Gray, James Seton, Jr., CAPT

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1964-1966, Navy Absentee Collection Unit (NACU) Norfolk VA
Service Years
1936 - 1966

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

17 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Gray, James Seton, Jr., CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Milwakee, WI
Last Address
Coronado, CA

Date of Passing
Aug 28, 1998
Location of Interment
U.S Naval Academy Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2019, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

US Navy Captain. Gray grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and from an early age learned to fly. He soloed at the age of fourteen and became the youngest licensed pilot in the United States in 1930. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1936 and after graduation he served at sea until 1938 when he was accepted at Flight Training School. Upon completion of Flight School he was assigned to Squadron VF-6 aboard the Aircraft Carrier, U.S.S. Enterprise. On February 1, 1942 he led the strike against Taroa Air Base in the Marshalls Islands. During this mission he shot down two Imperial Navy Mitsubishi A5M Claude fighters over Taroa. On June 4, 1942 Gray took part in the decisive action of the battle of Midway as Squadron Commander of VF-6 and leader of a ten plane flight of VF-6 Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters assigned to protect the slow vulnerable, outmoded Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo planes of Torpedo Squadron VT-6 also based aboard the Enterprise. During 1942-1943 he commanded the fighter training squadron at Pensacola, and authored the Navy fighter pilots Bible "A to N for the Fighter Pilot". Gray was Chief of Staff to the Commander Carrier Division Four as well as Commander Carrier Air Group 3. He was also Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Coral Sea as well as Commanding Officer of the Ammunittion ships U.S.S. Mauna Loa and U.S.S. Suribachi. Gray was the first Navy pilot to achieve "Ace" status in World War II. He retired from the Navy in 1965. (bio by: Saratoga)
Other Comments:
Not Specified
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings
Command at Sea

 Duty Stations
US NavyNAS PensacolaVF-6 TomcattersUSS Enterprise (CV-6)
VF-20 Fighting 20USS Lexington (CV-16)Carrier Air Group 3 (CVG-3)US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
Commander-in-Chief, US Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT)Pentagon Navy Command Center (NCC), CNO - OPNAVUSS Mauna Loa (AE-8)USS Suribachi (AE-21)
USS Coral Sea (CV-43)Carrier Division 4 (COMCARDIV 4)Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)
  1936-1938, USS Salt Lake City (CA-25)
  1938-1939, NAS Pensacola
  1939-1942, VF-6 Tomcatters
  1939-1942, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1942-1943, NAS Pensacola
  1943-1944, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1944-1945, VF-20 Fighting 20
  1944-1945, USS Lexington (CV-16)
  1945-1945, 131X, Carrier Air Group 3 (CVG-3)
  1945-1947, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1947-1947, NAS Pensacola
  1947-1949, VP-22 Blue Goose
  1949-1951, Aircraft Carrier and Air Station Programs Division (OP-55)
  1951-1952, USS Coral Sea (CV-43)
  1952-1954, Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean, COMNAVAIRLANT
  1955-1957, Commander-in-Chief, US Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT)
  1957-1958, Pentagon Navy Command Center (NCC), CNO - OPNAV
  1958-1958, USS Mauna Loa (AE-8)
  1958-1959, USS Suribachi (AE-21)
  1959-1960, USS Coral Sea (CV-43)
  1961-1961, Carrier Division 4 (COMCARDIV 4)
  1962-1964, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, CNO - OPNAV
  1964-1966, Navy Absentee Collection Unit (NACU) Norfolk VA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Pacific Air Offensive (1942-45)/Doolittle B-25 Attack on Tokyo
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyArmed Forces Staff CollegeIndustrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.
  1932-1936, United States Naval Academy
  1947-1947, Armed Forces Staff College
  1954-1955, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 04, 1936, Commissioned as Ensign
  Jun 04, 1939, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Mar 01, 1942, Promoted to Lieutenant
  May 01, 1943, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Mar 15, 1944, Promoted to Commander
  Jan 01, 1955, Promoted to Captain
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