2nd Lt. Redene Wayne Simenson U.S.A.A.F. of Beloit, Wisconsin

12-15-2017

Re: 2nd Lt Redene Wayne Simenson U.S.A.A.F.

Hi Derek,

Your stories/facts just keep getting more and more interesting.

My knee is on the mend.

My Scots and Irish are unclear yet – Campbell, Arnold, Adams, and Muir (Moore).

I don’t know where my Scottish ancestors are from yet – too many other nationalities involved – United States  mix.

I am almost to the point in my genealogy research to be able to explore that.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying your history information below.

The Beloit WI Remember When Facebook group is also interested in hearing more about this hometown hero, so I am sharing this with them.

Hopefully we can get you some more information about the family, etc.

Beloit WI is about 37,000 and in some ways a small town with many knowing each other.

I possibly met Redene’s sister at the Library since her obituary says that she liked to read so much, but I don’t recognize her name.

His other siblings would be called teachers, or if they taught at the Beloit College, would be called professors lecturing to college students.

I looked up Sandy, Greg and Donna Thorpe on the public library’s AtoZ phone address directory in Wisconsin and Illinois.

I only saw some Thorpes (about 50 miles north).  If you think they are the right ones- here is the contact information –

I also found 19 pages of Simesons in  several states.

Beloit is right on the Illinois state line, and Redene was born in Durand Illinois.

I found the following information on a public family tree – “Olsen-Simenson-Woods Tree” on Ancestry.com, and contacted the creator for more information or to connect you if he answers.  You can look at his family tree directly (many public libraries here have this database for free at tbe library building.)

https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/19814785/person/1012751322/facts

Redene’s sister was Eleanor Thorpe –  a funeral collection said that she resided in Rockford Illinois at tbe time of her 2012 death and that her children are – Sandra Thorpe, Nancy (Mark) Bromhead and Julie (Jim) Barker. So Sandy is probably Sandra in this case.  (AtoZ is being balky right now – but can look later for contact.)

Redene was an identical twin to Eugene Raymond  Simenson ( who died in 1971.)  His children are:

Lawrence born 1938, Ronald born 1940, Randy born 1951 Michigan – now in Charlotte North Carolina ? , and Kim Gail Simenson born 1959 in Michigan now in Charlotte North Carolina?

Redene was married from 1937 – 1939 to a Doris.They lived on Vine ST in Beloit and he worked for the Freeman Shoe Corp. (1937 Beloit WI City Directory)

About 1943 Redene married Eileen (?) Simenson in England.  She was born abt 1921 in England, and their daughter Karen Simenson was born abt 1945 in England.

In application for military headstone – his date of birth is June 10 1917,

his date of death is listed as Dec. 21, 1944 (one day after his ferry asignment.)

He enlisted Nov. 28, 1940 (almost a year before the United States entered World War 2), and was in the 310 Ferrying Squadron.

A U.S. Army Enlistment Record shows his enlistment as Dec. 9, 1942, single withut dependents,and his height as 70 inches (5 foot 10 inches) and weight as 152 pounds.

A (Beloit Daily) Newspaper clipping dated Feb. 19, 1945 (?) shows the following information:    ( Derek – We will get you  a better copy and full citation than the source put on Ancestry.com)

Redene had been overseas 40 months without a visit back to the U.S. before dying in the  plane crash.

He joined Nov. 28, 1940 in the Royal Canadian Air Force after first being rejected by the U.S. Army Air Forces because he did not have college credits, Ten months later, he was assigned to overseas service, and was an instructor in England.  He asked to be transferred  to a fighting command where he piloted a torpedo bomber.

He tranferred to the Royal Air Force, and piloted a Spitfire for one year.

He asked to be transferred to the U.S. Army air Forces once the United States entered World War 2, and joined the Ferry Command taking airplanes for several months to Africa, Italy, Iceland, and then to France after the invasion of the continent.

His services to the Ferry Command were regarded highly because he was able to fly any type of plane. According to his letters home, there was not any type of plane made in the United States or England that he had not flown at one time or another.

Redene wrote to his brother Eugene that he had become a member of a test pilot squadron –

“If something happens to me, don’t be surprised. I am volunteering to go on missions that other fellows refuse to go on.”

He had two narrow escapes – in one he landed his Spitfire in flames and was hospitalized for a time, but did not say much about how serious his injuries were.

Redene meet (Beloiters) overseas:

Shortly before the Dieppe raid in August 1942, he and Captain Mason C Dobson, now a prisoner of war of the Germans, spent several days together in London.

He also met Major Jesse Davis by chance in a United States Army air base.

 

Vicki Hahn
Public Services Librarian
Beloit Public Library
Dear Derek Wands,
It’s nice to hear from your from “across the pond”.
I may get there myself some year as some of my ancestors are Scottish.
Yes I would be glad to help you find more information for the book on aviation history and about
2nd Lt. Redene Wayne Simenson U.S.A.A.F. of Beloit, Wisconsin if I can.
I am off work for three more weeks because of knee surgery.
I can look st our Beloit City Directories, etc. once I return.
Meanwhile I will put this in a posting for my
“Statelinegenealogyclub,wordpress.com”
BLOG (which is probably where you heard about me?)
I will also post it on the closed Facebook group I belong to – Beloit Wisconsin Remember When.
Maybe someone else will know more about the family or person.
What date do you all need the information by?
Vicki Hahn
Public Services Librarian
Beloit Public Library 605 Eclipse BLVD. Beloit, WI 53511
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