Ross Franklin Gray, born 1 August 1920 at Talledego Springs, Ala., enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps 22 July 1942. Following training at Parris Island, S.C., and New River, N.C., he was sent to the Pacific where he participated with the 4th Marine Division in the invasions of Roi-Namur, Marshalls, and Saipan and Tinian, Marianas. Promoted to Sergeant in August 1944, he returned to the United States for specialized training in the installation, reconnaissance, and neutralization of mine fields. After rejoining the 4th Division, he took part in the bloody invasion of Iwo Jinia 19 February 1945. On 21 February his platoon came under heavy enemy fire while advancing toward high ground northeast of Number 1 airfield. After withdrawing his men from the field of fire, he advanced alone through a heavily mined area; though assailed by furious enemy fire, he cleared a path through the field to a network of strongly fortified gun emplacements. Armed only with satchel charges, Sergeant Gray systematically approached, attacked, and destroyed six Japanese gun positions by boldly hurling short-fused explosives while under continuous vicious fire. Singlehandedly, he wiped out a strong enemy garrison and completely disarmed a large mine field before rejoining his unit. Fatally wounded by an enemy shell 27 February, Sergeant Gray was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his great personal valor, daring tactics, and tenacious perseverance in the face of extreme peril.
(DE-1054: dp. 2,624; l. 414'6"; b. 44'; dr. 18'; s. 27.4 k.; cpl. 247; a. 1 5", 4 21" tt., ASROC, DASH; cl. Knox)
Gray (DE-1054) was laid down 19 November 1966 by Todd Shipyards Corp., Seattle, Wash., with her completion planned for the winter of 1969. Once completed and commissioned, she will screen attack and support ships and operate against submarines. Operating either alone or with a hunter-killer group, she will be able to seek out and destroy enemy submarines with the latest and most advanced ASW equipment. Moreover, her ability to perform blockade, surveillance, and search and evacuation missions at a moment's notice will add to the Navy's deterrent force and aid in the continuing task of "keeping the peace."