Eileen & Lear Simpson
Three Decades of Air Group One Leadership
A woman of grace and dignity, Eileen touched the lives of members of Air Group One for over 30 years. Eileen will be remembered fondly by her son and daughter, family, friends and Air Group One members.Eileen Simpson served dynamically, many years, as treasurer and staff member of Air Group One. Her amazing support, beginning while her husband Lear Simpson was Wing Leader, kept the fires of Air Group One burning brightly, even during tough years. Her persona and efforts were tireless and filled with youthful exuberance. Words can not describe the way Air Group One members remember Eileen, our matriarch, leader, friend and merrymaker. Thank you Eileen, you will be missed.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.
Donations in Memorial of Eileen may be made here. or sent to Air Group One, 1905 North Marshall Ave B-6, El Cajon, CA 92020.
Lear Left his home town of Duquesne, Pennsylvania in 1943 to join the Navy as it fought the Japanese from island to island in the Pacific. Pilots had been recruited and were being trained in large numbers, so the Navy assigned him to duty as an amphibious landing craft operator.
World War II ended but Simpson's great desire to fly did not, so he joined the Air Force and was first assigned to fly B-17's with the 9th Bomb Group. The 17s were soon replaced with B-29's modified to carry atomic bombs and capable of air-to-air refueling. When the Korean War broke out he was reassigned to the 17th Bomb Group flying A-26 Invader light bombers.
The A-26 was ideally suited to the low-altitude, high speed bombing of the Korean conflict, and Simpson's squadron engaged in night bombing. On one particular mission the crew had completed their bombing run and headed toward a secondary, suspicious looking target. They passed though the enemy camp and truck convoy with 8-50 caliber machine guns blazing. To their amazement they had come across a fuel dump and had now set it on fire. Being a lone ship, they could have opted to let other aircraft finish the job with the advantages of daylight and greater numbers. However, braving significant small arms fire, Simpson led them on repeated strafing runs until it was evident the target was destroyed. For significant bravery and outstanding dedication to duty, Simpson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.