Ray was born in Toronto on January14, 1922. He attended Adam Beck public School and Danforth Technical School.
He enlisted in the RCAF in Toronto on April, 1942 and he did his MD at Toronto and his ITS at Toronto. Then to #20 EFTS at Oshawa; #6 SFTS at Dunnville; #1 GRS at Summerside, PEI; He received his Pilot Wing in June of !943.
He was posted overseas to #3 PRC at Bournemouth in October, 1943. #2 OTU, Wellesbourne, Mountford Gaydon then #1659 HCU, Topcliffe.
He was posted to 433 Squadron RCAF, 6 Group Bomber Command at Skipton-on-Swale. His crew consisted of: Nav.- F/O Bob Madill; BA - F/O NW Langlands; AG - W/O Ernie Munro; AG - F/Sgt John Christie: WAG - W/O2 Ivan Jarvis; FE - Sgt. John Bell (RAF)
Most Memorable Operations
OSLO HARBOUR - We were one of nine aircraft to lay mines in OSLO Harbour - at night, low height, in cloud -- by radar. On the approach while in a tight turn, accurate predicted flak, seemed to bounce off the aircraft --- followed by a night fighter attack. On the way back, we were directed to land at Kinloss, on the north Scottish coast.
COLOGNE - During a daylight attack, while over Cologne, another Halifax flying above, dropped a canister of “25 pound” incendaries, which straddled our aircraft. Several hit the mainframe. One bomb severally damaged the starboard aileron control, making the aircraft difficult to turn. Another hit the nose, just in front of the pilot --- destroyed the navigation radar equipment and narrowly missed the navigator. It was a long flight back with damaged controls. Skipton base directed us to land at the RAF crash aerodrome, located at Woodbridge (south of London). The aircraft was a write-off.
BOCHUM - On the way home from Bochum, flying near Bonn, we were attacked by a night fighter, who fired upward into the starboard inner engine --- an uncontrollable fire made us jump.
I stayed at the controls and tried to keep the plane level while my crew bailed out. When I let go, I was thrown out of the hatch, hit my head and was knocked out. I was free falling and the rush of air brought me to, just in time to pull my rip cord. After landing rather hard, I made a tent of my parachute and had a cigarette. This was around mid-night. Lost my flying boots and socks on the way down. I could see a light in a house across the field, so I walked over in bare feet, knocked on the door and when the lady opened it and I said, Englander. She took me in and there was a teen age daughter who could speak some English. The mother was very kind and bathed my feet an gave me a pair of slippers. She showed me a picture of her son (a flyer). He was lost over England. The man left the house and in a short time the Gestapo arrived with their guns drawn. I was a prisoner at Stalag Luft 3, Gelaria and Stalag 3A, Luckenwalde.
Ray was demobbed at Toronto, July, 1945
Post Service - Production Manager Southam Murray Printing, RCAF Reserve - Flying Chipmunk’s 1951
Married Joyce Durrant on June 14, 1947.--- Two children --- Linda and Douglas -- 3 Grandchildren.