RAF wings

S/Ldr John Simpson

Photo Hurricane MkI RAF 245Sqn DX W2900 SLdr J Simpson Aldergrove Northern Ireland May 6th 1941

S/Ldr John Simpson

DFC Citation London Gazette 25/06/1940

Flight Lieutenant John William Charles SIMPSON (37642). In June 1940, 'Flight Lieutenant Simpson led a section of aircraft in a squadron patrol over Northern France. During an engagement with a superior enemy force he succeeded in destroying three enemy aircraft. This officer has led his flight on every patrol, showing not only courage and skill in fighting, but also an excellent example by his confident and offensive spirit. He has personally accounted for seven enemy aircraft.

The London Gazette 1940-06-25

  Gazette Website: PDF Navigator https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34881/page/3862/data.pdf

He was awarded a Bar to the above DFC 30/05/1941

Acting Squadron Leader John William Charles SIMPSON, D.F.C. (37642), No. 245 Squadron. This officer has displayed great skill and initiative both as a squadron commander and an individual fighter. He has destroyed 12 enemy aircraft, of which two have been shot down at night.

The London Gazette 1941-05-30

  Gazette Website: PDF Navigator https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35176/page/3095/data.pdf

There had been a number of small bombings, probably by planes that missed their targets over the Clyde or the cities of the north-west of England.

On March 24, 1941, John McDermott, Minister for Security, wrote to the Prime Minister, John Andrews expressing his concerns that Belfast was so poorly protected. "Up to now we have escaped attack. So had Clydeside until recently. Clydeside got its blitz during the period of the last moon. There [is] ground for thinking that the ... enemy could not easily reach Belfast in force except during a period of moonlight. The period of the next moon from say the 7th to the 16th of April may well bring our turn." Unfortunately, McDermott was proved right.

The first deliberate raid took place on the night of April 7. (Some authors count this as the second raid of four). It targeted the docks. Neighbouring residential areas were also hit. Six Heinkel He 111 bombers, from Kampfgruppe 26, flying at 7,000 feet, dropped incendiaries, high explosive and parachute-bombs. By British blitz experience, casualties were light. Thirteen lost their lives, including a soldier killed when an anti-aircraft battery, at the Balmoral show-grounds, misfired. The most significant loss was a 4½ acre factory floor for manufacturing the fuselages of Short Stirling bombers. The Royal Air Force announced that Squadron Leader J. W.C. Simpson shot down one of the Heinkels over Downpatrick.

The Luftwaffe crews returned to their base in Northern France and reported that Belfast's defences were, "inferior in quality, scanty and insufficient".

List of enemy aircraft shot down by SLdr J John William Charles SIMPSON (37642)

Date Fate Enemy AC Unit Aircraft RAF Unit Location No
03.02.40 Destroyed (1/2) He 111   Hurricane I - L1727 Sq 43 5 m SE Farne Islands 1
09.05.40 Destroyed Do 17   Hurricane I - N2665 Sq 43 10 - 30 m Est Wick 2
01.06.40 Destroyed Me 109E   Hurricane I - N2665 Sq 43 2 m Nord Dunkerque 3
01.06.40 Destroyed Me 110   Hurricane I - N2665 Sq 43 2 m Nord Dunkerque 4
07.06.40 Destroyed Me 109E   Hurricane I - N2665 Sq 43 Sud Gamaches 5
07.06.40 Destroyed Me 109E   Hurricane I - N2665 Sq 43 Le Treport - Dieppe 6
07.06.40 Destroyed Me 110   Hurricane I - N2665 Sq 43 Le Treport - Dieppe 7
19.07.40 Non Confirmée Me 109E   Hurricane I - P3140 Sq 43 Selsey Bill -
19.07.40 Endommagé Me 109E   Hurricane I - P3140 Sq 43 Selsey Bill -
30.11.40 Probable Ju 88 II./KG 30 !! Hurricane I - V7366 Sq 43 Rivière Tyne -
07/08.04.41 Destroyed He 111 He 111 du III./KG 26 !! Hurricane I - W9200 Sq 245 10 m Down Patrick / Sud Belfast 8
05/06.05.41 Destroyed Avion He 111 du III./KG 40 !! Hurricane I - W9200 Sq 245 5 m Est Dunmore Head 9
13.05.41 Destroyed Do 17   Hurricane I - W9200 Sq 245 15 m NO Stranraer 10

  Web References: +

  • The Daily Telegraph news paper - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1508776/Group-Captain-George-Westlake.html