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Air Commodore A M Wray (05036)

Air Commodore Arthur Wray standing beside his glider.Arthur Mostyn             

b: 21 Aug 1896

r: 10 May 1946

d: 6 Apr 1982

DSO - 20 Aug 1943, MC - 16 Aug 1917, DFC - 30 May 1924, Bar - 7 Apr 1942, AFC - 1 Jan 1919, MiD - 1 Jan 1943, MiD – 1 Jan 1945, MiD – 1 Jan 1946, VM5 - 24 Jul 1942.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army):- 2 Lt: 20 Nov 1915 & 20 Nov 1916, Lt: 1 Jul 1917.

(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Act Capt: 1 Sep 1918, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919, Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1924, Sqn Ldr: 1 Oct 1933, Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1940, Act A/Cdre: 3 May 1943, Gp Capt (WS): 3 Nov 1943, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1943, Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1943, A/Cdre: Retained.

20 Nov 1915:          Officer, East Kent Regiment.

xx xxx 1916:          Resigns Commission to enter RMA Sandhurst as Officer Cadet

20 Nov 1916:         Officer, East Kent Regiment

21 Mar 1917:                    Appointed Flying Officer, RFC

15 Apr 1917:           Attached, No 1 AD

25 Apr 1917:           Pilot, No 29 Sqn RFC.

28 May 1917:          Admitted to No 19 Casualty Clearing Station

30 May 1917:          Admitted to No 20 General Hospital

23 Jun 1917:            To England on HS 'Newhaven'

 1 May 1918:           Attended Medical Board, Flying School, Birmingham

xx xxx 1918:            Pilot, No 29 Sqn?

28 Oct 1919:          Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (effective from 1 Aug)

28 Jan 1920:            Pilot, No 114 Sqn

 1 Apr 1920:            Pilot, No 28 Sqn.

21 Oct 1923:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

20 Mar 1924:          'B' Flight Commander, No 15 Sqn.

21 Oct 1924:          'C' Flight Commander, No 15 Sqn.

26 Apr - 14 May 1925:        Attended Armament and Gunnery School.

14 May 1925:         'B' Flight Commander, No 15 Sqn.

 3 Jan 1926:            Posted to Armament and Gunnery School

15 Feb 1926:          Attended Armament and Gunnery School.

19 Jul 1926:            Armament Officer, RAF Training Base, Leuchars.

25 Aug 1927:          Officer Commanding, Air Training Section, Armament and Gunnery School.

 2 Aug 1929:           Armament Officer, No 3 FTS.

 8 Dec 1930:           Officer i/c, No 407 (Fleet Fighter) Flight FAA.

13 Dec 1932:          Chief Armament Officer, HQ Coastal Area.  

15 Apr 1935:          Supernumerary, No 43 Sqn. (Fury I)

29 Apr 1935:          Officer Commanding, No 43 Sqn. (Fury I)

27 Jan 1936:           Command Armament Officer, HQ Fighting Area

 1 May 1936:          Group Armament Officer, No 11 (Fighter) Group.

14 Jul 1936:            Command Armament Officer, HQ Fighter Command.

 6 Feb 1939:           Officer Commanding, RAF Kenley

 8 Nov 1939:           ?

xx xxx 1940:           Chief Instructor? No 9 Bombing and Gunnery School

20 Jan 1941:           Officer Commanding, No 2 Bombing and Gunnery School

 1 Jun 1941:            Officer Commanding No 2 Air Observer School

18 Oct 1941:           Officer Commanding, RAF Goxhill

 5 Nov 1941:           Supernumerary, RAF Hemswell

 9 Nov 1941:          Officer Commanding, RAF Hemswell

 3 May 1943:          AOC, No 12 Base, Binbrook.

Air Commodore Arthur Wray talking to Douglas Sutton and his navigator

14 Jul 1945:            AOC, No 221 (Tactical) Group.

Born to missionary parents, he spent much of his early life in Ireland living with a family there whilst his parents worked in East Africa.  However, he left this family in 1907 following a shooting accident in which Mr Stoney, the head of the family was severely wounded.  In 1914 he left school to join the army and was awarded a commission in 'The Buffs', however, he soon heard that Sandhurst were running six month course, so he resigned his commission and completed the Sandhurst course, being commissioned once again a year later.

Finding duty in England less than exciting, he applied to join the RFC and was accepted.  Completing in training he reported to France and No 29 Squadron flying Nieuport Scouts.  Having shot down an Albatros, he was himself shot don and seriously wounded in the right knee, yet managed to fly his aircraft back to the British lines and land successfully.  Taken to hospital in England his knee went sceptic and threatened his life but due to his own determination and the skill of the surgeon at the hospital, he recovered, although he had a limp for the rest of his life.  Following convalescence he was assessed fit to resume flying, which he did in early 1918.

As a Base Commander, he often flew on operations, usually against the most heavily defended targets.  After the war he retired and took up farming but when he retired from that he took up gliding quickly regaining his flying skills and achieving a range of qualifications culminating in his "Gold C" Certificate in May 1972, which ironically, ended close by his wartime command of RAF Binbrook, where he was entertained by the the Station Commander.

Citation for the award of the Military Cross.

"2nd Lt. Arthur Mostyn Wray, E. Kent R. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While on an offensive patrol he attacked a hostile two-seater at close range.  He was at once severely wounded, and though his thigh was fractured and his machine fell several thousand feet, out of control, he managed to obtain control again and effected a safe landing. He has previously done splendid work."

(London Gazette - 16 August 1917)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 "Group Captain Arthur Mostyn WRAY, M.C., D.F.C., A.F.C.

One night in March, 1942, this officer participated in an attack on the Ruhr.  To ensure success, Group Captain Wray deliberately descended to a low altitude, in the face of fierce opposing fire, to bomb his objective.  His gallantry and exceptional leadership have set a most inspiring example."

(London Gazette – 7 April 1942)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

"WRAY, Arthur Mostyn, F/L, MC, AFC.

 For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during air operations.  In bombing attacks he has obtained excellent results mainly by reason of his daring attacks from low altitudes over difficult country, and often in bad weather.  Within a period of four days he carried out six raids on targets situated over 40 miles from the aerodrome, over country which was actively hostile and devoid of safe landing places."

(Source - Air 30/58)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Acting Air Commodore Arthur Mostyn WRAY, M.C., D.F.C., A.F.C., Royal Air Force.

Air Commodore Wray has participated in numerous sorties, including an attack on Hamburg in July, 1943.  He is an extremely skilful and gallant captain whose keenness and personal example have proved an inspiration to all in his command.  The value of the training he has imparted to the young crews with whom he has flown on operations is inestimable.  His work both in the air and on the ground has been of the highest order.”

(London Gazette – 20 August 1943)

This page was last updated on 17/09/23

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