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Frederic Colbert Gray


Frederic C. Gray was born in 1911 near Palestine, Texas. He attended Rising Star High School and graduated in 1931 from Abilene Christian College with a bachelor of arts degree.

After serving for a year as principal, coach and math instructor at Sylvester, Texas, High School, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps Flying School at Randolph Field, Texas in February 1933 and graduated from Kelly Field in February 1934. His was the first class to spend an extra year as a flying cadet, rated pilot, on active duty. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1935 at March Field, Calif.

Lieutenant Gray remained at March Field as a Pursuit pilot with the 17th Pursuit Group until 1937 when he returned to Randolph Field as a flight instructor and flight commander. In February 1938 he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant.

In June 1941 he was assigned as a pilot and technical observer to the Royal Air Force, flying Spitfires. He returned to the United States in November 1941 to become director of training and gunnery at Foster Field, Texas.

In February 1942 he pinned on the bars of captain only to replace them with major's leaves in March 1942. Promoted to lieutenant colonel in early 1943, he was assigned to Randolph Field to organize the Fighter Group in the new Central Instructors School. In September 1943 Lieutenant Colonel Gray was assigned to the Command and General Staff School, followed by the Army Air Force Staff Officers Course.

February 1944 found Lieutenant Colonel Gray back in England as wing executive, 66th Fighter Wing, Eighth Air Force. Two months later he was assigned as commander, 78th Fighter Group. In June 1944, the silver leaves were replaced with eagles of full colonel. On Feb. 1, he became director of fighter operations, Headquarters Eighth Air Force. Returning to the United States after V-E Day, Colonel Gray was assigned to Colorado Springs, Colo., where he served as wing director of operations and training, 72d Fighter Wing.

In May 1946, Colonel Gray was assigned as Air National Guard wing instructor at Jefferson City, Mo., where he originated the post-war Air National Guard in seven Mid-Western states; then on to the Iowa Air National Guard as instructor to the 132d Fighter Wing Air National Guard. From August 1949 to June 1950 he attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He retired on 1 June 1968.




  • Oscar Fladmark

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Flew 64 combat missions,in WWII,then served in Air National Guard, Korean War (he flew 100 combat missions). ...

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Units served with



Associated Place

  • Duxford

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Duxford, now a museum and still a working airfield, was operated by the USAAF from 1943 to 1945. The base was briefly the home of the 350th Fighter Group in late 1942, but it was not until April 1943 that it became a fully American station when the...

  • Sawston Hall

    Military site : non-airfield
    Sawston Hall was requisitioned for use as the Headquarters of the 66th Fighter Wing, from the Huddleston family. There is graffiti on the top floor from the US occupation and an air-raid shelter in the grounds. It reverted to the Huddleston's at the...


Event Location Date
Born Palestine, Texas 6 October 1911
Died 7 December 1980

Plot: Section 5 Site 38


Date Contributor Update
24 June 2015 19:00:31 Lucy May Changes to events


Date Contributor Update
24 June 2015 18:58:44 Lucy May Changes to firstname, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and media associations

Combined two entries for Frederic Gray into a single entry. This entry now includes information from the following source:
Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Additional source:

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:25 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Who's Who in the Eighth Air Force and/or Biographical Directory Command & Staff Officers Eighth Air Force 1942-45