Robert Hampton "Hammy" Gray

RCNVR   Lt.   -   VC,   DSC,   MiD

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Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Of Friday, the 12th of January 1945
Published by Authority, Tuesday 16 January 1945

ADMIRALTY Whitehall, 16th January, 1945

For undaunted courage, skill & determination in carrying out daring attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz

Mention in Despatches

Temporary Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray, R.C.N.V.R. (Nelson, B.C.).


Born November 2, 1919 in Trail B.C.
Son of Son of John Balfour Gray and Wilhelmina Gray
Moved to Nelson B.C.
Graduated High school in 1936
Enrolled in the University of Alberta
Transferred to the U of BC
Intending to go to McGill for medical training
Enlisted in RCNVR in 1940
Transferred to FAA for pilot training
Was involved in the attack of the Tirpitz
Won the VC for sinking the Amakusa on 9 August 1945


Third Supplement to The London Gazette Of FRIDAY, the 17th of AUGUST, 1945
Published by Authority, Tuesday 21 August 1945

ADMIRALTY, Whitehall, 21st August, 1945

For determination and address in air attacks on targets in Japan

The Distinguished Service Cross

Temporary Lieutenant Robert Hampton GRAY, R.C.N.V.R.


The Awards

29 August 1945 - Included in the Royal Canadian Navy awards - given for operations at sea, ashore and in the air from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific and from before VE day until the end of the Pacific war - are the following :

Distinguished Service Cross

Sub.-Lieut. Robert Gray, Nelson, B.C., for courage in action against the Japanese while serving in the Far East with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. He has since been reported missing in action over Japan.

Sub.-Lieut. William R. Atkinson, Winnipeg.


Onagawa Bay
This picture of Onagawa Wan was taken from a Royal Navy Avenger on August 9th 1945. The day and place of Hammy's attack. Although unlikely, one could imagine this photo shows his plane hitting the water (left plume) just after the bomb takes out the ship (right plume) (PAC C-5459)


THIRD SUPPLEMENT TO The London Gazette of FRIDAY, the 9th of NOVEMBER, 1945

ADMIRALTY Whitehall, 13th November, 1945

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the


for valour to the late Temporary Lieutenant Robert Hampton GRAY, R.C.N.V.R., for great valour in leading an attack on a Japanese destroyer in Onagawa Wan on 9th August, 1945. In the face of fire from shore batteries and a heavy concentration of fire from some five warships Lieutenant Gray pressed home his attack, flying very low in order to ensure success, and, although he was hit and his aircraft was in flames, he obtained at least one direct hit, sinking the destroyer. Lieutenant Gray has consistently shown a brilliant fighting spirit and most inspiring leadership.


L to R : Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, 1939-1945 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar for service outside of Canada, 1939-1945 War Medal with oak leaf for MiD.


Mother Receives VC Won by Her Dead Son

Ottawa, Feb. 27, 1946 - (CP) - The two-story ballroom at Government House echoed today with the subdued talk of modest heroes, their relatives and friends, who gathered from all parts of Canada for the first of two investitures marking the end of the Earl of Athlone's service in Canada.
Principal award of the 82 presented was that of the Victoria Cross to quiet, white-haired Mrs. J. A. Gray of Nelson, B.C., on behalf of her son, the late Lieut. R. H. (Hammy) Gray, RCNVR. She also received his Distinguished Service Cross, won in combat flying over Norway (the MiD was for work over Norway - jf)
The young naval airman won the Empire's highest award in the Pacific theatre when he put his aircraft into a dive which destroyed a Japanese destroyer. He never pulled out of that dive.
"I was proud to get his medals today," Mrs. Gray said, "but it was so sad."
J. B. Gray, the VC winner's father and his sister, Mrs. E. H. Gautschi, accompanied Mrs. Gray to Ottawa. They plan to return to Nelson tomorrow.
Princess Alice wore her uniform of honorary air commandant of the RCAF Women's Division for the ceremony.
A further 104 decorations will be presented tomorrow.
After Mrs. Gray in the stately parade came Air Vice-Marshal F. S. McGill, former Air Member for Supply and Organization, now in business in Montreal, who received the insignia of Companion of the Order of the Bath.
Lt.-Col. R. Rowley of Rockcliffe, Ont. had the DSO and Bar pinned to his chest. Another double award went to Mrs. K. Pettit of Brantford, who received the insignia of an officer of the Order of the British Empire and the DFC won by her son, the late Sqdn. Ldr. W. R. Pettit.
DFC – Mrs. A. Bouskill, on behalf of her son, the late F/L R. R. Bouskill, R.C.A.F., Toronto.




Thanks to Ron Nelson for the photo of the medals

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