Gray, Lloyd G. (772nd)

Lloyd G. Gray

Biography:  Lloyd George Gray, “Beck”, was born on May 3, 1917, in Midland, Michigan. He was one of four sons and five daughters born to Harley Gray and Robina C. Abbott. His enlistment record indicates he completed grammar school and at some point, was serving in the National Guard. His draft card, dated October 16, 1940, shows he was working for the Austin Company in Midland.

Service Time:  Lloyd entered the Army on April 7, 1941, in Midland. A 1941 Pictorial of the 72nd Antitank Battalion (AT Bn) (Provisional), part of the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, shows Lloyd as a Technician Grade Five (T/5) in the Headquarters Battery at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. On December 16, 1941, the 72nd AT Bn was re-designated as the 772nd Tank Destroyer Battalion. He is listed in a December 25, 1943, Christmas dinner program at Fort Leonard Wood, as a T/5 in Company C.

The 772nd was originally a self-propelled tank destroyer unit but they were converted to a towed anti-tank gun battalion during training. They shipped from the New York port on September 29, 1944, and arrived in England on October 10th. Landing in France on December 20th, they entered the line near Birgel, Germany, on December 22, 1944, joining up with the 83rd Infantry Division. Fighting in Belgium in January, 1945, with the 75th Infantry Division, they then shifted south to the Seventh Army’s sector along the Rhine River in February. Conversion to the self-propelled M36 tank destroyer began in late March. Lloyd became a driver in one of the new destroyers. The unit supported operations against the Ruhr Pocket in April.

On April 6, 1945, the 3rd Squad (Lloyd’s TD), 1st Platoon of Company C was operating in an area about 1000 yards southwest of Oestrich, Dortmund, Germany. At about 1415 hours, the TD commander was ordered into the town to eliminate snipers and machine gun emplacements. As they were maneuvering to fire on enemy positions, they were hit by an enemy round and the entire crew was killed. Lloyd was awarded a Purple Heart Medal and the EAME, with credit for the campaigns of Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe along with the American Defense and Good Conduct Medals.

Technician 5th Grade Lloyd G. Gray was buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands. We would like to thank Lloyd for making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Thank you also to Sean Pardel for use of the main photo and Des Phillippet for use of the grave marker photo.