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John P. Gray (APD-74)

(APD-74: dp. 1,390; l. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 12'7"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 204; a. 1 5", 6 40mm., 2 dct.; cl. Crosley)

John Porter Gray was born in Kansas City, Mo., 22 December 1914, and enlisted in the Naval Reserve 12 October 1939. He was appointed Aviation Cadet in 1940 and underwent flight training. After commissioning, Gray served at several air stations, reporting to Torpedo Squadron 2 in October 1940. Later transferred for temporary duty to Torpedo Squadron 8 in Hornet, he took part in the pivotal Battle of Midway 4-6 June 1942. Gray and his companions gallantly attacked the Japanese ships without fighter cover and in the face of withering antiaircraft fire. Though all were shot down, they succeeded in diverting enemy air cover and preventing further launches, thus contributing mightily to America's victory in the battle. Lt. (j.g.) Gray was killed 4 June during the attack. He was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroism, and shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to Torpedo Squadron Eight for the Battle of Midway.

John P. Gray (APD-74) was laid down as DE-673 by Dravo Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa., 18 December 1943; launched 18 March 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Roy C. Gray, mother of Lt. (j.g.) Gray; towed down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to be completed at Consolidated Shipbuilding Co., Orange, Tex.; and reclassified APD-74 on 27 June 1944-She commissioned there 15 March 1945, Lt. Comdr. W. E. Sims in command.

Following shakedown cruise to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during April and May, the ship arrived New London, Conn., 1 June, to escort Italian submarine Ris Mameli to Guantanamo Bay. From there John P. Gray proceeded via the Canal Zone to San Diego, arriving 19 June. She steamed to Pearl Harbor 2 days later, and spent July training underwater demolition teams on the island of Maui. In August she returned briefly to California to embark a UDT unit for duty; and, after a stopover in Hawaii, she arrived Eniwetok 30 August.

The war over, John P. Gray arrived Jinsen, Korea, 8 September to take part in occupation operations. Departing 14 September, the ship steamed via Guam and Eniwetok to Pearl Harbor, and was attached to "Magic Carpet," the giant operation undertaken to return to the United States the thousands of Pacific veterans. She made two voyages between Hawaii and San Diego, then departed 30 November for Norfolk. John P. Gray arrived Hampton Roads 13 December, and moved to Green Cove Springs, Fla., 25 January 1946. She decommissioned 29 April 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. The ship berthed with the Texas group until struck from the Navy List 1 March 1967.

Published: Thu Jul 23 10:14:40 EDT 2015