Rank and organization:   Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
1920, Marvel Valley, Ala.
Accredited to:   Alabama.
Citation:   For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty as a Platoon Sergeant attached to Company A, 1st Battalion,
25th Marines, 4th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces
on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 21 February 1945. Shrewdly gauging the tactical
situation when his platoon was held up by a sudden barrage of hostile grenades
while advancing toward the high ground northeast of Airfield No. 1, Sgt.
Gray promptly organized the withdrawal of his men from enemy grenade range,
quickly moved forward alone to reconnoiter and discovered a heavily mined
area extending along the front of a strong network of emplacements joined
by covered trenches. Although assailed by furious gunfire, he cleared a
path leading through the minefield to one of the fortifications, then returned
to the platoon position and, informing his leader of the serious situation,
volunteered to initiate an attack under cover of 3 fellow marines. Alone
and unarmed but carrying a huge satchel charge, he crept up on the Japanese
emplacement, boldly hurled the short-fused explosive and sealed the entrance.
Instantly taken under machinegun fire from a second entrance to the same
position, he unhesitatingly braved the increasingly vicious fusillades
to crawl back for another charge, returned to his objective and blasted
the second opening, thereby demolishing the position. Repeatedly covering
the ground between the savagely defended enemy fortifications and his platoon
area, he systematically approached, attacked and withdrew under blanketing
fire to destroy a total of 6 Japanese positions, more than 25 troops and
a quantity of vital ordnance gear and ammunition. Stouthearted and indomitable,
Sgt. Gray had single-handedly overcome a strong enemy garrison and had
completely disarmed a large minefield before finally rejoining his unit.
By his great personal valor, daring tactics and tenacious perseverance
in the face of extreme peril, he had contributed materially to the fulfillment
of his company mission. His gallant conduct throughout enhanced and sustained
the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)