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VC & Other Medal Winners Victoria Cross recipients and winners of other bravery and service medals

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  #1  
Old 01-02-2012, 17:09
kootenayguy kootenayguy is offline
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Location: Trail, British Columbia, Canada
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Default memorial to Hammy Gray VC in Japan to be rebuilt

The story of Lieut. Robert Hampton "Hammy" Gray of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada is extraordinary in several respects. First, the action for which he won the VC posthumously occurred a day AFTER the a-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Also, many residents of Onagawa in North East Japan witnessed from the hills his courageous aerial attack that sank a Japanese destroyer in Onagawa Bay. They were genuinely impressed with his bravery, and took it upon themselves to establish a memorial to Gray on a spot overlooking the scene of the action. I have heard that this is the only memorial in Japan that the Japanese initiated for an Allied hero.

Several of Hammy's friends attended a ceremony in 1987 dedicating the memorial, including my uncle Peter Dewdney who was a boyhood pal. Unfortunately, the memorial was seriously damaged by the earthquake and tsunami last year. The story in the link below reports that the residents of the city plan to rebuild the memorial. When you think of all the other damage the city suffered, it says a lot that they continue to honour Hammy. There have been several visits by Onagawa and Nelson school groups back and forth in recent years.

http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/137383653.html
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2012, 18:59
John Odom John Odom is offline
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Default Re: memorial to Hammy Gray VC in Japan to be rebuilt

That is great, Thanks for sharing.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2012, 19:54
hood51 hood51 is offline
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Default Re: memorial to Hammy Gray VC in Japan to be rebuilt

This is excellent news. Full marks to them for getting it right.

Steve
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2012, 00:45
Rob Stuart Rob Stuart is online now
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Default Re: memorial to Hammy Gray VC in Japan to be rebuilt

kootenayguy,

I too am happy to hear this news and appreciate that you shared it, but, if I may, I'd point out that the vessel Lt Gray sank was not a destroyer. It was the 860 ton 20-knot escort vessel Amakusa, which was much more akin to a corvette or a sloop than to a destroyer. Certainly the Japanese did not classify it as a destroyer. Also, Gray sank the Amakusa on 9 August 1945, which was the day Nagasaki was bombed and three days (not one day) after the Hiroshima bombing. For further info see http://www.combinedfleet.com/Amakusa_t.htm and scroll down to 9 August.

FWIW,

Rob
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  #5  
Old 30-03-2012, 19:43
kootenayguy kootenayguy is offline
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Default Re: memorial to Hammy Gray VC in Japan to be rebuilt

Thanks for the corrections. So tragic that he would die so close to the end of the war.
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  #6  
Old 13-05-2012, 22:22
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Brian Wentzell Brian Wentzell is offline
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Default Re: memorial to Hammy Gray VC in Japan to be rebuilt

Gentlemen: It should be noted that Lt. Robert Hamilton Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR was the only member of the RCN to be awarded the VC in World War 2.
Brian
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  #7  
Old 20-11-2012, 00:25
kootenayguy kootenayguy is offline
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Default Re: memorial to Hammy Gray VC in Japan to be rebuilt

Very pleased to report that the memorial for Hammy Gray in Japan has been rebuilt. See story in the Nelson (British Columbia) Star in the link below. Quite amazing that the Japanese, with so much recovery needed after the earthquake/tsunami, would support the rebuilding of the memorial.

http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/162962846.html
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  #8  
Old 20-11-2012, 02:54
Scatari Scatari is online now
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Default Re: memorial to Hammy Gray VC in Japan to be rebuilt

Quote:
Originally Posted by kootenayguy View Post
Very pleased to report that the memorial for Hammy Gray in Japan has been rebuilt. See story in the Nelson (British Columbia) Star in the link below. Quite amazing that the Japanese, with so much recovery needed after the earthquake/tsunami, would support the rebuilding of the memorial.

http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/162962846.html
Thanks for the update - wonderful to see.

As a point of interest, the Admiral's Conference Room in naval headquarters here in Ottawa features a beautiful painting of Lieutenant Gray's attack on the Japanese ship, together with a photograph of him and replicas of his medals.

He is not forgotten by today's sailors.
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