Gray, Cornelius "Neil" BRUNSWICK Cornelius "Neil" L. Gray, 88, US Army Major, Ret., died Friday, December 28, 2012 at St. Mary's Hospital in Troy. Born in Troy on May 26, 1924, he was the son of the late Cornelius W. and Irene Coffey Gray. A graduate of CBA in Albany in 1942, he enlisted in the US Army in December 1942. He was assigned to duty in India in 1943. He was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and trained in jungle navigation, weapons, explosives, radio codes and evasion tactics. He parachuted behind enemy lines where he operated with the resistance forces in Burma until the end of World War II in 1945. A graduate of Siena College in 1950, he enrolled in Georgetown University for post graduate work. He was recalled to active duty with the US Army for Korea in May of 1951. He married Cheryl Beaudoin in September, 1951. He was assigned to the US Army Counter Intelligence Corp. at Ft. Holabird, Md. He was transferred to Japan as an intelligence agent and later to the 7th Infantry Division where he served until the end of hostilities in Korea. Neil attended various military schools and served as a special agent for counter intelligence mostly in civilian attire. His daughter Mary Jo was born in June of 1954 while he was assigned to the 108th Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) in New Jersey. He continued to serve in classified intelligence assignments in the U.S., Far East and Europe until he was assigned to command an element of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam. After retirement he was employed by the Atomic Energy Commission and later by General Dynamics in the Navy's Nuclear Propulsion Program. He was a charter member of the North Albany American Legion and was the 2nd Commander. Neil received three Bronze Stars for valor in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as numerous medals, commendations and citations. In 1998, Neil was inducted into the Air Commando's Hall of Fame in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. Neil is the beloved husband of Cheryl Gray; adored father of Mary Jo Hughes (dear friend Char Collins); brother of the late William J. Gray, Esq.; uncle of several nieces and nephews especially Bill (Betsy) Gray; lifelong friend of Mike (Katie) Conners. The funeral mass will be Monday at 9:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 33 Walter Street, North Albany. Interment with military honors will follow in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands. Relatives and friends are invited and may call Sunday 3-6 p.m. at the Parker Bros. Memorial, 2013 Broadway, Watervliet. The family would especially like to thank our good friend, Rev. Ed Deimeke and Parker Bros. Memorial for their care and support. Contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project, c/o North Albany American Legion, 31 North First Street, Albany, NY 12204.
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Published in Albany Times Union from Dec. 29 to Dec. 30, 2012