Walter F. Seedlock Papers

Manuscript Collection #622
Seedlock, Walter F.
Physical description
0.086 Cubic Feet, 7 items , consisting of autobiographical material, photograph, newspaper, and publications.
Preferred Citation
Walter F. Seedlock Papers (#622), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1941-1985) including autobiographical material, photograph, newspaper, and publications.

Biographical/historical information

Walter F. Seedlock graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1941, and subsequently served on the USS SHAW (DD 73) until it sank in the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 1941), for which duty he received a Purple Heart. Then he was attached to Patrol Wing One and Submarine School (1942) before serving on the submarines USS SS81 (1942) and USS SS97 (1942-1944). After attending post-graduate Naval training schools (1944-1945) and receiving an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1947), he served on the USS SPERRY (AS-12), and then at Headquarters, Eleventh Naval District in San Diego, California (1947-1949), before his resignation from the Navy with the rank of captain (1949). He joined the Naval Reserves in 1949, and served on active duty from 1951 to 1954.

His post-Naval professional career included work at M.M. Lowry Company (1949-1950) and at Climate Control Company (1950-1951) in Phoenix, Arizona; in the Development Division for the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project (1951-1954); and as a staff member working on nuclear weapons design for Sandia Corporation in Albuquerque, New Mexico (1954-1956). While employed with Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (1956-ca. 1975), Seedlock served an integral role in the engineering of the Navy Polaris Missile Project.

Scope and arrangement

Autobiographical information in the collection includes a list of Seedlock's duty stations (1941-1948) and two resumes (ca. 1971 and ca. 1975). A copy of the July 25, 1972, edition of the Twain Harte [California] Daily News contains an article entitled "30 Year Search Ends" describing the retrieval of Seedlock's sword from the wreck of the USS SHAW and the subsequent use of the sword to cut his 30th wedding anniversary cake.

Publications in the collection include an issue of the magazine Missile Design and Development: First in Missiles and Space (October 1960) featuring an article by Seedlock entitled "The Polaris Missile Container" (pp.44 - 46), and a commemorative publication by Lockheed Missile and Space Company, Fleet Ballistic Missiles: 25 Years (ca. 1985), tracing the history of the Navy Polaris Missile Project from 1960 to 1985, including special mention of Seedlock's contributions. A photograph of Seedlock is also included in the collection.

Administrative information
Custodial History

June 19, 1991, 7 items; Papers of U.S. Naval officer, U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1941, including autobiographical material, photograph, clipping, and publications on missile development. Gift of Captain Walter F. Seedlock, USN (Ret), Palo Alto, California.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Captain Walter F. Seedlock, USN (Ret)

Processing information

Processed by Z. Anishanslin, June 1995

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Seedlock, Walter F., 1918-2002
Corporate Names
Shaw (Ship)
Ballistic missiles--Design and construction--United States
Shipwrecks--Hawaii--Pearl Harbor (Hawaii)