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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Col. Arthur B. “Bull” Simons, Fort Bragg

  • Type

    Statue

  • Subjects

    Historic Military Figures

    Vietnam War, 1960-1975

  • Creator

    Lawrence M. Ludtke, Sculptor

    Shidoni Foundry, New Mexico, Foundry

  • City

    Fort Bragg

  • County

    Cumberland

  • Description

    The memorial consists of a large bronze sculpture of Colonel Simons in an action pose, striding forward with his proper left foot and an assault rifle held in his proper right hand. His left hand, with finger extended is pointing forward. The sculpture sits on a gray granite rectangular base with the statue being 12-feet tall. Simmons is dressed as a Special Forces soldier from the Vietnam Era. The statues pants are tucked into the combat boots, airborne style, and his belt holds two canteens, a machete and cartridge pouches. In addition to the inscriptions, the base shows a Ranger tab on the proper right side, a Special Forces patch and the crossed arrow Special Forces emblem on the proper left, and the Combat Infantry and Master Parachute badge on the rear. The inscription on the left side is in reference to Isaiah 6:8 which reads: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom will I send and who will go for us?” “Then I said, Here I am, send me.”

    According to the sculptor Larry Ludtke the statue “is intended to convey the strength, the power and the effect he [Simons] had on people. As he points at the men, he really challenges them for the future. The figure is intended to reach out to all present and future special operations soldiers. They will hopefully emulate Bull Simons and be affected by his inspirations and all the things he has done that makes him such a great leader…”

  • Inscription

    Base, front: COLONEL ARTHUR D. / “BULL” SIMONS / 1918 - 1979

    Base, proper right side: “HISTORY TEACHES THAT WHEN YOU / BECOME INDIFFERENT / AND LOSE THE WILL TO FIGHT / SOMEONE WHO HAS THE WILL TO FIGHT / WILL TAKE OVER.” / COLONEL “BULL” SIMONS / SON TAY RAID / NOVEMBER 21, 1970

    Base, proper left side: WHO WILL GO? “SEND ME.”

    Base, rear: DISTINGUISHED SERVICE / CROSS / SILVER STAR

  • Custodian

    John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum, Ft. Bragg

  • Dedication Date

    November 19, 1999

  • Decade

    1990s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.125840 , -78.996150 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Bacon, Amy L. Life in Bronze: Lawrence M. Ludtke, Sculptor (College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2013)

      Hickman, Kennedy. “Vietnam War: Raid on Son Tay,” About.com, (accessed February 4, 2017) Link

      “Col Arthur D. "Bull" Simons Memorial Statue Dedication Ceremony Ft. Bragg, NC 11-21-99,” Special Operations.org, (accessed January 4, 2017) Link

      “Colonel Arthur B. “Bull” Simons Special Forces Memorial,” War Memorials HG, (accessed January 4, 2017) Link

  • Public Site

    No

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, gray granite

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The host for the dedication ceremony was Major General Kenneth R. Bowra, Commanding General of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center. Also in attendance was H. Ross Perot who donated the statue and the sculptor Larry Ludtke.

  • Subject Notes

    The access is allowed only with military ID or by obtaining a visitor pass.

    “Bull” Simons is one of the most, if not the most, celebrated Special Operations soldiers in the history of the United States military. His service with elite unites began during World War II with the 6th Ranger Battalion in the Pacific, then becoming a “Green Beret” in 1959 and continued through the Vietnam War. He is most famous though for leading 59 raiders into the Son Tay prisoner of war camp to free Americans held there during the Vietnam War. The raid on Son Tay, located north of Hanoi, on November 21, 1970 is considered to be one of the most brilliantly executed Special Forces raids in history. Unfortunately the prisoners had been moved shortly before the raid. Simons retired in 1971 but his skills were again highlighted in 1979 in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. He was hired by H. Ross Perot to rescue two executives of his company, Electronic Data Systems, being held hostage by the revolutionaries. In what has been described as the largest non-military hostage rescue operation in history, Simons and his team of Vietnam veterans liberated the two hostages with no injuries or loss of life.

    H. Ross Perot has been an avid supporter of the military and Army Special Operations. He also donated the funds to erect statues of Army Special Forces veteran Maj. Dick Meadows at Fort Bragg, N.C. and the statue of General Hugh Shelton at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville.

  • Location

    This statue faces the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, on JFK Memorial Plaza. The museum is at the intersection of Ardennes Road and Marion Street, at Ardennes Rd, Fort Bragg, NC 28307.

  • Landscape

    The statue stands on a paved plaza, surrounded by other memorials and well-maintained lawn.

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