USS SLC..."Enlisted Navy"...Samuel Baris, S1c
Samuel Baris passed away on December 20, 2000. See Obituary
Source: Article found in 1995 USS SLC Association Newsletter contributed to
the website by James O'Hara, S1c
Sam Barris wrote:
I came aboard the Swayback Maru in Jan. 1931. After 10 beautiful years I
was transferred to shore duty at Terminal Island in Long Beach, CA. While
on the SLC I won the Light Heavyweight Championship of the scouting force
1934-35 and lost by only a few points to Leland Fisher for the All Navy
Championship at Trona Field in San Pedro.
I continued to participate in over 400 bouts for the Navy and professional
rings in LA, Wilmington & Long Beach arenas. In 1936 I was named No. 1
Athlete of the Year by the Captain & crew of the USS SLC.
During my tenure in New York, I also won the YMCA's Light Heavy Weight
Championship of greater New York State. At Great Lakes, where LTC Gene
Tunny assigned me to be the wrestling coach, I also participated and we
won the championship in all weights for the east coast.
While at Ream Field I won the Fleet Championship defeating an Iowa State
Champ. I was 35.
I retired from the service in Oct. of 1952 and in 1956 I was entered into the
"Hall of Champions" at Balboa Park showing my teammates, belts and medals.
I have been married to my lovely wife for 40 years and have two grown sons.
In my 80th year, after 3 open heart surgeries and more recently a gallbladder
operation, I feel great.
My Very Best to Every one of my Shipmates
Wrestler Champion picture
#6 in 1933 All-Navy Wrestling Team picture from
The Rope Yarn, Small Arms Firing Score, 3rd Div., 1934
1975 SLC Reunion
Shipmate Samuel Baris, 85, quietly departed from this world Wednesday,
December 20, 2000.
Sam was born April 8, 1915, in Brooklyn, N.Y. A Navy veteran of World
War II and Korea, he served 22 years for his country, three of which were
on the island of Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
As a CPO, he served on the USS Salt Lake City. He was a member of the
All Navy first enlistment whaleboat crew and winner of the Battenberg
Cup. While stationed at North Island NAS as a disbursing officer, he
coached and wrestled on the Con-Air-Pac Team, which won all weight
divisions in 1950 and 51. He won the light heavyweight title and a
major wrestling championship each year for 21 of 22 years' service.
Photographs and memorabilia detailing his Pacific Fleet Wrestling
Championships are on display in the
San Diego Hall of Champions at
Sam was a retired real estate broker and president of Sam Baris and
Associates, Inc., a brokerage firm in San Diego, Calif., which
specialized in business opportunities and commercial property. He was a
32nd Degree Mason, member of the Scottish Rite Masonic Order, potentate
of Al Bahr Temple, president of the Western Shrine Association and a
10-year resident of Henderson, Nev.
Sam is survived by his wife, Eleanor; sons, Sam, both of Henderson, and
Scott of Las Vegas; and grandchild, Jessica of San Diego.
Memorial services were held Friday, January 5, 2001 at El Camino Memorial
Benbough Chapel in San Diego. Entombment followed at Greenwood Memorial
The family requests memorial donations be made to Shriners Hospitals for
USS SLC History
Sam J. Baris
Eulogy For Samuel Baris
from best friend & Pre-WWII USS SLC Veteran,
I first met Sam Baris in 1933 when we were both sailors aboard the heavy
cruiser, USS Salt Lake City. We both were on the ship's champion
wrestling team. I was a middleweight and Sam was a light heavyweight.
Sam later went on to become the U. S. Navy Champion wrestler.
We were very close friends and we shared the joy of adventurous shipboard
life. Sam was a remarkable person, extremely likable, warm out-going, with
a great sense of humor. A truly loyal and caring friend. Naval transfers
and then the war separated us until retirement enabled us to renew our
friendship. In addition to his other talents, Sam demonstrated his
abilities as a successful real estate broker with attendant financial
It came as a great shock that this virile, energetic fun loving and life
loving man had left us. I join with all of his many former shipmates in
extending our condolences to those he loved and who loved him, and to
express our deep sadness and grief at his leaving of our dwindling ranks.
In the words of Hamlet's Horatio,.... Farewell Dear Prince.