2nd Lieutenant Cary Lewis Gray #O-810355 US Army Air Forces was assigned to the 513th Fighter Squadron, 406th Fighter Group of the 9th Air Force. He was a pilot flying the P-47 Thunderbolt with serial number 42-8544, out of Ashford, England.
The 513th was flying in support of the Normandy invasion during June 1944. On June 17th, the squadron had an armed reconnaissance mission in the Lessay area from which 2nd Lt. Carl Gray failed to return. He was seen to bail out of his plane 2 miles east of Cherbourg. His plane had evidently been hit by flak. On the 20th of June Lt Gray was listed as missing in action on the Squadron Morning Report. He is also listed as Carl L. Gray.
He is interred in the Normandy American Cemetery, A,19,20, Colleville-sur-Mer, France.
Photo from the Tennessee High School Bristol 1941
The World-News, 8 August 1944
Lt. Cary L. Gray, son of Wilford W. Gray, 1806 Patterson Avenue, S.W., has been reported missing in action in France since June 17, according to an official war department notice, but due to a letter from the flier’s comrades, Mr. Gray has reason to believe his son is safe in Europe. Young Gray was piloting a Thunderbolt fighter plane at the time he was reported missing. A letter written a few days before by Gray to a college professor said: My Thunderbolt and I were in the first wave of plane which flew over France on D-Day, June 6. Shortly after the war department notice was received. Mr. Gray got a letter written July 13 from a friend of his son’s, who had been serving in the same squadron. The letter, in part, follows; “We have waited this long to write because we had hoped, and still hope to hear from him (Cary) soon. If it were possible for us to tell you the military situation, I’m sure you could see the cause for hope. During a combat mission over France, Cary was forced to leave his plane. He was not hurt, his parachute opened, ad he was seen going down. The worst we think could have happened to him is that he is safely a prisoner of war, and we have reasons to hope for better.”
- Rank: Second Lieutenant
- Date of birth: 2 June 1921
- Date of death: 20 June 1944
- County: Sullivan
- Hometown: Bristol
- Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
- Division/Assignment: 13th Fighter Squadron, 406th Fighter Group
- Theater: Europe
- Conflict: World War II
- Battles: Normandy Campaign
- Awards: Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
- Burial/Memorial Location: Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France
- Location In Memorial: Pillar XVIII, Top Panel
- Sponsored by: Henry M. Barker
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