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The Airmen's Stories - F/O A P Gray

Anthony Phillip Gray was born on 9th November 1912 in Maidenhead and educated at the Dragon School in Oxford before going on to Uppingham School.

After a year spent in Paris, largely playing rugby, he was invited to join the Auxiliary Air Force by his godfather, Sir Philip Sassoon, and was granted a five-year commission in 601 Squadron in November 1932.



He went on to the AAF Reserve of Officers in November 1937.



Gray was recalled to full-time service on 4th September 1939, and posted to RAF Church Fenton on the 5th as a Sector Controller. He was appointed Acting Flight Lieutenant on 4th October 1939 and then made Acting Squadron Leader on 16th November 1939.

He relinquished his acting rank and was posted from Church Fenton to 601 Squadron at Tangmere on 26th June 1940.

Gray was posted to 7 OTU Hawarden on 1st July, converted to Hurricanes and joined 615 Squadron at Kenley on 15th July 1940 where, at 28, he was known as the 'Old Man'.

His future wife's brother Peter McClintock was also serving in 615 Squadron but was tragically killed in a flying accident in November 1940.

Gray damaged a Do17 on 14th August and claimed a Me109 destroyed on 26th August. He was declared non-effective for operational flying on 28th November 1940 (due to frostbite) and put in charge of the Station Flight at Northolt.


Above: Gray seated on wing, McClintock standing.


He married Pamela McClintock in 1941, they went on to have 3 children.



Above: their wedding on 25th October 1941 at St. Marks North Audley Street. Best man Richard Shaw of 601 Squadron.



Above: the bride's bouquet was in the shape of 601 Squadron's 'Flying Sword' badge.


After the war Gray set up a property company, doing most of his business over lunch at the Connaught. This enabled him to pursue one of his great passions, sailing.

Gray died in November 1986 in Hampshire.


Additional research and all images courtesy of Jocelyn Hayden (daughter).


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