SIMPSON Ralph Mervyn 406684

LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Ralph Mervyn SIMPSON

Service No: 406684
Born: Subiaco WA, 9 March 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 March 1941
Unit: No. 454 Squadron, Berka III Landing Ground, Libya
Died: Air Operations (No. 454 Baltimore aircraft FA548), Aegean Sea, 4 December 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George William and Ida Simpson, of Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Column 278, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 105, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

No. 454 Squadron Baltimore aircraft FA 548 was lost in a flying battle over the Aegean Sea on 4 December 1943. The crew members were:

Warrant Officer George Townson Agg (400954) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 26 November 1945
Flight Lieutenant David Valentine Paul DFC (403215) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 29 October 1945
Warrant Officer J Rennie (645357) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) PoW
Warrant Officer Ralph Mervyn Simpson (406684) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

Flight Lieutenant Paul in his PoW report stated: “As the intercom system was damaged by canon fire, except for the Observer, I had no contact with the remainder of the crew, but the remaining gunner informed me that Simpson had baled out at 2,000 feet.”

In a PoW report Flight Sergeant Agg stated: “The aircraft on a recce near Lazvrion Harbour was attacked by two ME109s, and shot down. Simpson who was wounded slightly in the face, baled out at about 2,000 feet carrying a K type dinghy. The chute was seen to open by the Wireless Operator. We ditched and were picked up by an Arado aircraft. Three ditched with the aircraft but Simpson had baled out. After being picked up I looked for signs of the chute in the probable baling out area, but saw no sign of it or of any dinghy.”

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Records A705, 166/37/258

Bibliography:

Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990