Medal of Honor & Victoria Cross Recipient
Rayene S. Simpson - AATTV (VC Citation)
Warrant Officer II Rayene S. Simpson distinguished himself on 6 and 11 May 1969, while attached for duty with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, in Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam. Warrant Officer II Simpson, Commanding the 232nd Mobile Strike Force Company, 1st Mobile Strike Force Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, was on a search and destroy mission when it was engaged by a superior North Vietnamese force. Leading the assault against the enemy’s position, he realized that Warrant Officer II M. M. Gill, another Australian advisor, was badly wounded. Disregarding his own safety, Warrant Officer II Simpson crawled an exposed and fire-swept area to rescue his wounded fellow advisor. He then closed within 10 meters of the enemy bunkers and threw hand grenades, destroying the bunkers. Without the possibility of relief from other units, he ordered his men to withdraw from the area. Warrant Officer II Simpson stayed behind to cover the withdrawal. Five days later, on 11 May 1969, while on the same mission, Warrant Officer II Simpson’s company was again heavily engaged with a larger enemy force. Interposing himself between his wounded, including Warrant Officer II A. M. Kelly, and the enemy, he repulsed the enemy until all wounded members of his company had been recovered. Although most of the Vietnamese troops he was leading had retreated, Warrant Officer II Simpson’s remained behind by the others and by his resolute fire prevented the enemy from overrunning their position. Warrant Officer II Simpson’s sustained and gallant efforts as well as his coolness under fire was instrumental in holding off the enemy, saving the lives of wounded members of his company and permitting his company to successfully evacuate. It will always stand as a testimony of the true meaning of valor.