SIMOS, JOHN DEMITRIOS, Technical Sergeant, # 19050808, USAAF

 

John D. Simos was born 5 April 1918 in San Francisco County, California, to Demitrios Simos (1906-    ) and Iasmia D. (Vourlis) Simos (1915-    ), both born in Greece. Siblings included Zoi Simos (1918-    ). An uncle was Harris Vroullis (1898-    ) (brother of Iasmia).

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 1 December 1940 with an address of 2224 “O” Street, Bakersfield, CA, and described himself as 5’11”, 206 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. He enlisted 3 December 1940 at March Field (Riverside), California, with two years of college. Trained in radio operations, he was sent overseas. The bomber and crew were assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 436th Bombardment Squadron. He was the radio operator. It was last sighted by 1stLt Robert J. Clarke, 0-431388, 1stLt Robert G. Brittenbach, 0-659652, and 1stLt Henry W. Gilmer, Jr., 0-440853. 1stLt Clarke wrote, “It was last seen in formation with five other bombers entering a cloud bank. After fifteen minutes, the formation broke into the clear and only five aircraft could be accounted for. After another fifteen minutes, a crew hear, “Any B-24D for Help.” The call was answered but received no reply. An enemy fighter, type I45 (Kawasaki Toryu, for “Dragon Slayer,” allied name “Nick”), made an attack on a plane in the formation (not the missing bomber) and this was included to show there were enemy aircraft nearby.” Two search missions were flown. Called off because of poor weather. The bomber did not emerge from clouds with the other five on the mission. Enemy fighters were seen in the area; one attacked one of the B-24s. The bomber was not found. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and Purple Heart.