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    Description

    Pearl Harbor Ship - "A Ship too Tough to Die!" - USS Shaw (DD-373). USS Shaw (DD-373) was a Mahan-class destroyer commissioned in 1936 and was the second warship named to honor Capt. John Shaw, the naval officer who made the name USS Enterprise a household word in the early 1800s. Shaw, a native of Ireland, was appointed as Lt. in the US Navy in 1798 and fought in the Quasi-War with France, commanded the brig Enterprise during the Barbary War, and served in the War of 1812.

    Originally serving in the Atlantic after commissioning, USS Shaw transited to Pearl Harbor in 1939 where she trained with both carriers and submarines. Assigned to a floating drydock, she was in Pearl Harbor for repairs and a refit at the end of 1941.

    The ensign of the Shaw is a cotton bunting, US Navy size #8, approximately 60" X 144", 48-star, double applique, sewn stripe flag finished with a canvas header and two grey metal war-time grommets. It is marked on the obverse hoist, "USS SHAW 373" with a maker's mark for an Annin "Defiance" brand flag, followed by the size notation "E8." On the reverse it is marked, "41 XXI."

    On December 7,1941 the USS Shaw was in YFD-2, a floating drydock. During the second wave of the Japanese attack, she took three bomb hits which ruptured her forward fuel tanks, igniting the oil and throwing blazing fuel throughout the bow and down into the drydock. Damage control was commenced, but had to be abandoned. At 09:30, the Shaw's forward magazine exploded nearly severing her bow. This spectacular explosion was captured on film by a US Navy photographer and widely circulated in the press winning infamy for Shaw. It was assumed that no ship could ever recover from such a blast and Shaw was assumed to be a total loss.

    However, she proved to be "A Ship too Tough to Die." As the YFD-2 slowly sank, it raised the after portion of the Shaw. This, coupled with a strong wind from the stern and aided by the strenuous efforts of the remaining crew, the Shaw was saved from gutting by fire that befell the destroyers Cassin and Downes. She was able to be fitted with a temporary bow and made it to the West Coast under her own power for reconstruction.

    By August of 1942, Shaw was back in Pearl harbor on convoy duty until she was detached for duty with the carriers Lexington and Enterprise at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands during the Guadalcanal Campaign, during which she where she escorted transports moving men and supplies until January of 1943. After running aground, she required lengthy repairs which lasted through September 1943.

    In the fall, she was assigned to the New Guinea campaign escorting, providing shore bombardment, and sea-to-air fighter coordination, during which she sustained both casualties and damage in an aerial attack, necessitating permanent repairs on the West Coast.

    Back again with the Pacific Fleet in May of 1944 in time for campaigns in the Marshalls, the Marianas, and Guam. She was at Leyte in the fall for escort and patrol duty. She was at the landings on Luzon and the recapture of Manila Bay. Shaw operated in the Philippines until April 1945 when she was damaged on an uncharted marine pinnacle. She returned to the West Coast for repairs where she was when hostilities ceased. She was decommissioned in1945.

    This is a unique opportunity to possess an ensign from a Pearl Harbor survivor ship; the USS Shaw, perhaps the "Alpha" of WWII collectibles, who went on to have a distinguished career in the Pacific Theatre.

    Over the course of her career, the USS Shaw was awarded: American Defense Service Medal with Fleet clasp, American Campaign Medal;,Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with eleven campaign stars, World War II Victory Medal.

    Condition: The ensign of the Shaw is in good condition. It is used and worn, but otherwise complete.

    This flag was formerly in the collection of Dr. Clarence Rungee, and is accompanied by his original museum inventory sheet with identifying information.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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