Marietta Honors Battle of Midway Survivor
In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the city has named June 4, 2012, Tess and George Gay Day in Marietta. Gay piloted a torpedo plane and was shot down, wounded and survived 30 hours at sea during the battle.
Mayor Steve Tumlin honored the memory of U.S. Navy Reserve lieutenant George Gay, his squadron's sole survivor of the Battle of Midway, and his wife, naming June 4, 2012, Tess and George Gay Day in Marietta in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the battle.
Gay, a longtime Marietta resident, played a significant role in the Battle of Midway, which was the turning point in the Pacific Theatre. He piloted one of the 30 torpedo planes launched from the USS Hornet, without protection and, along with his squadron, attacked the Japanese carrier fleet, according to a city news release.
Gay was shot down, wounded and survived 30 hours at sea during the battle. He was the sole survivor from his squadron, according to the release. He received the Navy Cross, which is second only to the Medal of Honor, and was pictured on the cover of Life Magazine.
"George was a true American hero of the Battle of Midway and World War II, and he represents the very best of those who served and sacrificed for our country," Tumlin said in the release.
Lt. Gay married Tess in 1946, and they called Marietta home when he was a captain for Trans World Airlines. Tess Gay still lives in Marietta. "We acknowledge Tess' sacrifices and support for our country at home during the war," Tumlin said in the release.