The Airmen’s Stories – P/O V C Simmonds
|Vernon Churchill Simmonds
We regretfully have to record the loss of another Battle of Britain veteran, Vernon Churchill Simmonds passed away on 23rd February 2005.
Vernon was posted to 238 Squadron at Middle Wallop on 29th July 1940 and was immediately in action in Hurricanes. He shot down a Me110 on 13th August, Heinkel 111’s on 15th September and 25th September and another Me110 on the 26th.
He survived a crash-landing on 28th September and then had to bale out after a collision on the 30th.
Simmonds served in the RAF throughout the war, retiring in 1946 as a Squadron Leader.
His wife Shirley survives him at their home in Hampshire.
After Vernon passed away his wife Shirley received a card from the staff that had nursed him at Poole Hospital. Inside they had written;
“In an age of shallow celebrity, true heroism shines like a beacon. It was a privilege to know you Vernon, and to play a part in the final chapter of your extraordinary life. From all the staff at Ward E3, Poole Hospital”
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Vernon made the news in 2000 when a local girl, Elizabeth Tucker, was inspired to write a poem after meeting him at a school event.