Cecil H. Simons was born in a log cabin in Lindy, Missouri on January 24, 1921. Lindy, Missouri was a small town (that no longer exists) in New Madrid county in the bootheel of the state. At a young age his family moved to Amboy, Lee County, Illinois. Cecil served in World War II as a radio operator and mechanic with the 89th Fighter Squadron, the 25th Fighter Squadron, and the 27th Troop Carrier Squadron. Cecil flew in 187 combat missions, mostly in China, and was discharged as a staff sergeant in June, 1945. Cecil has a son, grandson and granddaughter.