William F. Simpson, Sr. was born March 6, 1923 in Duke, North Carolina ( later renamed Erwin). He enlisted in the Navy on August 3, 1942 and entered Navy Pre-flight School in Georgia. Upon completion of Pre-flight School he was commissioned an Ensign and assigned to aviation cadet training in Pensacola, Florida.
After successful completion of the Aviation course of instruction and receiving his Wings designating him a Naval Aviator on September 7, 1943, he was assigned to Pensacola Naval Air Station as a flight instructor.
Later, he was transferred to the Pacific Theater where he flew supplies and military personnel to locations throughout the Pacific. On February 1, 1945 he was released to inactive duty. He was recalled to active duty on March 26, 1946 and assigned to Metrological Squadron # 1 in the Philippines. This unit was known as the “Typhoon Chasers”. The unit’s duties were monitor and fly into typhoons relaying the information accumulated to Naval weather stations so that Navy, other allied ships, and aircraft could be directed out of the typhoon’s path. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on November 25, 1947 as Lt.JG.
In 1944, while home on emergency leave, he met, fell in love with and married Geraldine Stroud of Pink Hill, NC who was teaching school in Erwin, North Carolina. They had five children; William F. Simpson, Jr., Carolyn Terry Simpson, Lina Annette Simpson, Russell Craig Simpson, and Beverly Jo Simpson.
He enrolled at the University of North Carolina and graduated with degrees in business administration and law in 1950.
He, his wife and family then moved to Pink Hill, North Carolina where he studied for the NC Bar Exam and instructed Air Force cadets and foreign nationals in aviation at Stallings Field, Kinston, N.C. and Mrs. Simpson resumed her teaching career at Pink Hill School.
After passing the bar examination he started his law practice with the Kinston law firm of Wallace and Wallace and continued flight instruction at Stallings Field. In 1957 when Stallings Field ceased operations, he moved his law practice to Jacksonville, and Pink Hill, NC where he lived and worked until 1990 when he retired. He died December 31, 1993.