KILLEEN, Texas (April 14, 2023) – The City of Killeen will recognize Bob Gray Day on Tuesday, April 18 at 10a.m. at the Killeen Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK).
Mayor Debbie Nash-King will present an official proclamation to a descendant of Gray in honor of the annual occasion.
Captain Robert “Bob” Gray was a native of Killeen who was chosen by Lt. Col. Jimmie Doolittle to fly in the famous Doolittle Raid over Tokyo at the start of World War II on April 18, 1942. He was selected along with 80 other pilots and was successful in the mission, but Gray died six months later in the China-Burma Campaign.
He received his wings in 1941 when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and quickly became a top B-25 pilot.
R.T. Polk, Killeen’s 18th mayor who served from 1935 to 1943, first proclaimed Bob Gray Day in memory of the local hero. Mayor Polk ordered that for the duration of time, “Flags will fly from every socket and flagpole in the community, and the day will be set aside permanently as the memorial to a brave heart that winged its way into the very vitals of enemy territory and destroyed military objectives that were calculated to bring harm and destruction to our great country.” Mayor Nash-King will continue this tradition on Tuesday.
Gray’s legacy continues to be honored with Gray Street in downtown Killeen, the Robert Gray Army Airfield on Fort Hood, and a historic display and bronze statue at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.