|Birth: ||Jun. 16, 1923|
|Death: ||May 14, 1981|
Wilburn Dayton Harp was born on June 16, 1923, in Lakeland, Florida, to Wilburn "Bud" and Margaret (Chestnut) Harp. He was a member of the 1940 graduating class at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, and received a high school medal for the most "athletic" boy in class
and was voted the "most handsome", "best dressed" and "best physique" in a class personality poll. He played on the high school basketball and baseball teams and on the American Legion team for two years.
Dayton Harp joined the United States Naval Reserve in 1939 and was deployed into active service in May, 1941 at the age of 18. He was trained as a radio operator at Charleston, South Carolina and was transferred to Norfolk, Virginia. He served aboard the USS Yorktown and was aboard in May, 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea. He was awarded the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross from Admiral Chester W Nimitz. The award cited: "For heroism and extraordinary achievement while rear seat gunner in an airplane of a bombing squadron in action against the Japanese forces in the Coral Sea on May, 8, 1942.
Upon completion of his military service, Dayton Harp returned to Socrum, and into the loving arms of his family. He loved to write and play country western music and loved to ride in the rodeo. He began a country western band and was known as the "Dixieland Drifters", with a recording contract with the Four Star Recording Company on the Gilt Edge Label. His most popular recorded songs include, "Fast Women, Slow Horses and Wine", "I Love You", and "I'll Never Change My Mind".
Dayton Harp passed away on May 11, 1981, at the age of 57 in Fallon, Nevada. He is buried at the Churchill County Cemetery. His sister, Patricia Ruth (Harp) Lombardi passed away on May 29, 1983 near Long Beach, California.
Wilburn Bryant Harp (1903 - 1952)
Margaret Chestnut Harp (1900 - 1951)
Wilburn Dayton Harp (1923 - 1981)
Patricia Ruth Harp Lombardi (1930 - 1983)*
Churchill County Cemetery
Maintained by: Patrick Lombardi
Originally Created by: Herbert Rickards
Record added: May 09, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14236054