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Gray, Owen Park

Date of birth:
May 5th, 1908 (Estcourt/Natal, South Africa)
Date of death:
June 9th, 1969 (Estcourt/Natal, South Africa)
Service number:
South African (1910-1961, Union)


Owen Park Grey was the son of William Gray who commanded the Natal Light Horse in German South West Africa during World War I.
He enlisted with the Natal Caribineers in October 1923 for Active Citizen Force but resigned this service after four years.
In June 1938 he joined the South African Air Force and served with No.'s 11 and 17 Squadron flying Fairey Battles, Marylands, Blenheim V's and Boston Ventura's on primarily convoy escort duties, anti-submarine patrols and bombing shipping.
Gray was released from full time service on 10 May 1946.
After the war he married, had three childred and returned to farming.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
No. 17 Squadron, South African Air Force
Awarded on:
November 14th, 1944
Awarded the DFC as Flight Commander, having completed 93 sorties over 572 Flying Hours.
“This officer, who is now on his second tour of operational duty has an outstanding operational record. He has accomplished particularly good work during recent operations. In August 1944, Major Grey located 4 enemy vessels off Savona. Despite appalling weather, he flew at low level over the heavily defended port of Savona and delivered a telling attack. Later in the same month he participated in a highly successful attack on the oil refiner and dockyard at Port St. Louis Du Rhone. At all times Major Grey has maintained a high standard of operational efficiency in his flight.”
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)