June 2, 1950 – August 12, 1969
PFC Bradley Joseph Simmons, was born on June 2nd 1950 in Winsted CT to Andrew Simmons and Margerie Ingles. He graduated from High School in Pine Plains and enlisted into the US Army in the Spring of 1967. To those who remember and went to school with him, like Charlie Tanner and Al Andrews, Brad was a great guy with a great sense of humor. Brad was the sort that if you were one his friends, he would do anything for you. As Al Andrews remembered, “if you were hanging with Brad, you were guaranteed to have fun, and raise a little hell”.
His sister Bunny, remembers him fondly as the protective big brother who was always looking out for her but, more importantly as her best friend.
After completing basic training and advanced individual training he served briefly in Germany before coming home on leave in February of 1969, and married Deborah Jones.
After a few short weeks of leave, he started his tour in Vietnam on March 15, 1969 and was assigned to Charlie Troop, 1 BN, 1 Calvary Regiment of the 23rd Infantry “AmeriCal” Division. 4 months and 27 days later on August 11th, C Troop, 1st Cavalry, was assigned to defend the area around Hawk Hill, in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam. At 0300 the next morning August 12, C Troop, came under the fierce onslaught of mixed Mortar and Small arms fire, and their defensive parameter for a short time was breached by enemy sappers after which the fighting became hand to hand. When the guns fell silent shortly before day break, daylight reveled the loss. Along with 13 North Vietnamese Soldiers, 8 US Soldiers, including PFC Bradley Simmons, had lost their lives.
12 Days later, PFC Bradley Simmons was buried in the Veterans Plot of Irondale Cemetery, with full military honors.
During the 2009 Memorial Day ceremonies, Post Commander Lee Garay presented a folded American Flag, with three expended shell casings, along with two sets of ID Tags (Commonly referred to as “dog tags”). These are affixed with Bradley’s name, along with the date and location he made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation.
In addition his sister was present with the American Legion Medal of Valor, awarded Posthumously to her brother Bradley Simmons. The citation reads as follows;
To all let it be known that the American Legion Medal of Valor
is posthumously awarded to:
PFC Bradley Simmons
For valorous service and sacrifice to
the United States of America
as a member of the US ARMY
during the Vietnam War
On this 25th Day of May 2009
Signed: Lee Garay, Post Commander
American Legion Post 178
The Legion, following the 2009 Memorial Day ceremonies displayed PFC Simmons shadow box with his Medals and Awards in the Legion Hall Foyer in the place of honor for the next year. After which the display will be moved into the main hall in its permanent home.
The Memorial Day Committee would like to give special thanks to Past Commander George Lind for his contributions in completing PFC Simmons Shadow Box. George served in Vietnam at the same time as Bradley and was from the same division.