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Two First UU Veterans Chosen For Honor Flight by Charles Gray

Honor Flights are one-day trips for World War II and Korean War veterans to visit the war memorials in Washington, D.C.  In addition to the World War II and Korean War memorials, veterans visit the Vietnam War memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.  Each veteran is assigned a volunteer “guardian” for the entire trip and physicians, nurses and other support personnel are aboard the plane(s). Honor Flights are financed by private donations

 First UU Church members Guy Pollard and Charles Gray will be taking an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. on September 9, 2014.

 Guy was in the U.S. Navy for 4 years, assigned to USS Brush DD745, a destroyer operating with the 7th Fleet in Asia. When the Korean “Conflict” broke out in June 1950, the ship’s mission was to provide artillery support for the UN ground forces.  Sadly, early in the conflict the USS Brush struck a mine and sustained 16 fatalities, and 31 injured crew members.  This incident was the first major Naval casualty of the war.  After substantial repairs the ship returned to Korea to provide further support.  Following Guy’s discharge from the Navy, he continued his military affiliation in the US Army Reserve, Transportation Corps, advancing to the rank of Second Lieutenant in 1958 and to Colonel in 1980.  He retired from the military in 1985.

 Charles was in the U.S. Navy for 2 years, 15 months of which were overseas in the Mediterranean area.  His service was during the final year of World War II and the immediate post-war period.  He was a Navy Bandsman (playing flute and piccolo) and was a member of the fleet band of the Mediterranean Fleet. Charles served on 2 cruisers, the USS Memphis and the USS Providence.

 The most satisfying aspect of Charles’ overseas duty was when units of the fleet (including his navy band) were involved in diplomatic missions throughout the Mediterranean basin, including the Middle East.  The purpose was to cement peaceful post-war relations with nations throughout the region. 

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