Deckerd Jefferson Gray   


Ware Shoals, South Carolina

Army Air Force, Technical Sergeant   

479th Antisubmarine Group, 4th Antisubmarine Squadron, operating from RAF Dunkeswell in southwest England.

Purple Heart, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster

Sep 2, 1919

Aug 8, 1943

Missing in Action over the Bay of Biscay

Cambridge AMC, Tablets of the Missing. There is a memorial marker at Trion Cemetery, Trion, GA


Additional Information

Missing Air Crew Report #257, A/C SN 42-40553 – Gray was assigned to an antisubmarine patrol aboard a B-24D Liberator piloted by Captain Reuben L. Thomas, Jr.  While on patrol over the Bay of Biscay, radio contact was lost with the aircraft.  The aircraft and its 10-man crew failed to return from the mission.  Aircraft dispersed to the area during the remainder of 8 August and 9 August failed to sight any signs of the aircraft or crew, having transmitted messages indicating they were being attacked by enemy aircraft between 1159 and 1225.

The names of the crew follows:
Reuben L. Thomas, Jr.                Pilot
1st Lt. George E. Good                  Navigator
2nd Lt. John L. Gerrick                  Bombardier
Cornelius G. George                      Co-Pilot
Donald E. Bowman                        Radio Operations
T.Sgt. Deckerd J. Gray, Jr.           Radar
S/Sgt. Robert T. Dodd                    Asst. Radio Operator
S/Sgt. Charles J. Woodward           Engineer
S/Sgt George E. Hanrict                 Asst. Engineer
S/Sgt James H. Pierce                    Gunner

Background: As soon as WWII started it was recognized that U-boats posed a serious threat to the US East coast and in response the Army converted a number of bomber squadrons to an anti-submarine role and eventually organized them formally as Anti-submarine Squadrons.  It was unclear which service was responsible for the operation of Anti-submarine aircraft from land bases.  The Army Air Force  built up a formidable Anti-submarine force which included the premier anti-submarine aircraft of WWII – the B-24 Liberator.  In 1943 the Army and Navy reached an agreement and the Navy took over the antisubmarine mission in its entirety.  For more information about the Army Air Force involvement in Anti submarine warfare see Army Air Force ASW Command
The above information was provided by  Captain Jerry Mason, USN (ret.)
Memoralized: Cambridge American Cemetery.

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Extra Documents

Crew Mates – Vignette written by Kelly Durham for The Echo