Harry Gray

Harry Gifford Gray was born November 11th, 1931 in Bakersfield, California. He attended East Bakersfield High School where he met the love of his life, Helen Larrainzar, and was subsequently married to her in his Air Force uniform. While serving overseas in Korea, he would petition successfully to have an F86 fighter named after Helen. Harry was a staunch believer in hard work, equality, and fair treatment; skills he honed while in the Air Force. He passed these traits on to his family; he was loved as a kind man who worked hard for his loved ones and country.

Service Record

Harry Gray began active service in the United States Air Force on February 8th, 1951. Boot camp was completed at Lackland Air Force Base in Bexar County, Texas. Harry Gray began his specialization as an Air Force mechanic in Tillamook, Oregon from May 1951 until August 1951. His education continued at the Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois from August 1951 until September 1951. He took leave for 30 days after completing his training, then shipped overseas to the K2 Air Force Base in Daegu, Korea where he served as a mechanic from December 1951 until November 1952. After the Armistice, Harry Gray was stationed in Fairchild Air Force Base in Fairchild, Washington from December 1951 through July 10th 1953 when he was honorably discharged and transferred to Inactive Reserves. He received his final discharge on July 10th 1958.

 

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May 01, 2021 02:01 pm
Mary Huffman
Thank you so much for creating this veteran profile. I love how Harry Gray served as a mechanic during the Korean War. Mechanics are really important because they keep all vehicles up and running throughout their tour of duty!

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Arlington Aeronautical School - Tillamook, Oregon - 1951

group of soldiers

Arlington Aeronautical School – Tillamook, Oregon – 1951

1st Row – Left to Right

Bill Moore – Chicago, Illinois/Eldon Johnson – Paxton, Illinois/Ralph Balintine – Texas/Jerry Darling – Sacramento, California/Harry Gray – Bakersfield, California/Klein – Wisconsin/Montgomery – Missouri/Gibson – California/Myer – Indiana/Gallup – Illinois/Jirka – Nebraska/Vardamin – Indiana/”Lenny” – Minnesota/Anderson – North Carolina

2nd Row – Left to Right

Rocko – Illinois/McCapes – San Luis Obispo, California/Shargi – New Orleans/Wicks – Texas/Kerr – Inglewood, California/Shultz – Ohio/Dillon – Michigan/Housg – Missouri/Henry – Missouri/Seal – Indiana/Prussia – Nebraska/Huntley – Hawaii/Meeks -Iowa

3rd Row – Left to Right

Alexander – Michigan/Blue – Utah/Nagle – Chicago, Illinois/Walters – Iowa/Pachicco – Sacramento, California/Whitfield – North Carolina/Arbor – Louisiana/Conway – Chicago, Illinois/Langieng – San Francisco, California/Woods – Washington/Torpey – Washington/Fowler – Minnesota/Real – South Carolina

4th Row – Left to Right

Paterson – Tennessee/Nance – North Carolina/”Jake” – Chicago, Illinois/Scott – Washington/”Red” – Indiana/Strelow – Michigan/Oase – Washington/Hisey – Indiana/Nusser – California/Walton – Georgia/Hibbs – California

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Boysan – “Korean Houseboy eating Hi Ho Crackers like mad”

March 1952 – Korea

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Sunbathing Air Force – Don Puich

Tillamook Oregon – Air Force Mechanic Training

 

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Harry Gray aboard friend’s plane.

December 1951

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Harry posing in front of the Willamette River prior to heading overseas.

Portland Oregon – 1951

 

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Military Payment Certificate

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Getting Tricky on Base

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Re-United in Portland

Harry Gray with friends Charlie and Bob

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Korean War - Key Events

December 6, 1950

The U.S. Marines at the Chosin Reservoir begin their “attack in a different direction” as they engage in a fighting retreat to the port of Hŭngnam. Two entire Chinese armies have been tasked with the destruction of the 1st Marine Division. They succeed in driving the American force from North Korean territory but pay an enormous price: as many as 80,000 Chinese troops are killed or wounded, and the CPVF Ninth Army Group is rendered combat-ineffective for months. “Frozen Chosin” becomes one of the most-storied episodes in U.S. Marine Corps history.

These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica

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