TROY, N.Y. – Rensselaer County has recognized a resident who has been part of the United States Army since December 1942.
The late Cornelius L. Gray enlisted two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII. Gray continued to serve through the Vietnam War and was awarded with three Bronze Star's for his actions in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Gray was honored by the Rensselaer County's Honor-A-Deceased Veteran Committee and County Officials on September 9, 2013.
He was second in command of a mission operating along the Bangkok-Rangoon railroad for the Office of Strategic Services.
Gray also parachuted behind Japanese lines where 650 guerillas were trained by him in various weapons techniques.
Gray attended Christian Brothers Academy prior to enlisting in the Army. After he returned from war he attended Siena College and Georgetown University.
He continued to serve the United States in a variety of ways, including working as President John F. Kennedy's bodyguard during a trip to Europe.
Finally, at the age of 70 he declined an invitation to be reinstated on the active list for Operation Desert Storm.
“Cornelius Gray was a true patriot, serving bravely and capably for the United States in three wars, including World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was selected for dangerous assignments, and successfully carried out important and strategic missions while often vastly outnumbered by the enemy,” said Chairman of the Legislature Martin Reid.