Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice Marshal A Gray

Alexander                    b: 8 Sep 1896                     r: 27 Mar 1949                     d: 16 May 1980

CB - 8 Jun 1944, MC 27 Oct 1917, MiD - 20 May 1918, MiD - 14 Jan 1944, CdeG (P) - 2 Nov 1918, DFC (US) - 16 Jun 1944, DFC (US) - 16 Jun 1944

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army):- 2 Lt: 10 Oct 1915, Lt: 1 Jul 1917, (T) Capt: 7 Aug 1917, (T) Maj: 28 Dec 1917.

(RAF):- (T) Maj [Capt]: 1 Apr 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919?, Act Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1919?, Sqn Ldr: 30 Jun 1922, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1930, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1936, Act A/Cdre: 2 Aug 1942, (T) A/Cdre: 1  Jun 1943, Act AVM: 19 Jul 1944 - 4 Dec 1944, A/Cdre: 1 Oct 1946, Act AVM: 26 Mar 1947, AVM: Retained.

xx xxx 1914:          Soldier, Highland Light Infantry

10 Oct 1915:          Officer, 7th Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)

xx xxx xxxx:            U/T Pilot

30 Sep 1916:          Appointed Flying Officer, RFC.

17 Oct 1916:           Pilot, No 9 Sqn

1-7 Jan 1917:          Temporary duty to 12th Siege Battery, RGA

14 Jan 1917:            Admitted to No 34 Casualty Clearing Station

 4 Feb 1917:            Returned to UK by Hospital Ship and recuperation

 2 Jun 1917:            Re-embarked for France

 7 Jun 1917:            Pilot, No 55 Sqn

 7 Aug 1917:           Flight Commander, No 55 Sqn RFC.

26 Nov - 2 Dec 1917:    Officer Commanding (Temporary), No 55 Sqn.

28 Dec 1917:          Officer Commanding, No 55 Sqn. (DH4 Independent AF)

xx xxx 1918:            Staff Officer, 2nd Class, HQ South-Western Area

19 Sep 1918:           Returned to Home Establishment

20 Sep 1918:          ?

 1 Jun 1919:            Member, Care and Maintenance Party, RAF Feltwell.

 1 Aug 1919:           Relinquished his Commission in the Territorial Force on being granted a Permanent Commission in the RAF.

 1 Aug 1919:           Awarded Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (gazetted 2 Dec 1919)

30 Apr 1920:           Instructor, No 2 FTS.

14 Aug 1920:          Attended Course of Instruction, Central Flying School

 1 Mar 1921:           Attached to No 4 Sqn. whilst undertaking ? Course at R.A.E.

 5 Oct 1921:            Attended Cambridge University.

24 May 1922:          Supernumerary, RAF Depot

10 Nov 1922:          Staff, Central Flying School.

19 Nov 1923:          Officer Commanding, No 12 Sqn.

 1 Jun 1926:             Technical Staff, HQ ADGB.


27 Oct 1928:           Staff, RAF Base Malta.

 9 Feb 1930:            Technical & Air Staff, HQ RAF India.

 2 Apr 1934:            Officer Commanding, No 7 Sqn.

19 Dec 1935:           Supernumerary, HQ No 1 Air Defence Group.

13 Jan 1936:            Deputy Director of Training and Head of Branch - T Arm.

21 Sep 1939:           Deputy Director of Armament Training.

 1 Jul 1939:              Officer Commanding, RAF Manston.

xx xxx 1939:            ?

xx xxx 1940:            Officer Commanding, RAF Kirkham

21 Dec 1940:          Group Captain - ?, HQ No 9 (Fighter) Group.

xx xxx xxxx:            Staff, No 227 Group

19 Jun 1942:           SASO, No 223 (Composite) Group.

 2 Aug 1942:           AOC, No 223 (Composite) Group.

29 Dec 1942:          Attached, HQ No 224 Group for temporary duty as AOC

 2 Jan 1943:            AOC, No 224 Group.

19 Jul 1944:            Assistant Air Commander, Eastern Air Command ACSEA.

 4 Dec 1944:          Air Commander, Eastern Air Command ACSEA.

xx Feb 1945:            Director of Flying Training.

26 Mar 1947:          AOC, AHQ Iraq.

On 1 July 1919 he was seriously injured in a propeller accident involving DH9, D2823 of the Midland Area Flying Instructors' School.

Citation for the award of the Military Cross

"2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Alexander Gray, Arg. & Suth'd Highrs. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  He took part in many successful operations over the enemy's lines, in over twenty of which he acted as leader. On one occasion, when leading a bombing raid, his formation was heavily attacked by enemy aeroplanes. He shot one of them down, and brought back the whole of his formation safely. He also led a successful raid on an enemy aerodrome, and on several occasions obtained valuable photographs. He has accounted for two enemy aeroplanes with his front gun, and always showed great coolness, ability, and resource."

(London Gazette - 18 Mar 1918)

Citation for the award of Companion of the Order of the Bath

"GRAY, Alexander, A/C, MC (Royal Air Force) - No.224 Group Headquarters, Air Command, South-East Asia.

This officer arrived in India in March 1942 and was first attached to Air Headquarters at Delhi, where he assisted the Senior Air Staff Officer in the preparation of plans for the expansion of the air forces in India.  He was later appointed to command 223 Group in the North-West Frontier Province and he carried out this task in an admirable manner.  He took over the command of No.224 Group in Eastern Bengal in January 1943, and rapidly brought the Group to the highest state of efficiency.  Our aircraft quickly gained and maintained complete air superiority in the battle area, and this has called forth repeated expressions of appreciation from the Army Commanders concerned.  There is no doubt that the ascendency of our air forces on the Arakan front prevented the Japanese advance on Chittagong.  The Group has maintained a high rate of operational sorties, even during the Monsoon period, and the successes which have been achieved has been very largely due to the leadership and powers of command of Air Commodore Gray."

(Source - Air 2/9003)

This page was last updated on 11/08/23

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