Fred C. Gray

Picture of Fred Gray FRED C. GRAY, born Palestine, Tex. 6 Oct. 1911; B.A., Abilene Christian Coll. 1931; grad. Kelly Field, Pursuit Section, 1934; RAY Ftr. Gun Sch. Hawarden, Eng. 1941, Army Comd. and Gen. Stf. Sch. 1943, AAF Stf. O's. Cse. 1944, RAF Sch. of Army Coop. 1944, Air War Coll., 1950; pursuit pilot, instructor, flight comdr 1934-43;flew Spitfires with RAF in Eng. 1941; Dir. Tng. and Gun'y. Foster Fld. Tex. 1941-43; Comdr. Ftr. Gp., Cent. Instrs. Sch., 1944; Wg. Exec. 66th Ftr. Wg., Eng., 2 months Comdr. 78th Ftr. Gp., 1944-45 Dir. Ftr. Opns., Hq. VIII AF, 1945; Dir. 0 and T, 72 Ftr. Wg., Colo. Spgs., Colo. Comdr. Majors Fld., Greenville; Tex., La Junta AFB, Colo., 1945-46; Air Nat'l. Guard Instr., 71st Ftr. Wg. 7 mid-western states, 1.946; Instr. ANG Ftr. Gp., Des Moines, 1946-49; Comdr. 35th Ftr. Wg. Korea 1950.51; Insp. Gen. Far East Air Force, Tokyo, 1951.53; Dir. Flying Tng., Air Tng. Comd., Scott AFB, 1953-54; Comdr. Combat Crew Tng. Wh, Tyndall AFB, Fla. (F-86D) 1954-56;Dep. Comdr. Crew Tng. AF, Randolph, 1956-57; DCSjO, later Dep. Comdr. 12th AF, Waco, Tex. 1957-60; Dir. Opns. and Tng., Acting Dep'y. for Opns., Act'g. Dep. for Plans HQ TAC, Langley 1960-63; Comdr. HQ TUS- LOG, Ankara, Turkey, 1963-65; Vice Comdr. HQ 1st AF, Stewart AFB, N.Y. 1965-68.

Retired 1 June 1968 (35 years, 3 months, 8 days). Rested 1 year. Moved to Manhattan. Wife, Bess, died Nov. 1970. Bached 8 years. Married Mildred Case (Casey) Johnson 6 Oct. 78. We now live Yorktown Hts., N.Y., one hour north of NYC.

Medals - Silver Star, Legion oC Merit w/4 OLC, DFC, AM w/5 OLC, Comdr., Order of the British Empire (CBE), French Croix de Guerre avec Palme, Dist. Unit Citation, Republic oC Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

Memories? D-Day; led 78th "A" Gp. on 1st and last of 7 missions back of Normandy. Got my one and only FW-190 on last. (8 hrs. 25 min. total). Dec. 1948, bailed out at night from an F-51 near Des Moines, under 200 ft., swung once and hit hard!

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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