Mason City Globe-Gazette

Mason City, IA

24 Oct 1944





Attorney Plans to Seek Quiet on Iowa Farm

(I.D.P. War Correspondent)

With the 5th Army in Italy, Oct 23, (I.D.P.A.) -- "When I return to Iowa I am not going to practice law. I shall go out on a farm to spend the rest of life in peace and quiet and I shall make no speeches."

It was Lt. Col. Robert J.Shaw, former Sigourney attorney, speaking within sound of artillery where I found him on duty with the Brazilian forces of the 5th army in north Italy.

He had just taken part in the capture of a town and was tired but eager to talk about Iowa and his friends in his home state.

"I have much more material on which I could speak than I ever had before," he continue, "but I feel now as if I shall want nothing more when this conflict is over than opportunity to forget some of the things I have seen and undergone."

Colonel Shaw, chairman of secretary of the national defense committee at every annual national American Legion convention, 1930-1941 inclusive, a post president of the 7th Corps Reserve Officers Association and the Iowa association and the commander of the Iowa Department of the American Legion in 1941, has seen much action since he landed in Africa in 1943. He was called to active duty as occupational advisory for selective service in Iowa in September of 1940, got a transfer in March of 1942, which took him to Fort Benning, then to Camp Wolters before coming overseas.

He almost immediately was assigned as an advisor to the Algerians of the French army, fought with them in Africa at Pishon and Pont du Fahs, then was with them in Italy, where he spent 93 consecutive days under fire at Cassino and won the French croix do guerre with silver star for valor. After that he was inspector of French troops in Africa until ordered to the Brazilians as an advisor June 20.

Col. Shaw is the only American honored by being a corporal in the 7th Algerian riflemen and is an honorary corporal in the French commandos and the 3rd Espahis.

His son, Robert J. Shaw, Jr., has an appointment to West Point in 1945. Mrs. Shaw is now in Des Moines.

The Iowan's brother, Col. William J. Shaw, Fayette, Mo., has been awarded 2 silver stars and the Legion of Merit in 2 years and a half service in the army medical corps in the South Pacific. He was national surgeon general of Reserve officers when he left his practice to devote full time to the military. His son, Lt. Robert D. Shaw, pilot, is a prisoner in Germany who was shot down over Belgium June 11. Another son, Lt. William Shaw, Jr., is in the medical corps.

I ate with Brazilians the day I saw Colonel "Bob" Shaw, as he is known to thousands of veterans and other citizens not only in Iowa but throughout the United States. Before I located him near his tent, pitched in the woods, I talked with the South American officers and soldiers.

Their morale was high. They were glad they were fighting as allies of Americans and professed to firmly believe that future world safety lay in beating the Germans and Japanese so soundly they will never want to start another war. All expressed hope there would be the utmost co-operation among all nations in the 2 American continents in the future.

Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, commanding the 5th army, recently commended the Brazilians on their fortitude and bravery, a recognition of which they were immensely proud.

Though their language is Portuguese, many speak English. All are said to want to learn it.

"The people of the United States are most incredible," said a young officer. "We Brazilians admire them very much."

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, October 24, 1944

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