Last Known Activity
Sergeant Floyd J. Shaw was born in Joliet, Illinois on October 23, 1915, the son of Claud St. Clair and Margaret Reed Paton Shaw. His NARA enlistment record states he enlisted at Camp Croft, Illinois on January 21, 1942. It also states he had completed 3 years of high school, and was employed as an aircraft mechanic.
After basic training, he received training as an aerial gunner. Upon completion of this course, he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to an operational unit for further training. He was deployed to England in October, 1942.
On December 12, 1942, he was flying on his third combat mission. The target was the railway marshalling yards at Renilly-sur-Seine. Twenty aircraft were dispatched, and 2 immediately aborted, with 6 others aborting later in the mission.
The primary mission was clouded over, so the secondary target at Rouen was selected. Three aircraft could not find the target, and only 7 actually bombed. After light flak over the target, the force was engaged by 40 German fighters. Two B-17s were shot down. The one in which Sergeant Shaw was flying went into a flat spin, not burning, but crashed about 25 miles East of Paris.
Sergeant Shaw's body was eventually recovered and returned to the U.S. Today, he lies in the Elmhurst Cemetery in Joliet, Illinois.
NARA Enlistment Records
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
The aircraft in which Sergeat Shaw flew was B-17F # 41-24582, nicknamed "One O'Clock Jump," assigned to the 358th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16031 was issued, and identifies the crew as:
Cpt William N. Frost p
2 Lt Robert L. Mays c-p
2 Lt Joe R. Phillips nav
2 Lt Leon W. Brownlee bomb
TSgt Kenneth G. Hildebrand eng/tt gun
Sgt Joseph E. Powers r/o
Sgt Floyd J. Shaw btg
Sgt William S. Devine lwg
Sgt Billie K. Davis rwg
Sgt James R. Toney, Jr tail gun
Sergeants Shaw and Davis were KIA; Captain Frost, Lt Phillips, Lt Brownlee, and Sergeant Devine were captured; while Lt Mays, Sergeants Hildebrand, Powers, and Toney all evaded and eventually returned to England.
There is a discrepancy in Captain Frost's personal report, as he states that Sergeants Shaw and Davis were killed in the plane and Sergeant Toney, trapped in the tail turret, rode the aircraft down and survived the crash. Yet, the report indicates that observers saw 9 parachutes as the plane went down. It would appear that only 7 men left the aircraft.
In the crew photo, Sergeant Shaw is in the front row, second from left.