Vernon N. Shaw
Staff Sergeant
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 03/1941 - 12/12/1945
Mail Delivery, 8th Corps Headquarters

Vernon was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, as one of two children of Frank Irvin Shaw and Eva McRee Shaw. His father worked in the engine room at the Arlington Hotel, while his mother was employed at the Eastman Hotel as a waitress. He grew up in a three-bedroom house with gas, electricity, and telephone. Vernon held several odd jobs as a youngster including mowing yards and working in a grocery store where he stocked shelves and delivered orders. He was paid "about twenty-five cents or fifty cents a day." Without a car, the family walked or rode streetcars. At home they listened to the radio for news and entertainment. The Shaws worshipped at Park Place Baptist Church. Vernon attended Hot Springs High School until he entered the U.S. Army in March of 1941. He was sent to Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma, for basic training. He began serving in the signal section of the 142nd Field Artillery, but was transferred to 8th Corps Area headquarters at Camp Bowie near Brownwood, Texas, where he was assigned to the installation's post office. Vernon also participated in both Louisiana Maneuvers. He was shipped out to the South Pacific, first to New Caledonia, and then to Guadalcanal, arriving after U.S. forces had secured the island. He recalls Japanese left on the island "would try and sneak down and get into the mess hall." Vernon, by then a staff sergeant, worked in the adjutant general's office, separating and delivering military mail. Civilian mail from home, he recalls, "took about two weeks on average." He sailed home in late 1945, and was discharged at Camp Fannin near Tyler, Texas, on December 12, 1945. After the war he married Rosalind Shute. (They would have one son.) He worked for a grocer, and then moved to DeKalb, Texas, where he owned a Piggly Wiggly grocery store. "They were lined up outside of my store on the sidewalk for half a block wanting to get in that store," he recalls. His success, he says, was in offering more competitive prices than other grocers. The Shaws resided in DeKalb for 30 years. After retiring, he and Rosalind moved to Texarkana, Texas.