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.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
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...



World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
From Month/Year
February / 1945
To Month/Year
March / 1945

Description
The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945), or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields (including South Field and Central Field), to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.

After the heavy losses incurred in the battle, the strategic value of the island became controversial. It was useless to the U.S. Army as a staging base and useless to the U.S. Navy as a fleet base. However, Navy SEABEES rebuilt the landing strips, which were used as emergency landing strips for USAAF B-29s. 

The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mi) of underground tunnels. The Americans on the ground were supported by extensive naval artillery and complete air supremacy over Iwo Jima from the beginning of the battle by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators.

Iwo Jima was the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans throughout the battle. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled. The majority of the remainder were killed in action, although it has been estimated that as many as 3,000 continued to resist within the various cave systems for many days afterwards, eventually succumbing to their injuries or surrendering weeks later.

Despite the bloody fighting and severe casualties on both sides, the Japanese defeat was assured from the start. Overwhelming American superiority in arms and numbers as well as complete control of air power — coupled with the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement — permitted no plausible circumstance in which the Americans could have lost the battle.

The battle was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag on top of the 166 m (545 ft) Mount Suribachi by five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman. The photograph records the second flag-raising on the mountain, both of which took place on the fifth day of the 35-day battle. Rosenthal's photograph promptly became an indelible icon — of that battle, of that war in the Pacific, and of the Marine Corps itself — and has been widely reproduced.
 
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
February / 1945
To Month/Year
March / 1945
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

VF-46 Men-O-War

USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95)

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  429 Also There at This Battle:
  • Alseike, Leslie, PO3, (1944-1946)
  • Arenberg, Julius (Ted), LTJG, (1943-1946)
  • Bagby, Henry Lawton, CAPT, (1941-1970)
  • Barr, John Andrew, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Baylor, Warner, LCDR, (1942-1963)
  • Bergin, Patrick
  • Block, Charles John, CPO, (1938-1945)
  • Brewster, Donald, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Bryant, William Elliott, PO3, (1944-1948)
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