Thomas Gray (VC)


Thomas Gray (VC)

Infobox Military Person
name=Thomas Gray


caption=
born=May 17 1914
died=May 12 1940
placeofbirth=Urchfont England
placeofdeath=Maastricht Netherlands
nickname=
allegiance=United Kingdom
branch=Royal Air Force
serviceyears=1929-1940
rank=Sergeant
unit=12 Squadron
commands=
battles=
awards=VC
relations=
laterwork=

Thomas Gray VC (May 17, 1914 - May 12, 1940) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was 25 years old, and a sergeant in 12 Squadron, Royal Air Force during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 12 May 1940, over the Albert Canal, Belgium, one bridge in particular was being used by the invading army, with protection from fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft and machine-guns. The RAF was ordered to demolish this vital bridge, and five Fairey Battle bombers were despatched with Sergeant Gray as the navigator in the plane leading the bombing attack. They met an inferno of anti-aircraft fire, but the mission was accomplished, much of the success being due to the coolness and resource of the pilot (Donald Edward Garland) of the leading aircraft and the navigation of Sergeant Gray. Unfortunately the leading aircraft and three others did not return.

Gray is buried at the Haverlee War Cemetery near Leuven in Belgium. [ [http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2777505 Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Thomas Gray] ]

Memorial

A Vickers VC-10 Serial 'XR807' of 101 Squadron is named 'Donald Garland VC & Thomas Gray VC'

References

*British VCs of World War 2 (John Laffin, 1997)
*Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
*The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)

External links

* [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/theartofwar/valgal/valour/INF3_0409.htm Flying Officer D.E. Garland & Sergeant T. Grey] in "The Art of War" exhibition at the UK National Archives
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9750394 Find-A-Grave profile for Thomas Gray]


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