For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

 

In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar

 

Tomas Joseph (Tommy) Simspon, D.S.M.

 

Radar, RCNVR

 

Born: 1921          Died: 2017

 

SIMPSON, Thomas Joseph (Tommy) - Peacefully in his 96th year after a short illness, surrounded by family. Tommy was predeceased by his wife of close to 60 years, Florence Lemieux. They are dancing the jitterbug together now. Tommy is survived by his children Judy, Wayne (Patti), Janet and Tommie. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren and twelve great- grandchildren. Tommy was a Naval War Veteran and one of only 116 to receive the Distinguished Service Medal, he spoke often about his times in the war and made sure the history was passed down for the generations. Tom served for many years as the Navy Club President on University and Bruce in Windsor. Tommy's career outside of the service took many turns beginning with his first career as a TV technician which lasted for over thirty years. Just a few short years later he began working as a Border Control guard for Customs and Immigration, doing both jobs at the same time in order to provide for his family. While at Customs and Immigration he worked as the Union President at one point in his long 23 year career at the border. He retired in 1987 and spent the next years dancing, playing baseball, cards and golf with his many friends and family. Tommy will likely be best remembered as one of the founding members of the Windsor Essex County Seniors Softball league, which he played well into his eighties before finally hanging up his glove. The league is still in place today. The family would like to express gratitude to the Windsor Regional Hospital Metropolitan Campus Emergency and 5th floor nursing staff for your care and compassion in our father's final hours. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to VETS Canada or the PTSD Association of Canada to assist Veterans who are returning from war with PTSD, which was a cause near to our father's heart. Visiting on Wednesday from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. with a Naval Veterans Memorial Service at 7:00 p.m. under the auspices of the Royal Canadian Naval Association, Archdeacon Ron Matthewman officiating at Families First, 1065 Lauzon Rd, East Windsor 519-969-5841 On Thursday, family and friends are invited to meet at Parkwood Gospel Temple, 3005 Temple Drive, after 10:00 a.m. followed by Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. with procession to Victoria Memorial Gardens for interment to follow. (Windsor Star 31 Jan 2017)

 


 

Happy Birthday to Tom Simpson - my grandfather - who has used his life for the betterment of others, the world and Windsor would not be the same without him serving us the way he did. This is also a timely opportunity to pay tribute to his service to our great country with Remembrance Day on Tuesday. Thomas Simpson enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy at HMCS Hunter in Windsor, Ont., as a radar operator during the Second World War. He was rushed through his radar training on the West Coast of Canada just as fast as the Corvettes were built and put to sea. He served in the deepest seas and in the most hostile storms on board the first HMCS Shawinigan, the first HMCS Toronto and HMCS La Hulloise, battling the most deadly and threatening enemy the world had ever seen. During the Battle of the St. Lawrence, he took part in escort operations and coastal defence operations from Halifax to Newfoundland to New York. During the Battle of the Atlantic, he participated in escort groups that took convoys across the Atlantic from Halifax to Londonderry and Liverpool. In the Arctic Campaign, he participated in convoys to Iceland, and the Norwegian coast where his escort groups were met by the Russian navy. During the Italian Campaign, he took part in the amphibious operations that escorted Allied troops to Sicily from England and Gibraltar. During D-Day operations on June 6, 1944 and days prior, he took part in support of naval operations that liberated France and the Netherlands. As a radar operator, his role in hunting German U-boats was extremely vital in keeping the shipping lanes open and the waters around the United Kingdom and in the North Atlantic safe. His proficiency as a radar operator saw him called before the Admiralty Board to explain in detail his skill that resulted in the saving of hundreds of Allied lives with the sinking of German U-boat 1302 more than 68 years ago. His gallantry, resolution and skill was not only acknowledged by his commanding officer but by the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Approaches, Admiral Sir Max Horton who awarded Thomas Simpson the Distinguished Service Medal. Only 116 people have received it in Canadian military history. In fact, Thomas Simpson is the last living DSM holder in Canada and he is only person to receive both the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal. In 1964, he was recruited by the government of Canada to serve his country again as a Customs and Immigration Officer at the Windsor-Detroit border. His determination and successful leadership saw him rise to the top of the Windsor Customs Union which he served as president until his retirement in 1987. The people of Windsor are grateful to him for his many years of dedication and commitment with the establishment of the Windsor-Essex County Seniors Sports Organization Slo-Pitch league. His years of leadership as president of the Windsor Customs and Excise Union that attributed to the improvement of working conditions at the border. His highly dedicated work with the Royal Canadian Naval Association, the War Pensioners of Canada and the Royal Canadian Legion will always be remembered. Tom Simpson can stand strong and proud, holding his head high knowing how much better life has been for many with him in it. He has fulfilled his duty to King and Country and Queen and Country with strength, pride and honour. (By Ronald Simpson - The Windsor Star 06 Nov 2013)

 

Ships served in:

HMCS SHAWINIGAN

HMCS TORONTO - Served in Toronto during WW2

HMCS LA HULLOISE - Served in La Hulloise during WW2

 

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