06 September 2009

Victoria Cross: R. H. Gray


Temporary Lieutenant, Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve; 1841 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (on board HMS Formidable)

Born: 2 November 1917, Trail, British Columbia, Canada
Died: 9 August 1945, Onagawa Wan (Onagawa Bay), Japan

Citation: For great valour in leading an attack on a Japanese destroyer in Onagawa Wan on 9th August, 1945. In the face of fire from shore batteries and a heavy concentration of fire from some five warships Lieutenant Gray pressed home his attack, flying very low in order to ensure success, and, although he was hit and his aircraft was in flames, he obtained at least one direct hit, sinking the destroyer. Lieutenant Gray has consistently shown a brilliant fighting spirit and most inspiring leadership.

(London Gazette Issue 37346 dated 13 Nov 1945, published 9 Nov 1945.)

Note: Lieutenant Gray was the last Canadian to win the Victoria Cross. His target was the Etorofu-class escort Amakusa.

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