...visit the Gray Family Room

parents →     unknown    and     unknown

      Elliot Henry Gray      

unknown      -       unknown

Chip: Just received this email and photo from Llenza. You know the two great fighter pilots on the left and right ends. In order, from left to right, are me, the group commander Col. Nido, my assistant flying training supervisor Jose Bloise, Capt. McCaskill, and your dad. I can't explain the LIFE magazine logo at the bottom corner of the photo. Rafael: You, of course, will recognize all of us. Except for that bastard Nido, all were good guys. Even Nido was fun to drink with and had a good sense of humor when he was not being a chicken-shit tyrant because he was insecure in his incompetence and crapping all over everybody. McCaskill was just a mature nice guy who was not one of the wild, hard partiers. Jose Bloise was very full of himself, but a good kid and a lot of fun. Jerry Ellsworth and I had fun keeping Bloise in line (we called him Hose Blows sometimes). I'm sorry Jerry isn't in the picture, because without him I couldn't have tolerated four years under Nido. Plus, Jerry was a great pilot and instructor; without his skill, I could not have put our ragtag militia squadron into combat readiness as soon as we did together. Bloise did all right and helped a lot, considering his lack of experience, but Jerry was tops. I'll always remember the time that sorry bastard Air Force advisor, Lt.Col. Broach, came into our Ops. office and asked if one of us wanted to go up with him and do some dog-fighting. (Most of Broach's flying was boring holes in the sky alone just to build up flying time.) Bloise went up with him. When they came down, Jerry and I asked who won. They said Bloise had pulled lead on Broach a couple of times. Then Broach said he'd like to go up again and asked if Jerry or I would like to do combat with him. Jerry, in his inimitable, suave manner, said, "Hell, Colonel, if Bloise finally pulled lead on you, you wouldn't last through the first turn against Dad or me." And of course there was Elliott, a great pilot and utterly fearless (a trait not found in many in our inexperienced pilot pool). He was a favorite of everyone in the squadron and group, pilots and ground crews and staff alike. John Donahue, visiting us years later in Dallas, explained to my wife: "We all loved Elliott, but he and Earl were like brothers." I know that you and Pat were also close to Elliott and Peggy.

married →       Margaret Elizabeth Henry     date of marriage →     unknown

Elliot Henry Gray Jr     and     Gale Garrett Gray     and     Stephany Dadja Gray

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