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Virtual Museum of Canada

Robert Hampton Gray VC

Name: Robert Hampton "Hammy" Gray
Born: November 2, 1917, Trail, British Columbia
Died: August 9, 1945
Hometown: Nelson, British Columbia
Rank: Lieutenant (N)
Served: 1940 - 1945
Service Number: V13438
Force: Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve
Unit: 1841 Squadron
Division: HMS Formidable
Awards: Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Mentioned in Dispatches

Robert Hampton Gray was born in Trail, British Columbia on 2 November 1917. He grew up and went to school in Nelson, B.C. and then spent a year at the University of Alberta in Edmonton followed by two years at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In 1940 he was selected as one of 75 candidates for commissions in the Navy, and was one of thirteen who qualified as pilots in the Fleet Air Arm.

In 1944, as a Lieutenant on H.M.S. Formidable, he was Mentioned-in-Dispatches for his brilliant work during the attack on the German battleship Tirpitz in Alten Fjord. In July 1945 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for aiding in the destruction of a destroyer in the Tokyo area and was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his actions on 9 August. Lieutenant Gray has no known grave. Neither he nor his plane was ever found, but his name is inscribed on the Sailor's Memorial in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Gray was the last Canadian to be killed in action during the Second World War.

Robert Hampton Gray in uniform re-creation of Robert Gray's dog tags Corsair