John E. Ray, 83, a retired Army colonel who was secretary general of the U.S. War Crimes Tribunals after World War II, died Aug. 15 at Walter Reed Hospital following surgery. He had suffered a fall.
In 1916, Col. Ray joined Gen. John J. Pershing's expeditionary force against Pancho Villa in Mexico. In World War I, he was assigned to the U.S. 1st Infantry Division and fought in major U.S. engagements in France.
Between the wars he served in the Philippines and China.
During World War II, Col. Ray commanded the division artillery of the 94th Infantry in combat in France, Germany and Czechoslovakia.
In 1946, he was named deputy secretary general of the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. He later served as secretary general of the follow-up U.S. War Crimes Tribunals.
From 1949 to 1951, he served as chief of staff of the U.S. military mission to Greece during the Greek civil war. In 1952, he headed the U.S. military mission to Cuba. He retired to the Washington area in 1954.
Col. Ray was born in St. Louis and grew up in Seattle. He attended Washington State University before joining the Army.
His decorations included the Bronze star, the Legion of Merit, the French Legion of Honor (twice), and the French Croix de Guerre. He also was decorated by the governments of Greece, Cuba and Czechoslovakia.
Survivors include a son, John E. Jr., and two grandchildren, of Vienna.