Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
History of the USS SHAW DD-373
The second Shaw (DD-373) was laid down on 1 October 1934 at the
United States Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa.; launched on 28
October 1935; sponsored by Miss Dorothy L. Tinker; and
commissioned on 18 September 1936, Lt. Comdr. E.A. Mitchell in
Following commissioning, Shaw remained at Philadelphia until
April 1937 when she crossed the Atlantic on her shakedown
cruise. Returning to Philadelphia on 18 June, she commenced a
year of yard work to correct deficiencies before completing
acceptance trials in June 1938. Shaw conducted training
exercises in the Atlantic for the remainder of the year. She
then transited to the Pacific and underwent overhaul at Mare
Island from 8 January to 4 April 1939.
Shaw remained on the west coast until April 1940 participating
in various exercises and providing services to carriers and
submarines operating in the area. In April she sailed for Hawaii
where she participated in Fleet Problem XXI, an eight phased
operation for the defense of the Hawaiian area. She remained in
the Hawaiian area until November when she returned to the west
coast for overhaul.
Back in the Hawaiian area by mid-February 1941, Shaw operated in
those waters until November when she entered the Navy Yard at
Pearl Harbor for repairs, dry docking in YFD-2.
On 7 December, Shaw was still dry docked. During the Japanese
attack, she took three hits: two bombs through the forward
machine gun platform, and one through the port wing of the
bridge. Fires spread through the ship. By 0925, all fire
fighting facilities were exhausted, and the order to abandon
ship was given. Efforts to flood the dock were only partially
successful; and, shortly after 0930, Shaw's forward magazine
Temporary repairs were made at Pearl Harbor during December 1941
and January 1942. On 9 February, Shaw sailed for San Francisco
where she completed repairs, including the installation of a new
bow, at the end of June. Following training in the San Diego
area, Shaw returned to Pearl Harbor on 31 August. For the next
two months, she escorted convoys between the west coast and
Hawaii. In mid-October, as a unit of a carrier force centered on
Enterprise, she departed Pearl Harbor and headed west.
Rendezvousing with a carrier force centered on Hornet, the two
carrier groups amalgamated as Task Force 61 and moved north of
the Santa Cruz Islands to intercept enemy forces headed for
By mid-morning on the 26th, both carrier groups were under
attack. As an accompanying ship, Porter (DD-356), stopped to
pick up survivors from a downed torpedo plane, she was
torpedoed. Shaw went to Porter's assistance. Half an hour later,
she was ordered to take off Porter's crew and sink the disabled
destroyer. Periscope sightings followed by depth charge attacks
delayed execution of the mission. By noon, however, the transfer
was completed. An hour later Porter was gone, and Shaw left the
scene to rejoin the task force.
Two days later, Shaw headed for the New Hebrides where she
commenced escorting ships moving men and supplies to
Guadalcanal. She continued that duty through November and
December and into January 1943. On 10 January, while entering
Noumea harbor, New Caledonia, Shaw grounded on Sournois Reef.
She was freed on the 15th, but extensive damage to her hull,
propellers, and sound gear necessitated temporary repairs at
Noumea followed by lengthy repairs and rearmament at Pearl
Harbor which took her through September.
On 6 October Shaw headed west again, reaching Noumea on the 18th
and Milne Bay New Guinea, on the 24th. Now a unit of the 7th
amphibious Force, Shaw escorted reinforcements to Lae and
Finsehhafen for the remainder of October and during November.
Following an unsuccessful diversionary assault by Army troops
against Umtingalu, New Britain, on 15 December, Shaw recovered
survivors from two rubber boats and escorted Westralia and
Carter Hall back to Buna, New Guinea.
On 25 December, Shaw escorted units engaged in the assault
against Cape Gloucester, where she provided gunfire support and
served as fighter director ship. On the 26th, Shaw sustained
casualties and damage when attacked by two "Vals." Thirty-six
men were injured, three of whom later died of their wounds. Shaw
returned to Cape Sudest, New Guinea, on the 27th; transferred
her wounded and dead to shore facilities there, and continued on
to Milne Bay for temporary repairs. Permanent repairs were
completed at Hunter's Point, San Francisco, on 1 May 1944.
Shaw returned to Pearl Harbor on the 10th, joined the 5th Fleet
there, and sailed for the Marshalls on the 15th. She got
underway from the Marshalls on 11 June with TF-52 to engage in
the assault on Saipan. Four days later, the attack began. For
the next three and one-half weeks, the destroyer rotated between
screening and call fire support duties. In mid-July, she was
back in the Marshalls. On the 18th, Shaw got underway to return
to the Marianas with the Guam assault force. During the action
that followed, she performed escort and patrol duties.
Shaw departed the Marianas on 23 September. Following a tender
repair availability at Eniwetok, she rejoined the 7th Amphibious
Force on 20 October and headed for Leyte Gulf on the 25th.
Convoy escort duties between the Philippines and New Guinea
involved Shaw until the invasion of Luzon took place at Lingayen
Gulf on 9 January 1945. From the 9th to the 15th, she performed
screening, call fire support, night illumination, and shore
bombardment missions. Following this operation, Shaw was
involved in the recapture of Manila Bay. After the Luzon
operations, she supported the assault and occupation of Palawan
during the period from 28 February to 4 March.
In early April, she operated in the Visayans, setting two
Japanese barges on fire off Bohol on 2 April. Damaged soon
thereafter on an uncharted pinnacle, she underwent temporary
repairs. On the 25th, she sailed for the United States. Shaw
arrived in San Francisco on 19 May. Repairs and alterations took
her into August. The work was accomplished on the 20th. She then
departed for the east coast. On arrival at Philadelphia, she was
routed to New York for deactivation. Decommissioned on 2 October
1945, her name was struck from the Navy list two days later. Her
hulk was scrapped in July 1946.
Shaw earned eleven battle stars during World War II.