Unknown Sailor

COX Ray Emerson Clift

Ray Emerson Clift was born Jan. 10, 1921 in Bridgeport Township in Lawrence County, Illinois about 250 miles south of Chicago near the Indiana border. His parents, Golda Bell Clift and Cornelius “Neal” Clift, moved to Blue, Missouri, now a part of Independence east of Kansas City, by 1928. The mother was a homemaker and the father a laborer for a corn produce company and later a truck driver.

The son enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 10, 1940. He was a coxswain and petty officer 3rd class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Clift’s brother Neal Jr. served in the Navy during World War II and his brother Calvin served in Korea, though it isn’t clear in which branch of the military.

Sources: The Kansas City Star; Census; Navy muster roll; U.S. veterans gravesites. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.
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