Last Known Activity
Jerome Laurin Simpson was born in Iva, South Carolina on December 6, 1919. He was the son of John L. and Annie Lois Jones Simpson. After completing high school, he enrolled at Clemson University, graduating with the Class of 1941.
No enlistment, commissioning, or pilot training record has been located. The first mention of military service comes from a citation to accompany the award of the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action in October through November, 1942. At the time, he is listed as a pilot with the 374th Troop Carrier Group.
He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the same period, and it is noted he received the Air Medal for accomplishing 25 missions.
He was riding in a jeep on New Caledonia, Pacific area, when a Japanese air raid occurred on December 25, 1942. A single bomb hit the jeep, killing all occupants. Lt. Simpson's body was returned to the U.S. and he lies buried in the Iva City Cemetery in Iva, South Carolina.
The 374th Troop Carrier Group was formed at Archer Air Field in Brisbane, Australia in 1942, and sent to the Central Pacific Area to be used in transporting troops, supplies, equipment, and for ferrying wounded personnel.
With no MACR or accident report involving an aircraft, it is difficult to find the squadron (4) of the 374th to which he was actually assigned.