Missing After Midway
Before he crashed he scored a torpedo hit
on one enemy carrier. The total damage
done by the squadron will probably never
be known, but its immeasurable value to
the Battle of Midway consisted in its locating the Japanese fleet and incapacitating the planes on the carriers before they
could be refueled to, enter the fight again.
Our dive bombers then delivered their
attack a few minutes later.
The sole survivor of thirty men who
manned the fifte'en planes hid beneath a
cushion among the wreckage after his
plane had been shot down, and was rescued the following afternoon. It was he
who revealed the details of the engagement.
Brother John Porter Gray, after graduation from Westminster in 1937, worked in
St. Louis and made a trip to Alaska before enlisting in the U. S. Navy Air
Corps, in which he received a commission
September 20, 1940. He elected to fly
torpedo planes, which are slow and difficult to maneuver and need the protection of fighter planes when launching an
JOHN PORTER GRAY, Westminster '57
attack. But they offer the thrill, of adventure. He had been with task forces in
Westminster '37. Only one of them re- the Pacific from the start of the war and
turned to tell the tale; Gray and the had participated in the Marshall Islands
attack, for which he was cited for heroism
others are still not accounted for.
On the second day of the Battle of Mid- in action on February 1, 1942. Ensign
way, Torpedo Squadron had orders to Gray had been assigned'to Squadron
hunt out the lurking Japanese force which just shortly before it went into action in
had been lost for several hours. They the Battle of to replace another
found, and attacked the enemy as he was man who was transferred out of the squadleaving Midway refueling his planes on ron. He had had word that he was to be
crowded carriers. Squadron had neither promoted to Lieutenant (j.g.), but the
fighter nor bomber support to divert the commission was i;iot completed until after
the battle, effective as of April 15.
enemy defensive fire.
Brother Gray's mother has received letDespite a seemingly impenetrable
screen of cruisers and destroyers protect- ters from the Secretary of the Navy and
ing the, carriers. Squadron pressed from the commanding officers and others
home its attack in the face of a sky aboard two ships on which he served, all
swarming with Jap Zero planes. Plane commending his gallantry and expressafter plane of the squadron was shot ing sympathy. She is hoping against hope
down in flames until only that of the lone that he will be rescued. Meanwhile, his
survivor. Ensign George H. Gay, was left. record reads, "Missing in Action."
MONG that gallant group who
manned the famed Squadron
which opened the way for victory at
Midway was Ensign John Porter Gray,