Edward J. Sims Obituary

Edward J. Sims,93,formerly of B’ville, retired
Army colonel

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 3:00am

Edward J. Sims, 93, of Tinton Falls, formerly of Bernardsville, died on Friday, June 28, 2013, of complications from a stroke.

A retired U.S. Army colonel, he was a World War II hero and master paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

During the war, Col. Sims saw extensive combat with the 504th as an infantry platoon leader and a company commander. He made numerous parachute jumps, including two behind enemy lines. The first was into Sicily and Italy, where he participated in the liberation ofNaples.

He then joined the campaign at the Anzio Beach Head, where he was wounded twice and then sent to England for recuperation. In London, he met his future wife, Private First Class Marion A. Kruger of Bernardsville, who was working as a Women’s Army Corps draftswoman with the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Forces Europe, of the Signal Corps.

They married after the war, in 1945.

Col. Sims went on to jump behind enemy lines again in Holland, \Vhere he played a major role in leading the assault to seize the railroad bridge in Nymegan. This historic battle was depicted by author Cornelius Ryan in his book, “A Bridge Too Far,” which was subsequently made into a motion picture.

In December 1944, his unit moved to Belgium, where they participated in the Battle of the Bulge. From there, they broke through the Siegfried Line into Germany and continued to the east where they united with the Russians near Eldenberg, Germany.

After World War II, Col. Sims returned to active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division, where he served in command positions. In 1952, he was assigned to the 7th Division during the Korean War, when he again saw combat.

He later returned to Korea after the war as an advisor to the First Republic of Korea Army and also served in Iran as an advisor to the Iranian Army. His last active duty assignment was at Fort Monmouth, and in November 1968, he retired as a full colonel after 28 years in the service.

Among the numerous decorations he received during his active duty are two Silver Stars for Holland and Korea, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, six Commendation Medals and the Combat Infantry Badge with one star. His company (Co. H, 504) was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for their action during the invasion of Italy in 1943.

Following active service, Col. Sims retired to Bernardsville, earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration, and worked as a probation otiicer and in title insurance. He continued to be actively devoted to the military and volunteered at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lyons.

Up until his death, he worked tirelessly for the rights of veterans and their families.

He is survived by his wife, Marion K. Sims; his daughters, E. Jay Sims and Leslie “Tina” Nowlin; his “adopted” daughter, Barbara “Willie” Kissinger; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Interment will take place later this year at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Condolences may be sent to Leslie “Tina” Nowlin, P.O. Box 2044, Castle Rock, Colo., 80104.

Edward James Sims, Died June 2013

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