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.

Rolls and Awards

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Conduct Medal

  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1975

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
  • Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1975

Collection Items

Photograph

135695

SYDNEY, NSW. 1970-04. HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II (1) PRESENTING THE VC TO WARRANT OFFICER 2 R. S. SIMPSON VC DCM (2) DURING AN INVESTITUTE CEREMONY AT ADMIRALTY HOUSE.

135695

BEL/69/0786/VN

Warrant Officer Class 2 Rayene (Ray) Simpson VC of Sydney, NSW, receives the Life Membership Badge of the Returned Services League (RSL) from the RSL's National President, Sir Arthur Lee. Sir Arthur, who is also the National Chairman of the Australian Forces Overseas Fund (AFOF), opened the new...

BEL/69/0786/VN

HOB/56/0264/MC

Junior Civil Liaison Officers, Freedy Ong of Malacca and 'Smithy' Yap of Kuala Lumpur, both attached to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR), chat over a cigarette with 2/4492 Sergeant (Sgt) Ray Simpson of Crows Nest, NSW, (right) in a rubber plantation, after finishing two weeks of...

HOB/56/0264/MC

HOBJ4796

24492 Sergeant Rayene (Ray) Simpson of Crows Nest, NSW, putting the finishing touches to the A Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), Christmas tree. It is his third Christmas in Korea. Simpson was later awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and...

HOBJ4796

LES/69/0544/VN

PORTRAIT OF WARRANT OFFICER CLASS 2 (WO2) RAYENE (RAY) STEWART SIMPSON VC DCM. WO2 SIMPSON WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS FOR BRAVERY DURING THE VIETNAM WAR IN ACTIONS, ON 1969-05-06 AND 1969-05-11, IN KONTUM PROVINCE NEAR THE LAOTIAN BORDER. WO2 SIMPSON RECEIVED HIS VC FROM THE QUEEN DURING AN...

LES/69/0544/VN

LES/69/0564/VN

Warrant Officer Second Class (WO2) Rayene (Ray) Stewart Simpson, forty three, of Redfern, NSW, and a member of the Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam (AATTV) was the third Australian to win a Victoria Cross (VC) in Vietnam. On the right is Lieutenant Colonel D. M. Wood, US Army, who commanded...

LES/69/0564/VN

LES/69/0565/VN

Warrant Officer Second Class (WO2) Rayene (Ray) Stewart Simpson, 43, of Redfern, NSW (right), the latest Australian to win a Victoria Cross (VC), claps a friendly arm around the American Army Specialist Sergeant who was with him during the actions which led to the award. WO2 Simpson is a member of...

LES/69/0565/VN

LES/69/0566/VN

Warrant Officer Second Class (WO2) Rayene (Ray) Stewart Simpson, forty three, a member of the Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam (AATTV), with a cigarette, after being told he had been awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), the Commonwealth's highest decoration for bravery. Other members of the...

LES/69/0566/VN

LES/69/0567/VN

The Commander, Australian Force Vietnam (COMAFV), Major General R. A. Hay of Red Hill, ACT, congratulates Warrant Officer Second Class (WO2) Rayene (Ray) Stewart Simpson, forty three, of Redfern, NSW, on being awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). WO2 Simpson is a member of the Australian Army Training...

LES/69/0567/VN

LES/69/0568/VN

Portrait of Warrant Officer Second Class (WO2) Rayene (Ray) Stewart Simpson, forty three, of Redfern, NSW, a member of the Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam (AATTV). He is smiling after being told he is the third member of the AATTV to win the Commonwealth's highest decoration, the Victoria...

LES/69/0568/VN

LES/69/0589/VN

SAIGON, VIETNAM. 1969-09. AUSTRALIAN ARMY TRAINING TEAM VIETNAM (AATTV) MEMBERS GET TOGETHER AT THE SERGEANTS' MESS FOR THE TRADITIONAL TOAST AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF WARRANT OFFICER 2 (WO2) KEITH PAYNE'S VICTORIA CROSS (VC), AWARDED FOR GALLANTRY DURING AN ACTION IN KONTUM PROVINCE 1969-05-24....

LES/69/0589/VN

LES/69/0610/VN

Mekong Delta, South Vietnam. 1969-09. Victoria Cross (VC) winner, Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Ray Simpson of Sydney, NSW, crosses a makeshift bridge at a village. WO2 Simpson is a member of the Australian Army Training Team in Vietnam (AATTV), working with a Village Defence Advisory Team, and has...

LES/69/0610/VN

LES/69/0612/VN

TAN LE TAY, SOUTH VIETNAM. 1969-09. VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNER, WARRANT OFFICER CLASS 2 (WO2) RAY SIMPSON OF SYDNEY, NSW, STRIDES THROUGH THE VILLAGE. A MEMBER OF THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY TRAINING TEAM VIETNAM (AATTV), WO2 SIMPSON IS WORKING WITH A VILLAGE DEFENCE ADVISORY TEAM IN THE MEKONG DELTA AREA.

LES/69/0612/VN

LES/69/0617/VN

Mekong Delta, South Vietnam. 1969-09. While seated in a jeep, Victoria Cross (VC) winner, Warrant Officer Class 2 Ray Simpson of Sydney, NSW, spares a cigarette and a light for an elderly Vietnamese woman during a visit to a village. WO2 Simpson, a member of the Australian Army Training Team in...

LES/69/0617/VN

P00963.025

SOUTH VIETNAM. 1964. WARRANT OFFICER 2 R. S. SIMPSON CHECKING THE BAGS OF A VILLAGER WHEN ON PATROL FROM A SPECIAL FORCES CAMP. (DONOR: AUSTRALIAN ARMY TRAINING TEAM VIETNAM (AATTV) ASSOCIATION)

P00963.025

P00963.067

SOUTH VIETNAM. LEFT TO RIGHT: WARRANT OFFICER 2 K. PAYNE VC; POSSIBLY WO2 B. L. LESUEUR; WO2 R. S. SIMPSON; SHORTLY AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF PAYNE BEING AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS. (DONOR: AUSTRALIAN ARMY TRAINING TEAM VIETNAM (AATTV) ASSOCIATION)

P00963.067

P00963.094

GROUP PORTRAIT OF AUSTRALIANS SERVING WITH THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY TRAINING TEAM VIETNAM (AATTV). FROM LEFT:- WARRANT OFFICER CLASS 2 (WO2) R. S. SIMPSON (LATER VC DCM); WO2 L. G. MCGARRY; CAPTAIN I. C. TEAGUE, CAPTAIN N. F. DELAHUNTY; AND WO2 REG J. COLLINSON.

P00963.094

P02432.001

Warrant Officer (WO) Ray Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), of Sydney, NSW, is carried on a stretcher from a helicopter (not in view) to a waiting aircraft (not in view). WO Simpson had been wounded in the right leg in the jungle when a bullet entered his right knee and...

P02432.001

P02432.002

Warrant Officer (WO) Ray Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), of Sydney, NSW, is carried on a stretcher to an aircraft (not in view) from a helicopter (not in view). WO Simpson had been wounded in the right leg in the jungle when a bullet entered his right knee and traversed the...

P02432.002

P02432.003

Warrant Officer (WO) Ray Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), of Sydney, NSW, is lifted on a stretcher into an aircraft (not in view). WO Simpson had been wounded in the right leg in the jungle when a bullet entered his right knee and traversed the length of his thigh shattering...

P02432.003

PEA/70/0203/EC

Warrant Officer Class 2 Ray Simpson, Victoria Cross (VC), Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), and his wife, Shoko, at Government House, Sydney, after being invested with his VC by the Queen.

PEA/70/0203/EC

PEA/70/0211/EC

Warrant Officer Class 2 Ray Simpson, Victoria Cross (VC), Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), signs his discharge paper at Eastern Command Personnel Depot, Watson's Bay, NSW, after 21 years in the Army. He left the Army to take up a position with a company in Japan.

PEA/70/0211/EC

PEA/70/0213/EC

Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Ray Simpson, Victoria Cross (VC), Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), with his wife Shoko, after receiving his VC from the Queen at Government House, Sydney. WO2 Simpson won the VC for gallantry in Vietnam last year.

PEA/70/0213/EC

WAR/70/0064/VN

Van Kiep, South Vietnam. January 1970. The Minister for the Army, Andrew Peacock, holding a can of VB beer has a chat with adviser, Warrant Officer Class 2 Rayene (Ray) Simpson VC, on a visit to the provincial Vietnamese Army Training centre in Phuoc Tuy Province, during his tour of Australian...

WAR/70/0064/VN

P10566.001

Group portrait of 1 Platoon, "A" Coy, 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. Six months after this photo was taken some of the platoon were involved in an incident with communist terrorists at Sungei Bemban. A patrol was ambushed and in the ensuing fight three Australians, 2/2836 Corporal John...

P10566.001

Art

Warrant Officer Class II Ray Simpson, VC

Portrait of Warrant Officer Class II Rayene Stewart Simpson. He was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Vietnam War. Simpson's slightly confrontational stance combined with his straightforward gaze gives the viewer a sense of his unwavering courage under fire. He received two medals: the first...

ART27748

Film

Warrant Officer 2 Ray Stewart Simpson VC DPR/TV/1170

The clip was taken at Headquarters Australian Force Vietnam (AFV) when Commander Australian Force Vietnam (COMAFV) announced the Victorica Cross (VC) award and after when Simpson was being interviewed by press and congratulated by Australian Army Training Team Vietnam friends.

F04380

For valour

This kinescope recording of the 'For valour' television documentary on the four Victoria Cross (VC) recipients from the Vietnam war. The documentary tells the story of the actions for which Major Peter Badcoe, Warrant Officer (WO) Kevin Wheatley, WO Keith Payne and WO Ray Simpson were awarded the...

F04628

Australian advisors in Vietnam (DPR192)

Activities of Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) advisors assisting the South Vietnamese Army in operations in South Vietnam. Includes scenes of Warrant Officer 2 Ray Simpson VC, DCM.

F03227

Private Record

Heraldry

Victoria Cross : Warrant Officer Second Class R S Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

Victoria Cross. Engraved reverse suspender with recipient's details, and reverse cross with date of action.

REL/06323.001

Distinguished Conduct Medal : Warrant Officer Second Class R S Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

Distinguished Conduct Medal (EIIR). Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/06323.002

Korea Medal : Corporal R S Simpson, 3 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

Korea Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/06323.005

United Nations Service Medal for Korea : Corporal R S Simpson, 3 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

United Nations Service Medal for Korea. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/06323.006

General Service Medal 1918-1962 : Sergeant R S Simpson, 2 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

General Service Medal 1918-1962 (EIIR) with clasp 'MALAYA'. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/06323.007

General Service Medal 1962- : Warrant Officer Second Class R S Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

General Service Medal 1962- with 'SOUTH VIETNAM' clasp. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/06323.008

Vietnam Medal : Warrant Officer Second Class R S Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

Vietnam Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/06323.009

Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal : R S Simpson , VC

Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal. Unnamed as issued.

REL/06323.010

Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (EIIR) : Warrant Officer Second Class R S Simpson

Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (EIIR). Engraved around edge with recipient's details.

REL/06323.011

South Vietnam Government Campaign Medal : Warrant Officer Second Class R S Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

South Vietnam Government Campaign Medal. Engraved reverse with recipient's details.

REL/06323.012

Khaki cloth rank brassard : Warrant Officer Class II R Simpson, AATTV

Australian Army Training Team Vietnam khaki cloth rank brassard. The brassard is made from a double thickness of jungle green cotton material, with a slit at the top for a shirt epaulette to pass through. An integral band of the same material is sewn to the reverse to act as a loop for securing it...

REL29342

Black & grey issue wrist watch : Warrant Officer Class II R S Simpson, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam

US Army issue wrist watch with black face and white numerals. The number '12', the hands and twelve small triangles marking the hours have been marked with luminous paint. An inner ring of smaller numbers shows the twenty four hour clock. The hands have stopped at ten minutes to ten. The case is...

RELAWM40187

Pacific Star : Private R S Simpson, 2/3 Pioneer Battalion

Pacific Star. Impressed on reverse with recipient's details.

REL/06323.003

British War Medal 1939-45 : Private R S Simpson, 2/3 Pioneer Battalion

British War Medal 1939-45. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/06323.004

Sound

(24492) Rayene 'Ray' Simpson, Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) describes an action with 232 Mobile Strike Force Company in which Lieutenant J. Blankenship was killed in action, South Vietnam, 1968 in a de-brief with a US Major

[start of tape] "On the night of 23 October, Lieutenant Blankenship split the company into four, four groups. Spec 4 Burrows had the northern most platoon, indigenous platoon leader had the second northern one. Lieutenant Blankenship stopped with 3rd Platoon and headquarters in his night position,...

S00390

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