Captain Edward K Simpson, US Army Air Corps

East Orange, New Jersey

357th Fighter Group - 363rd Fighter Squadron

Eddie came from flying school to the 363rd Fighter Squadron at Tonopah, Nevada in the spring of 1943. He was assigned to my Flight and we flew P-39s in training for combat. The 357th Fighter Group deployed overseas to England where we were assigned to the 8th Air Force and received the P-51 Mustang. Eddie flew in combat in my flight and later was made a Flight leader.

Eddie was such a likable easy going person. He was a superb pilot and a team member. Very dependable, always right there where you wanted him all the time. He was officially credited with 4 1/4 aerial kills. We were close friends.

While I was in the US for R & R during the summer of 1944, Capt. Simpson was involved in a midair collision with squadron mate Lt. Don Ferron, west of Sens, France. Lt. Ferron didn't make it. Simpson survived the midair but was later killed by Germans while attempting to escape with the French underground.

His P-51, named "The Flying Panther," was "purchased" by the school children from the East Orange High School, New Jersey, through the sale of war bonds. His early P51B aircraft was named “All-Away II” after the horse he owned and rode before the war.

Click Here to Read an Article About Eddie from Stars And Stripes 25 Nov. 1959

Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial where Eddie is buried.

"Flying Panther" Built by Steve Negley

 

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