slc7-waldrop1 anchor
Rayburn C. Waldrop, MoMM2c
USS Salt Lake City CA25


USS SLC..."Enlisted Navy"...Rayburn Cole Waldrop, MoMM2c

US FLAG Rayburn C. Waldrop passed away on Mar. 3rd, 2011. Information from dau., Martha Babb

Rayburn Cole "Ray" Waldrop, of Clinton, passed away peacefully at age 89, on Thursday, March 3, 2011, at his home while surrounded by family and friends. Mr. Waldrop was born in Giles County, TN, October 12, 1921 to the late Claude Alvin Waldrop and Florence Roberta Barlar Waldrop.

He served his country in the U.S. Navy during WW II aboard the USS Salt Lake City as a MoMM2C. Following his military discharge he entered George Peabody College in Nashville and graduated with a degree in Chemistry.

He met his wife, the late Betty Lynn Melton Waldrop, while in college and married her on February 8, 1948. Following the marriage they moved to Oak Ridge, TN where Ray got a job with Fairchild. After a few years with Fairchild he transferred to Union Carbide and began employment at the Y-12 Federal Plant. He retired from Union Carbide/BWXT after 53 years of service as a development engineer in April of 2006 at age 84 and a half. While employed at Y-12 he received several certificates of accomplishments including many invention awards.

Ray was an avid bowler and he bowled on the Y-12 leagues for many years receiving many trophies. Before his illness he bowled in a senior league until October, 2010. He also enjoyed gardening, golfing and spending time with his family.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Betty Lynn Melton Waldrop and by a brother, Claude Alvin Waldrop, Jr.

He is survived by daughters; Martha Lynn Waldrop Babb of Clinton and Frieda Diane Waldrop Dale and husband, Kenneth of Oak Ridge, by grandchildren; Sara Lynn Seeber and husband, Terry of Clinton, Samuel Jeffrey Babb and wife, Samantha of Oak Ridge and Eric Dale of Oak Ridge, by two great-grandchildren, Katie and Cole Babb of Oak Ridge. He is also survived by a sister, Frieda Waldrop Cummings of Pflugerville, TX by several nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and by a special friend Mark Grim of Norris, TN.

July 3rd, 2000

Hi Sandy,

My father, Rayburn Cole Waldrop, served on the ship during WWII and was in the battle at the Komandorski Islands. He joined the Navy on Sept. 5, 1942 and was discharged from the ship on Nov. 4, 1945.

He went aboard the SLC in February 1943. He was a Fireman 2c and still on scullery duty at the time of the battle of the Kormandorski. A year or so later he was moved up to F1c then MoMM2c.

He has a long story to tell about this battle and about the light cruiser leaving them and the four destroyers staying with them. They were already dead in the water but kept firing and the destroyers shot up a screen of smoke and shot torpedoes until the Japanese left. He said that the Japanese thought that they were out numbered but it was the other way around. He does not know for sure but he thinks that there were at least 20 Japanese ships with a Battleship. It is a very long story that he can tell and he wrote it all down when it happened but we can't find it.

He is almost 79 years old now. He told me that he had never been so scared in his life. He can tell what the other men were doing at the time and can remember all of what happened. He can also tell why they were there and what their intentions were. It is very interesting and I thought that you might be interested in his story.

He tells war stories about Iwo Jima & where they were and what they did and that he saw the flag that the marines raised just as soon as they got it up.

He does have pictures of some of his shipmates and more of when they stopped at different Island in the South Pacific of the Natives that would come aboard the ship. I do have a nice picture of him in his uniform. I will take pictures of them and send the to you.

Dau. Martha

Ray Waldrop


Jul. 27th, 2000...Message from Ray

The nick name "Rebel" was hung on me by ball-red-02 Dementro Glinzak, who was Russian.

He came from Stubenville, Ohio & was a coal miner before joining the navy. We were very good friends. He had a girl friend who he called Little Rabbit. He was about five feet eight and all muscle. I have never heard from him since the war was over.

Dec. 28th, 2000..Message from Ray

Dear Sandy,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great job you are doing for the guys and their families of the SLC. A great majority of us often fail to give credit to people who do so much for others. These are often called "thankless jobs".

My children and grand children are highly impressed with the SLC web site. I have two great grand children 11 and 8 who are not quite there yet to grasp the signifience but I am working on them.

I received a Christmas card from ball-red-02 Deceased George Creamer's daughter and she informed me that George has Parkinson's Disease and is not doing well. George [#30] was a metalsmith in the "A" division of which there is a picture in my contribution. Rayburn is #31

Deceased J. Tennyson WT3c, who operated the ship's laundry died last year (1999).

I wish you a happy new year and keep up the good work.


Jan. 28th, 2001 Message from Ray

As I continue to read the stories of my shipmates and look at their pictures I never cease to be amazed at how young we were. We were just young kids. The officers were just a little older but not much and of course the "Old Man" (captain) was our elder, probably in his forties or so . I was twenty one when I came aboard. My duty was in the A division and my living quarters was the Boat Shop located aft of the galley on the starboard side. We had a section leader who was around thirty five and we called him "Pappy". I made friends with the cooks and bakers and consequently got some hand outs. I am still planning to write you a brief story of some of my experiences and what I saw while I was on the SLC. Please keep up the good work Sandy. I am so glad that you are doing what you are doing with the SLC web site.



Oct. 28th, 2001 Message from Ray
Hi Sandy,

Well I just realized it's time I got off my duff and started to do some taping of my SLC experiences for my kids and grand kids and my great grand kids of which I have two.

My wife Betty was just asking me when I got off the SLC, where I was and how I got back to the States from Japan. I had never told her any of the details. I won't bore you with these details but I will tell you what I told Cindy regarding her father ball-red-02 Deceased [Richard Brown].

I knew Brownie only casually because I only saw him probably one time in two months when he would give me a hair cut. If you tipped the barbers they wouldn't give you a burr hair cut. This gave me an idea.

I knew a marine who cut hair with his own hand clippers and scissors. When I learned that he was shipping out I bought his barber kit for $5.00 and started my own business in my off time in the boat shop which was my sleeping quarters as well as work shop. Six guys bunked in the boat shop. When I was off duty I would set up my barber stool on deck just out side the boat shop in good weather and the guys would line up and wait for their turn. I made no charge. I just took what they gave me which would be from a quarter to a buck. I saved my change and never took money off the books except to send home. When I left the ship to be discharged I sold the hand clippers to ball-red-02 Dimetro Glinzak. I don't know how good his haircuts were because I was gone and never did talk to any of his clients. I still have the barber scissors to this day.

Best regards,

SLC Deck Logs Feb. 1943  May 1943
1979 SLC Reunion


slc7-waldrop2 Rayburn C. Waldrop


Group ID #114
A-Division, Jan. 1, 1944
Funafuti, Ellis Islands
Stoffer, Conn, Hettesheimer
Imry & Westerman

Rayburn C. Waldrop

Ray & Family
Medals & Ribbons
received during WWII



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