On May 21, 1979, Special Forces had one its true legends take from it prematurely. Arthur “Bull” Simons died at the age of 60 and was buried in Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida. He was one of the best SF commanders to have ever served but never made it to General Officer rank because he lacked the prerequisite education he and that held him back.
Simons rose to the rank of Colonel and although he was involved in three famous rescue missions that have been very well documented, precious little has been written about Simons who was quintessential “Quiet Professional” in his long military career. So who was “Bull” Simons?
Early Life and Career: Simons was born in New York City in 1918 but at an early age he moved to Missouri and attended the University of Missouri – Columbia and graduated with a degree in Journalism which is interesting because later in life, he’d develop a healthy disdain for journalists who he felt had done a great disservice to the American fighting men.
He joined ROTC and graduated in 1941. He also met his wife Lucille in college and they remained married for 37 years until her death from cancer in 1978. His first assignment was with the 98th Field Artillery Battalion as a 2LT. The 98th was a unit that was towed by pack mules and Simons was an unhappy camper there. When his unit was dissolved, it became a part of the 6th Ranger Bn, commanded by LTC Henry Mucci.