awards

  • Awarded: Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1975
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1975

Collection Items

Photograph

Digitised Collection

Timeline

Date of birth 1926-02-16
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1944-03-15 41st/2nd Infantry Battalion.
Other 1947-01 Demobilised.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1951 Re-enlisted to serve in Korea with 3rd Battalion, The Roayl Australian Regiment.
Other units 1954-01 Posted to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.
Other units 1955-10 Served with 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in Malaya for two years.
Other units 1957-11 1st Special Air Service Company.
Other units 1962-07-29 - 1963-07-17 AATTV 2nd tour of duty Vietnam.
Other units 1963 1st Special Air Service Company.
Other units 1964-07-29 - 1964-10-20 AATTV 2nd tour of duty Vietnam.
Date of honour or award 1964-09-16 Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal for actions when a patrol was ambushed at Tako whilst serving with AATTV on his second tour of duty.
Date wounded 1964-09-16 Severly wounded in leg during action for which he was awarded DCM.
Date of discharge 1966-05-16
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1967 Re-enlisted in Saigon.
Other units 1967-05-02 - 1970-04-09 AATTV 3rd tour of duty.
Date of honour or award 1969-05-06 - 1969-05-11 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at Kontum province, Vietnam whilst serving with Australian Army Training Team, Vietnam as a Warrant Officer Class II.
Date of death 1978-10-18