Retired June 1, 1968. Died Dec. 7, 1980.
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.
From June 1950 until August 1953 Colonel Gray held positions of commander, 35th Fighter Wing in Korea, commander of the 6160 Air Base Wing at Itazuke, Japan, and inspector general at Headquarters FEAF. Back in the United States, in October 1953, Colonel Gray was stationed at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., as director of flying training, Headquarters Air Training Command. Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., was his next assignment in June 1954 where he served as wing commander of 3625 Combat Crew Training Wing. Back to Randolph Air Force Base, Texas in June 1956, Colonel Gray was deputy commander, Headquarters Crew Training Air Force.
In August 1957 Colonel Gray became deputy chief of staff, operations for Eighteenth Air Force in Waco, Texas, later redesignated Twelfth Air Force. On June 30, 1959 Colonel Gray became Brigadier General Gray and assumed the duties as deputy commander of Twelfth Air Force.
Since his assignment to Headquarters Tactical Air Command in March 1960, General Gray has held the positions of acting deputy for operations, assistant deputy for operations and is at present the assistant deputy for plans.
He is an active member of the community, participating in many civic activities.