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Leo Gray, Tuskegee Airman And Military Pioneer, Dies At 92
Retired Lt. Col. Leo Gray, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen who fought in the skies over Europe during World War II, died Friday in his Coconut Creek home. He was 92.
Gray, a Boston native, enlisted after high school — when the U.S. military was segregated — and began training in 1942 at Tuskegee Army Airfield. He became an active-duty pilot the following year.
He was then stationed in Italy, where he flew 15 combat missions as a pilot with the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, which protected Allied bombers. He flew the P-51 Mustang, also referred to as a "Red Tail," logging 750 flight hours.
"He said he never got a chance to shoot down any Germans, but he was ready to," said Gray's friend, Maj. Nate Osgood of the Broward Sheriff's Office. "[The Tuskegee Airmen] were true pioneers of the civil rights movement."
In 2013, the Broward Sheriff's Office recognized Gray, along with Col. Eldridge Williams and Judge Richard Rutledge, for serving their country while battling racism and bigotry.
After the war, Gray earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics and became an executive with the U.S. Department of Agriculture until his retirement in 1984.
Gray played a leading role in the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. organization, which provides scholarships to minorities studying aviation and aerospace. He served as president of the Miami and East Coast chapters.
"I'm very proud of him and what he's accomplished," said his son, Roger Gray, who served in the Navy and in the Air Force reserves.
Gray's youngest daughter, Kathryn Bryant, has fond memories of many summer road trips the family would take when Gray had to travel for work.
"He was an awesome dad. He was our hero, and not everyone can say that about their dad," she said. "He was very supportive. He was proud of his children."
Gray is also survived by his wife, Dianne Gray, and daughter Lynette Gayles. He is also survived by four stepchildren and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
© 2016 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.
(Reuters Health) - While army suicides have historically decreased during wartime, that trend appears to have reversed in recent decades, a new study of U.S. records finds.
Researchers poring over nearly 200 years of data found that unlike earlier times when there was a decline in suicide rates among U.S. Army soldiers during and just after wars, the rate has risen significantly since 2004, according to the report in JAMA Network Open.