COL (Ret./Army) John Edward Gray was born Cleveland, NC, 24 Aug 1925 and died on 1 Dec 2019. He initially joined the Marine Corps and served on the USS Maryland and is a veteran of five campaigns against the Japanese in the Pacific WW II. After WW II, he transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve and resumed his education at Davidson College, graduating in June 1949 with a BS degree and was commissioned as a Regular Army 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry. After his attendance of basic officer courses, the Korean War broke out, and COL Gray joined the combat there with the 7th Infantry Division as 81mm Mortar Platoon Leader, M Company 31st Infantry, and served as such from the Inchon Invasion through the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. He also served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War. After serving 30 years of military service, COL Gray retired from the Army in Mt. Ulla, NC as a three time war veteran. His military decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Cross; the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star for valor, the Purple Heart with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Corps of Engineers Silver de Fleury Medal, and the Republic of Korea Chungmu Distinguished Military Service Medal with Gold Star. COL Gray has authored a book entitled “Call to Honor.”
He is survived by his wife of 72 years (Sue Hamby Gray), 5 children Jack (Eva); Jeanne Harman (Tom); Kenneth (Jan); Marlene Bynum (Brett); and Bruce; and predeceased Michael; and 12 grandchildren and one great grand child.
He was active in The Legion of Valor of the USA and many other veterans organizations (e.g. Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) as well, including The Chosin Few (5,200 veterans of the Korean War Chosin Reservoir Campaign) where he served as its multiple terms President.
Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 AM Thursday, December 5, 2019 at the Cleveland Presbyterian Church, Cleveland, NC with Pastor (Dr.) Tom LaBonte; grave service will be conducted at the Historic Salisbury National Cemetery at 1:00 PM Thursday with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Cleveland Presbyterian Church, PO Box 273, Cleveland, NC 27013.
We would like to thank family and friends for condolences and your support.
Lyerly Funeral Home is serving the Gray family. Online condolences may be made at www.lyerlyfuneralhome.com.
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