The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Lewis Clayton Shaw, Jr.

"Sometimes it’s a little hazy, and sometimes it comes back to you real live…" (Video interview, 9:43)

   Lewis Clayton Shaw, Jr.
Collection image
Detail from a group photo, Lewis Shaw in front of the USS Cohocton, China [undated]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Helena (CL 50), USS Oglala, USS Cohocton (AO 101)
Service Location: Pacific Theater; China; Japan
Rank: Pharmacist's Mate First Class
View Full Description

Enlisting in 1940, Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Lewis Clayton Shaw, Jr. chose the Navy in hopes of securing a dry place to sleep every night while in the service. What he could not have anticipated was his front and center view of the beginning of World War II. Assigned to the USS Oglala, a minelayer, he was stationed at Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Though he survived the attack, the Oglala did not; following a transfer to the USS Helena, a St. Louis Class-light cruiser, he went on to participate in the Battle of Guadalcanal. Following the end of the war, he spent time aboard the USS Cohocton, a fleet oiler, which took him to China and Japan. In his interview, he discusses his work as a Pharmacist’s Mate First Class, and how, seventy years after the war, some memories of his service remain as vivid as the day the events happened.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (34 min.)
»Photo Album  (2 photos)
 Personal Correspondence
»V-Mail from Clayton Shaw [2/28/1943]
More like this
»Staff Picks
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Taking a shower on the morning of December 7th; hearing the planes approach; getting dressed in a hurry. (01:05) Seeing casualties; taking care of a wounded shipmate; Oglala sunk; working at a temporary hospital; assigned to the Helena. (03:24) Memories of the attack; taking care of burn victims (03:01)
Experiences at Guadalcanal; clearing beach for the landing; injuries treated aboard ship. (03:06)  

Home » Lewis Clayton Shaw, Jr.
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us