SGT James Marshall Simpson was born 8 Sep 1923 in Candor, North Carolina. He was the youngest of the 2 children born to James Thomas and Anna B. Simpson. His father was a highway patrolman who died of pneumonia after a period of exposure in March 1936. Life was likely difficult for the family, James' older sister found work as a waitress and James was working as a mechanic at the age of 17. Together the siblings earned a reported $725 for 1939 and were supporting their mother in 1940. The family lodged in Biscoe, North Carolina with Mrs. Bettie Latham and her daughter. He was eventually able to complete 2-years of high school. James would later find work at one of the textile mills in Biscoe where the average wage was about $.60 an hour.
James was drafted in Jan 1943 and initially sent to Camp Croft, South Carolina. After completing his basic military training he was sent to England and assigned to G Company 116th Infantry to serve as a rifleman. PFC Simpson took part in the amphibious landing on 6 Jun 1944 (D-Day). He must have demonstrated leadership skills and competence as a soldier because he was promoted to SGT on 20 Jun 1944 as the regiment received many replacements and reorganized following their first 2-weeks of combat. He continued to fight with the unit until killed in action near Saint-Lo on 16 Jul 1944.
SGT Simpson rests forever in the Normandy American Cemetery.