Tomorrow, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day, the day we remember and pay tribute to those who wear the uniforms and protect our country and its people.
I am paying tribute to one of them this week, Stanley Shaw, a 1940 Cardington High School graduate. Stanley first attended Taylor University in Upland, Indiana for two years before enlisting in the Army Air Corps October 3, 1942 at Moody Field, Valdesta, Georgia.
He was then sent to Sebring, Florida, for training on the B-17 but later volunteered for the B-29 and assigned to Guam.
He was pilot of the B-29 “City of Hartford,” one of 511 B-29s to the cities of Osaka and Amagasaki, Japan, dropping 3,157.3 tons of bombs.
These were to be incendiary bombs set to open at 5,000 feet above target. Two square miles of Osaka were burned out, 475 people killed, 2,452 injured and 181,636 became homeless. There were 53,327 buildings destroyed or damaged.
One hundred P-51 Mustangs for escort, no enemy fighters were met. One B-29 was damaged and two others were lost in crashes near island bases. A pilot of a B29 reported seeing a B29 cross his path; 300 feet lower and at about 90 degrees. Its landing lights were turned on. Moments later it went into a steep bank (80 degrees) to the left and crashed into the sea.
Rescue boats were immediately dispatched which searched the scene until the following morning, finding only five flying jackets, one life raft, one gas tank and one navigator’s kit. All 11 crewmen were killed.
It is thought that one of those killed was Shaw.
Stan’s sister, Grace Stock, a resident of Pasadena, California, said her parents were told the plane crashed on take off from Guam on its 19th mission with a full bomb load. She reported the same information was given to them that is listed above. She said the family learned that a piece of his air jacket was found with “V. Shaw” on it.
He was not declared dead for a full year. His parents received a letter on June 20, 1945, telling them he had completed his 18th mission on June 18 and received his air medal on June 8.
Grace said she had visited the military cemetery north of Honolulu, Hawaii, named the Punch Bowl and as one climbs the steps there above and on either side are the various services. On the left, about the second alcove in the wall is a stone for Stanley.
Grace said, later when she was a high school sophomore, classes were held in the office of the teacher. On the wall was a photo of the basketball team taken when they were sophomores. Three of them gave their lives during World War II: John Vaughan, Richard Jones and Stan Shaw.
A salute to all who put on that uniform and protect us.
Information for this piece was provided by Grace Stock and Pat Drouhard.