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The Airmen's Stories - P/O D McI Gray

 

Donald McIntosh Gray of Palmers Green, Middlesex was born on 26th June 1919, the son of John Gray (1880-1963) and Mary Jane Fraser Gray (nee McBey 1881-1964).

He joined the RAFVR about April 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

He was awarded Aero certificate 19117 at 21 E&RFTS Stapleford on 18th July 1939. His occupation was recorded as 'Rigger with de Havilland'.

 

 

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his intermediate and advanced training at 15 FTS Lossiemouth on No. 7 Course, which ran from 28th April to 26th July 1940. He was commissioned and he joined 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 27th July.

Gray was attached to 7 OTU Hawarden on the 29th and after converting to Spitfires he rejoined 610 Squadron on 12th August. He flew his first operational sortie on the 14th and probably destroyed a Me109 on the 16th.

He was shot down by a Me109 in combat over Dover on 24th August. The squadron CO, S/Ldr. J Ellis, recorded:

'Pilot Officer Gray was in R6641 in Green section that was attacked by four Me109s while climbing up over Dover at approx. 0830 on the 24th August. P/O Gray was attacked from underneath and his aircraft was damaged in the engine, wings, tail and fuselage. He successfully force landed the aircraft with the undercarriage retracted at Shepherdswell near Dover. P/O Gray received multiple superficial wounds of hands, face and legs from shrapnel'.

Gray was admitted to Waldershare Hospital and transferred to the Royal Masonic Hospital on 28th August. He rejoined 610 Squadron on 11th October 1940.

Gray was killed in a flying accident on 5th November 1940, aged 21, when Spitfire X4011 crashed on a night takeoff from Acklington.

He is buried in Chevington Cemetery, East Chevington, Northumberland.

 

Above image courtesy of Dimitrious Corcodilos.

 

 

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