Weldon L. Simpson O-665726

Discussion in '381st BG - Ridgewell' started by Airwar, May 9, 2016.

  1. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Fields of Honor database is looking for a photo of 1/Lt. ( pilot) Weldon L. Simpson of Lubbock County,TX.
    B-17F # 42-30245 '' Lucky Lady II '' crashed 17th August 1943 in Belgium.
    381st BG / 534th BS.

    Probably Scott Burris or Warren can help.

    Jaap
     
  2. Stephan Degreef

    Stephan Degreef New Member

    Dear members,

    I just joined because actually looking hard for a picture of 1/lt and pilot Weldon L Simpson. I am currently doing a lot of
    research on the fate of the 'Lucky Lady II'. It crashed in Oostmalle/Belgium (I live in adjacent village but my wife is from there).
    Where a lot of WWII crash commemoration plaques exist in the wide neighbourhood, there is none for the Lucky Lady. The purpose of my
    research is twofold: 1/write an article (for a dedicated magazine) about this event and 2/try to convince the local community to set up a commemoration plaque.
    When you read already existing articles and some documentation/books on this event, I think 1/lt Simpson more than deserves this. He not only managed to get his a/c out of several spins after being hit, making it possible for his complete crew (8 POW, 1 evaded) to bale-out before crashing and getting KIA himself. So I hope anybody can help me with additional info and/or a picture.

    Stephan
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
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  3. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    MACR 381, 13 pages for B-17F-95 BO 42-30245 starts here on fold3 https://www.fold3.com/image/38292474

    1st Lt Weldon L Simpson, ASN: O-665726. Year of birth 1920.
    Fields of Honor page https://www.fieldsofhonor-database....ar-cemetery-ardennes-s/44344-simpson-weldon-l
    Findagrave page https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56360886

    Searching ancestry.com it seems the Coy Simpson family was not recorded in any of the US Census’. Attached is the only photo available, sadly rather poor quality. Also note that Weldon is identified as W L Simpson.

    Lubbock Senior HS 1936, same photo different size also attached.
    43134_b205935-00104.jpg
    1st Lt Weldon L Simpson, ASN O-665726, headstone app..jpg
    W L Simpson (cropped image)
    W L Simpson. - cropped.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
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  4. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    I believe Weldon's father was a Master Sgt in the Army. They may have moved around a lot.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    A second article. He may have attended Texas Tech but I don't think he graduated. I have not found his photo in any of the yearbooks yet. The yearbooks can be downloaded from here:
    https://ttu-ir.tdl.org/ttu-ir/handle/2346/48621/browse

    The yearbooks have an index at the back, so it is easy to do a quick search for the name. I did not find it but maybe a second pair of eyes would have better luck.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
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  6. Stephan Degreef

    Stephan Degreef New Member


    That's correct, I found info that his father was a Master Sgt. According to the 'Fields of Honor' database he indeed attented TTU/Lubbock from 1938-1940. Will concentrate on those yearbooks. Before joining this Air Corps, he was a flight instructor in civil life. I have some info on the immediate aftermath of the crash but this is mainly from Belgian locals (owner of farm on which grounds a/c crashed, red-cross people...) whom all passed away but interviewed after the war and documented. The database on which I found a summary of all this is in Dutch, I can translate if anybody would be interested.
     
  7. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Weldon's sister, mentioned in the article I posted was Mrs. J. C. Brown then living in Lubbock. Looking at the various census pages it appears he had two sisters, Evelyn (shows in the 1920 census) and "Iowaybell" as shown in the 1930 census. One of these girls is probably Mrs. J. C. Brown. I found another article from the Lubbock newspapers from 22 March, 1953. It mentions two sons of Mr. & Mrs. J. C. Brown competing in the soap box derby. Their names are Weldon (then age 12) and Coy (then age 13).

    Here is the Obit of Weldon W Brown born in 1940 in Lubbock. Note his father father was James Clinton and his mother was Ioway Bell. He has a brother, Coy, living in New Mexico.

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/lsj/obituary.aspx?n=weldon-brown&pid=172076397&fhid=27930

    You can find an address and phone for Coy C Brown (age 75+) using anywho.com, whitepages.com etc.
    Or you can try for children of Weldon W. Hopefully someone in the family has a photo of Weldon L. (I can PM you some addresses if you need them.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  8. Stephan Degreef

    Stephan Degreef New Member

     
  9. Stephan Degreef

    Stephan Degreef New Member

    Thanks a lot. Found address of Coy Brown and will try to get in touch. Meanwhile also found article from the 'Lubbock Morning Avalanche' 8/16/1942 that at that time he was a cadet at the
    Lubbock Army Flying School. Unfortunately I only found the Lubbock Army Airfield 1943 classbook on the internet, guess he will probably be in the '41 or '42 classbook ? Any idea how to get access to those classbooks... ?
     
  10. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    He may have done his Basic at Enid Army Airfield summer of 1942. Here is an article about a letter from his father, Coy, which also mentions Weldon at the end of the article. No luck on finding any Enid class books from that period either.

    Another article from 1942 suggests he did his Pre-flight training a Kelly field. An article from January says he had just finished pre-flight. Not quite clear where he went for primary. Probably the best bet for finding a photo is still the family. Oddly, for all the times he is mentioned in the Lubbock papers, I can't seem to find one that says he was commissioned 2nd Lt, which you would think would be there.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  11. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    I tried my old trick of looking up men who had a serial number close to Weldon's O-665726. . When a class graduated and was commissioned they were typically assigned sequential serial numbers. I found several men with nearby serial numbers and in particular for Nicholas Stampolis O-665732, I found a brief write-up in a Michigan Alumnus Magazine. It say he graduated in class 42-I at Randolph Field on October 9, 1942.

    Fate of Nicholas is here: http://forum.armyairforces.com/threads/42-40617-stampolis-crew.333/
     

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