Gray, James Seton, Jr., CAPT

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
9 kb
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Last Rank
Captain
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
Captain
Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

17 kb

Home State
Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Year of Birth
1914
 
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...



Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
From Month/Year
June / 1942
To Month/Year
June / 1942

Description
The Battle of Midway in the Pacific Theater of Operations was one of the most important naval battles of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy (USN), under Admirals Chester W. Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance decisively defeated an attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo on Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare." It was Japan's first naval defeat since the Battle of Shimonoseki Straits in 1863.

The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped that another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War and thus ensure Japanese dominance in the Pacific.

The Japanese plan was to lure the United States' aircraft carriers into a trap. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway as part of an overall plan to extend their defensive perimeter in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This operation was also considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii itself.

The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of the American reaction and poor initial dispositions.Most significantly, American codebreakers were able to determine the date and location of the attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to set up an ambush of its own. Four Japanese aircraft carriers—Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, all part of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier—and a heavy cruiser were sunk at a cost of one American aircraft carrier and a destroyer. After Midway and the exhausting attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, Japan's shipbuilding and pilot training programs were unable to keep pace in replacing their losses, while the U.S. steadily increased its output in both areas.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
June / 1942
To Month/Year
June / 1942
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  330 Also There at This Battle:
  • Banzuelo, Antonio, MCPO, (1930-1960)
  • Besson, John Henry, RADM, (1931-1959)
  • Betty, Charles, PO2, (1941-1945)
  • De Noma, George Robert, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Delchamps, Newton, MCPO, (1941-1965)
  • Earnest, Albert, CAPT, (1941-1972)
  • Feeney, John Martin, RDML, (1942-1962)
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