Gray Jr., James S., 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, 131X, NACU Norfolk VA
Service Years
1936 - 1966
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Order of the Golden Dragon
Neptune Subpoena

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

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

 Official Badges 

Allied Command Atlantic Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Forces Command US Pacific Command

ComSixthFleet NATO Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean United States Atlantic Command Badge US Navy Retired 30

NATO Standing Naval Forces Atlantic

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Cold War Medal Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Association Memberships
United States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationTailhook AssociationMilitary Order of Foreign Wars of the United StatesUSS Lexington CV-16 Association
Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)
  1936, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association - Assoc. Page
  1939, Tailhook Association
  1941, Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States - Assoc. Page
  1945, USS Lexington CV-16 Association
  1945, Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Birth:  Feb. 1, 1914
Milwaukee County
Wisconsin, USA
Death:  Aug. 28, 1998

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) 
Family links: 
  Margaret Thurston Gray (1919 - 1965)

United States Naval Academy Cemetery
Anne Arundel County
Maryland, USA
Other Comments:
Not Specified
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Naval Aviator Wings
Command at Sea

 Duty Stations
US NavyNaval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLAdvanced Flight Training, NAS Meridian, Mississippi.VF-6 Tomcatters
USS Enterprise (CV-6)NAS PensacolaVF-783VF-20 Fighting 20
USS Lexington (CV-16)Carrier Air Group 3 (CVG-3)US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)Joint Forces Staff College/Armed Forces Staff College (Faculty Staff)
NAS PensacolaVP-22 Blue GooseCNO - OPNAVUSS Coral Sea (CV-43)
COMNAVAIRLANTIndustrial College of the Armed Forces (Faculty Staff)USCINCLANTCNO - OPNAV/Pentagon Navy Command Center (NCC)
USS 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, 110X, USS Salt Lake City (CA-25)
  1938-1938, 139X, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1938-1939, 131X, Advanced Flight Training, NAS Meridian, Mississippi.
  1939-1942, 131X, VF-6 Tomcatters
  1939-1942, 131X, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1942-1942, 131X, CTF 16
  1942-1943, 131X, NAS Pensacola
  1943-1944, 131X, VF-783
  1943-1944, 132X, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1944-1944, 131X, CTF 58
  1944-1944, 131X, CTF 58/CTG 58.3
  1944-1944, 131X, CTF 38
  1944-1945, 131X, VF-20 Fighting 20
  1944-1945, 131X, USS Lexington (CV-16)
  1945-1945, 131X, Carrier Air Group 3 (CVG-3)
  1945-1947, 131X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1947-1947, 131X, Joint Forces Staff College/Armed Forces Staff College (Faculty Staff)
  1947-1947, 131X, NAS Pensacola/NARF
  1947-1949, 131X, VP-22 Blue Goose
  1949-1951, 131X, CNO - OPNAV
  1951-1952, 131X, USS Coral Sea (CV-43)
  1952-1954, 131X, COMNAVAIRLANT
  1954-1955, 131X, Industrial College of the Armed Forces (Faculty Staff)
  1955-1957, 131X, USCINCLANT
  1957-1958, 131X, CNO - OPNAV/Pentagon Navy Command Center (NCC)
  1958-1958, 131X, USS Mauna Loa (AE-8)
  1958-1959, 131X, USS Suribachi (AE-21)
  1959-1960, 131X, USS Coral Sea (CV-43)
  1961-1961, 131X, Carrier Division 4 (COMCARDIV 4)
  1962-1964, 131X, DCNO (M,P,T&E)/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations OP-01
  1964-1966, 131X, NACU Norfolk VA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Naval attack of Truk (Operation Hailstone)
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Bombardment - Marshall and Gilbert Islands
  1942-1942 Pacific Air Offensive (1942-45)/Doolittle B-25 Attack on Tokyo
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
  1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Marshall Islands Operation
  1944-1944 New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)/Operation Reckless
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Leyte Gulf
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Guam
  1944-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1932-1936, United States Naval Academy
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