Date of Interview
LeRoy Shaw was born 12 November 1922 in Minneapolis, and grew up there. He graduated from West High School in 1940, and then attended a vocational-technical school 1940-41, where he learned to be a mechanic. LeRoy worked briefly for Northwest Airlines, then in April 1943 was drafted into the US Army Air Corps. LeRoy was trained as a gunner on Douglas A-20 Havoc aircraft, and by early 1944 was stationed at Braintree, England, with the 416th Bomb Group Light, 668th Squadron, part of the 9th Air Force. He completed twenty-eight combat missions. On 20 May 1944, though, LeRoy's plane was hit by ground fire and shot down over German-occupied France. He managed to bail out, but suffered a broken leg when landing. After interrogation at the central Dulag Luft facility, the Germans sent LeRoy to a POW hospital camp, Stalag IX-C Meiningen Lazarett, where he remained until September 1944. After recovering from his injury, LeRoy spent time at Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow, until the Germans evacuated this camp in February 1945, and then Stalag Luft I Barth. He remained here until the camp was liberated by Red Army soldiers on 30 April 1945. American forces evacuated US soldiers from Barth in early May. LeRoy was flown to France, then back to the United States. He was discharged from service in September 1945. Again a civilian, LeRoy resumed his career as a mechanic with Northwest Airlines, retiring in 1985 with forty-three years of service. He was married in 1947 (wife Beatrice), and helped to raise four children at their home in Richfield, a Twin Cities suburb.
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without the written permission of Concordia University Library or Thomas Saylor, Department of History, Concordia University, St. Paul.
Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - LeRoy Shaw" (2004). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 72.