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In Memoriam

1st Lieutenant Melvin Brice "Ronin" Simpson

1st Lieutenant Melvin Brice "Ronin" Simpson

17 September 1998

Accident happened on 27/7/1998.

Visitor Comments

Anonymous, Feb 01, 2007 - 01:52 AM

Brice was one of my students in USAF pilot training at Sheppard AFB. He was one of the best students I had the good fortune of working with. Great guy! My condolences to his family.

Jim "Banks" Fairbanks

Former Capt. USAF

Delta Pilot

E Oliver, Jun 09, 2007 - 01:48 AM

I was assigned with Brice at Misawa. I ended up working the accident response. It has been almost a decade now, but I have not forgotten, nor will I. I hope his family has found peace.

tinedanzer, Aug 12, 2007 - 08:50 AM

The first week I was at Misawa... I helped panel up the jet, I stood on the tarmac and watched it go down. I never did see his chute. I'll never forget the stunned silence in the phase dock at that moment. I prayed many nights that he would make it after all. My deepest sympathies to his family.

Anonymous, Sep 24, 2007 - 06:37 PM

As one of Brice's F-16 B-Course instructors in the 62nd FS at Luke, I can tell you he was a good pilot. I always wished there was something else as an instructor I could have told him to prevent that fatal accident. Over the years I've learned ones fate is sometime out of ones control. The chain of events that day was out of the hands of Brice and all whom work for the same goal of creating the best Air Force in the world. May he rest in peace.


Tom 'Toonces' Tousignant, Feb 23, 2008 - 12:34 AM

I had the privelege of being Brice's Flight CC at FTU at Luke AFB. He was an easy pick as DG in his class - gifted aviator and natural leader. Having just come from Misawa, I talked with him a lot about the flying there. I still think of him often and still hate the tragedy that happened that day. He had a ton of potential. The world is a better place for the short time he was here.

Anonymous, Sep 19, 2008 - 04:01 PM

I had the priviledge of meeting Brice at Calfee family gatherings. He was a beautiful person as was his wife, Katie

For the Repose of his Soul
James and Shaharriet Houchins, Jan 21, 2010 - 10:57 AM

We were stationed at Misawa and got to know Brice and Katie through the Catholic Chapel on base. It was a sad day when the accident occurred and the months after with all the e-mails from Katie updating us all.

We can say that his wife is very admired for the courage she showed and after his death she came back to Misawa and gave a stunning speech about Brice and his courageous battle. God blessed her for living out her wedding vows and sent her a wonderful husband and 3 lovely children. we'll never forget Brice and our world is brighter for the short time we were graced by his presence. We pray for the repose of his soul and may he rest in God's eternal peace!

I still think about this
Jeff, Jul 26, 2010 - 03:25 PM

I was assigned to the Transient Alert/Crash Recovery unit at Misawa as a young airman. I had only been there a few months when this happened and had to respond to the scene. Sad sad day and I still think about it and his family.

Will never forget the day
Rob, Jan 11, 2013 - 02:43 AM

It has been 14 years since the day of the accident and it seems like yesterday. I will never forget that day because I spoke with Lt. Simpson just prior to the fateful flight while responding to a flight control "redball" on his aircraft. I can still hear his voice and recall the conversation as though it was yesterday. My last words to him were "have a good flight sir".

Throughtout the years I have often thought about Lt Simpson and his family. My prayer is that he is heaven and his family found comfort in the arms of God.

Still in our thoughts...
Ox, May 21, 2015 - 06:19 PM

Had the privilege of being on of Brice's IPs at Luke. I second all the comments here, and like Tounces and Smokin, agree, a natural stick and a great person. Earned DG in his RTU class due to his natural abilities and great attitude. Hard worker and always striving to be the best possible pilot he could be. He is definitely missed. Rest in Peace Brice.

Thank you
Katie (Simpson) Nikolai, Aug 23, 2016 - 03:41 AM

Almost 18 years have passed since Brice passed away and changed my life forever. Not a day goes by that I don't miss him or wonder what life would be like if he were still alive. I am grateful to this day for the wonderful people that surrounded such an awful situation and stood by me as I put my life back together. Thank you for the wonderful comments left here and for all the love and support over the years as life moved on. I tell my kids that out of every trial comes great light. Although tragic, so much goodness came as a result of Brice's grace in death and the way he lead his life. I just simply wanted to say thank you.

Never forgotten
Chris Miller, Jul 17, 2017 - 08:53 PM

We were Brice's sponsor family in Colorado Springs while he was at the AFA. I was in high school at the time, and looked up to Brice as the big brother I never had. We were devastated to hear of his accident, and still think of him often. My little brother named one of his sons Brice in Lt. Simpson's honor.

A truly incredible person who will never be forgotten.

I still have trouble with this.
LANCE L DANMYER, Nov 26, 2017 - 03:39 PM

I'm not sure where to start. I was one of the three man to help pull him from the plane. I have the worst memory but this days detail's never seems to slip for my mind. I wish I could have did more I don't know why I never talk about this maybe I think if I dont talk about it that it didn't happen. But its still always there in my head. I never got a chance to talk to his wife or family to say how sorry I am for there loss. But I am truly sorry.

Thankful for memories of Brice
Tom Nylin, Mar 25, 2018 - 10:46 PM

Yesterday morning my wife and I took our young boys to the USAFA for the first time and I had the honor to visit Brice’s grave. Quickly I was flooded with wonderful memories of Brice and Katie at Air Force vs. CSU football games, birthday celebrations and their beautiful wedding. It was an honor to know a man with such courage, integrity and character. As a father I hope my sons grow up to have the qualities that Brice had; that made him a great leader, a wonderful husband and a respected and admired friend. I am thankful for the blessing to have known Brice, even though it was a short season. My life was changed by knowing him and for his and Katie’s friendship.

Anonymous, Dec 20, 2018 - 01:20 AM

I knew Brice when he was a sophomore at USAFA in CS-31. Great guy all around and genuinely liked by everybody. You'd think from his attitude and disposition that he'd never had a bad day in his life. It is hard to believe that it has been over 20 years since his passing. I hope that his family has found peace.

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